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Product Spotlight: The Re-designed Electric Center Ride Tow Tractor Series 1103

Maximizing drivability, performance, and efficiency is the cornerstone of Linde designed trucks.  With focus on the applicational use, as well as operator comfort and productivity, the newly re-designed Series 1103 encompasses and exceeds every feature needed to tow.  Offering ways to work better, smarter and more efficiently, even in the most demanding applications.

Drivability 

With the operator in mind, the re-designed Series 1103 is built with a comfort operator platform, offering a smooth ride and large operating compartment, reducing operator fatigue.  In addition, the compact footprint with responsive steering allows precise traveling and maneuvering in tight places.  The forward driving position with a unique Linde twin-grip steering control, showcases an ergonomic tiller head that governs travel direction, speed and automatic return to neutral.  This feature offers ease of use of controls by either hand and its power steering reduces steer effort by 70%, decreasing operator fatigue.  The operator platform also incorporates an operator-presence sensor, protecting the operator from any unintentional harm.

Performance & Reliability

The Series 1103 delivers responsive acceleration braking and travel speeds with a powerful 24-volt 5.4hp, AC drive motor, allowing for maximum productivity, excellent reliability, increased towing capacity and ideal for stop and go operations.  Recognized as being one of the toughest trucks in the market, the Series 1103 delivers high performance acceleration, with generous 10,000 or 15,000 lb. towing capacity.  Having the job application and operator in mind, the latest features and re-design results in an extremely durable and reliable truck. The high quality electrical parts, in conjunction with the heavy-duty, bottom-mounted Kordel drive unit, make the Series 1103 a dependable asset in your warehouse operations, delivering reliable performance.

Serviceability

The Series 1103 allows easy access to the trucks key components by removal of a one-piece durable lift off motor compartment cover.  The thermosetting resin cover offers superior impact strength, durability, and lifelong proper fit.  In addition, a digital display assists with charging and maintenance planning by means of a diagnostic computer port.

Efficiency

The AC motor controller provides effective and efficient use of battery voltage and has extremely wide torque and speed range, supporting tailored parameters to meet a wide variety of application requirements.  Zero speed ramp hold applications are also accomplished, as well as full regeneration capability and smooth low speed control.  Maximizing the Series 1103’s capabilities are a reality with the addition of new AC technology, enabling extended maintenance intervals for motors resulting in decreased down time. 

Maintaining Your Forklift – Keeping It Clean Will Prolong Its Working Life

When considering ways to extend the life of your forklift, one often gravitates to the more obvious ideas.  Depending on how your truck is powered, you may be thinking regular oil changes, keeping a close eye on the motor/engine, following the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule or regular up-keep of the tires.  One, as important step to maintaining a forklift that often gets overlooked, is cleaning/disinfecting the truck.  Below we will highlight some important steps that will ensure your forklift is functioning at peak performance and will remain running for a long time.

Clean off exterior debris

Just as you would clean your personal car when it becomes visibly dirty, the same applies for the forklift.  Depending on your truck’s source of power will determine what tools you can clean with.  For an electric truck, knocking off accumulated grim with a broom will help dislodge unwanted particles, making it easier to clean.  An air compressor can also assist with the removal along with non-toxic bio-degradable solutions.  Keep in mind that water can affect your trucks electrical components, so use caution to prevent electrical damage.

As noted in the Linde service guide operators manual,hot steam or cleaning materials with a powerful degreasing effect should only be used with great caution as this will affect the grease filling of bearings with lifetime lubrication, causing it to escape. As re-lubrication is not possible, the bearings will be irreparably damaged.“

When cleaning a non-electric truck, it is advised to use a pressure-washer to knock-off hard to remove substances.  In addition, the use of the pressure-washer will prevent the operator from getting too close to the truck, during cleaning, protecting one from potential hazardous run-off or splash-back.

The Linde operator’s manual states, when cleaning with a water jet (high-pressure or steam cleaner etc.), it should not be applied directly to the area of the front axle, electric and electronic components, connector plugs or insulating material. Water should not be used for cleaning in the area of the central electrical system and switch console.“

Don’t forget the underside of the truck

It is often noted that we clean what we see, however, hidden parts of the truck are as important, if not more to maintain.  Depending on where you work, your truck may be used in many different environments.  Dirt and grim can easily build up in those hard to reach areas, causing potential issues to the undercarriage of the truck.  Keeping those areas cleaned, will prevent major issues down the road.

Work from the top of the truck down

For heavier soiled areas, pre-soaking your truck may be necessary.  That will allow build-up to soften, making it easier to clean.  When cleaning your truck, make sure to start at the top and work your way down.  That way, grim and dirt will flow down, and you are not having to re-clean areas.

Allow proper dry time

Once your truck is sufficiently cleaned, park it in an area that will allow appropriate dry time – preferable in the sun.  Allowing your truck to dry will ensure that its components are working efficiently and will prevent damage to the truck.

Protect yourself

No matter how you plan to clean your truck, make sure you are using protective gear.  When using cleaning materials or tools, there is always a chance that substances can splash back on you.  Be sure to wear protective eye-wear, boots and gloves, as well as long sleeves and pants to protect your skin.

Operating A Forklift In The Sun – How To Work Safely

For most in the material handling industry, when considering safety guidelines when operating a forklift, we often think of specifics of running the truck. For instance, how to safely maneuver it, ensure the operator is protected, as well as others around, and that the truck is being used properly. However, looking at the environment the truck is being used in can be just as important. Extreme hot and cold temperatures can not only affect the truck, but also the operator. Below we highlight tips on operating a forklift in the sun – a topic that may get overlooked.

Build a tolerance for working in the heat

As with anything extreme, building one’s tolerance to withstand hot temperatures while operating a truck is key. If an operator is not well versed in working in certain temperatures, he/she can put themselves at risk for injury. Heat takes a toll on the body and can often fatigue and disorient a person if exposed to the sun for too long. Operating a truck at the same time can have dire consequences. Establishing a schedule for increasing one’s time in the sun, while maneuvering a truck, will better protect the operator.

Guard yourself against the sun

If you must work in the sun, it is extremely important to guard yourself against any additional negative effects of the sun’s rays. Wearing clothing that covers most of your body will help protect your skin and decrease the likelihood of burns. Also, shielding your face with a hat will aid in protecting your face as well as decreasing glares from the sun to help prevent vision impairment. Above all else, make sure you are applying sunscreen before going out in the sun and reapply later in the day if you notice you have perspired a lot.

Hydrate

As obvious as it may sound, making sure you stay hydrated while working in the sun is imperative. When working in high heat temperatures, the body is continuously perspiring, which is the body’s automatic response to cooling down the body. However, that water loss needs to be replenished. Make sure to hydrate with water and not caffeine, even if you feel like you need a pick me up. Caffeine can lead to additional body fluid loss. Taking regular breaks to re-hydrate and refresh will be extremely beneficial to the forklift operator.

Take scheduled breaks

Make sure you are maximizing all scheduled breaks by going inside during those times. Taking a break from the truck, while still outside does not allow your body to cool down and take the respite it needs. To continue working in the sun, your body needs to have frequent opportunities to recharge. During this time, monitor yourself for signs of heat exhaustion and heatstroke. There are several signs and symptoms to be aware of according to WebMD.

Some symptoms of heat exhaustion

  •  Fatigues
  •  Nausea
  •  Headache
  •  Excessive thirst
  •  Muscle aches and cramps
  •  Weakness
  • Confusion or anxiety

Some symptoms of heatstroke

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headache
  • Dizziness or vertigo
  • Fatigue
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Dry skin
  • Profound sweating

For more signs and symptoms Click Here

How Forklifts Are Made

Forklifts are an essential component of maneuvering the heavy-duty materials used in every warehouse. While anyone who works with this machinery regularly knows what it looks like and what its functions are, they more than likely aren’t familiar with how they are created. Forklifts have been improved over the years to lift, carry, and relocate products efficiently. To give a better understanding of what goes into making a forklift, we’ve compiled a brief summary to help.

The Materials

Forklifts are made from various raw steel materials in the shapes of bars, plates, etc that are specifically welded and formed to build the anatomy of the forklift before being painted and adding on any components. First comes first is the frame, as every other component of the forklift’s body depends on this structure.

Components of the Body

The welded and shaped steel materials are then used to create the essential body of the forklift. Included in this body are the mast, lift and tilt cylinders, carriage, forks, load basket, tires, and overall power supply. Within this are even smaller components made from the steel materials, such as the operator’s seat, steering wheel, and levers. While all of these components are essential, the make and design of them differ by what type of forklift you are creating, what products you’re hoping to transport, and what environment you’ll be transporting them in.

Finding Quality Sources

All that is mentioned above means nothing without quality materials to assemble your forklift. At KION North America, we pride ourselves in working with Linde and Baoli to provide innovative and energy-conscious materials at a lower cost. KION North America also works closely with its sister company, Dematic, the global leader in automated material handling that provides a comprehensive range of intelligent supply chain and automation solutions.

Become informed about what goes into manufacturing a forklift so that you are able to make positive choices about what materials you’re working within your warehouse! To learn more about KION North America’s services and comprehensive product portfolio from Linde and Baoli, visit our website.

How to Become a Forklift Operator

Forklift operators typically work within warehouses or construction sites. They are vital to business operations since they are responsible for moving heavy materials to where they are needed. Operators are responsible for their safety as well as the safety of those around while working. Operating heavy machinery is the bulk of the job, however, there is more to getting the job than hopping on the forklift and turning the key.

Valued Experience

Prior experience working with heavy machinery brings great value to the table, and knowledge on warehouse distribution operations will prove useful as well. The companies leading the industry in forklift technology are important to note when applying. Among top competitors are; Linde and Baoli.

Active listening and effective communication are vital to ensure safe operations for you and those around you. Regardless of where you fall on the prior-experience spectrum, becoming a forklift operator ultimately reduces to passing the certification process.

Certification Process

The OSHA certification process typically takes 2-5 days to complete depending on if you complete it online or in person. CertifyMe.net offers OSHA forklift certification card training for only $59.95. The process is split up into two sections: educational and practical. The focus for the education section will be operation and safety, while the practical portion examines your actual handling of the machinery. This practical portion is typically executed by the proposed employer. With this short time frame and affordable price, you’ll be working the lift in no time!

What to Expect

Aside from actually operating the forklift, there are various benefits to becoming a forklift operator. Hourly pay ranges an average of $15 to $20 an hour. This job is not as isolating as people think, because forklift operators work regularly within teams. Another perk is that these jobs typically operate between regular business hours, allowing you to have a set schedule and a stable career!

Questions to Ask When Purchasing a Forklift

A forklift is more than just machine—it’s an investment for the good of your business. Purchasing a forklift is not a decision that should not be taken lightly. Every forklift model has its advantages and choosing the model that best suits your material handling needs takes time and careful consideration.

Asking the right questions is vital when investing in new equipment. Whatever your forklift needs may be, make sure to ask these five questions when considering your next purchase.

What is my budget?

Deciding on a budget will not only save you time and resources, but it will also narrow down your options. If you’re not sure whether purchasing a new forklift is the right option for you, other possibilities include leasing, renting or buying used.

While buying a used forklift may seem tempting, keep in mind that buying used means you’ll get shorter life out of the machine. A new forklift is a larger investment, but purchase ensures brand new parts.

Will I be driving the forklift inside or outside?

It’s important to know where you will be operating to determine what type of forklift you should purchase. Electric forklifts are often thought of for use indoors. However, a Linde forklift with its splash-proof electrical system can also be a great option for outdoor use.

When it comes to the difference between indoor and outdoor forklifts, it comes down to the tires versus the power source. Electric forklifts commonly have cushion tires, which are ideal for smooth surfaces or loading docks. They also offer a smaller turning radius and last longer than their pneumatic counterpart.

Internal combustion engine forklifts with pneumatic or super-elastic tires have strong traction on rough or uneven terrain, making them the perfect choice for outdoor applications like construction sites or lumber yards.

What are the maintenance costs?

Owning a forklift is a big responsibility, so make sure to ask about maintenance costs when considering the purchase of a new machine. Typically, there are two types of maintenance agreements that are offered by the forklift dealer.

Planned Maintenance (PM) is a basic plan that states the dealer will perform service to the forklift over a determined schedule. Full Maintenance (FM) charges the customer a monthly fee to cover breakdown and maintenance over a certain period.

Does the brand of forklift matter?

While it may be tempting to purchase a forklift based solely on price, the brand of forklift does in fact matter. You should never buy a forklift based on price alone. Brands like Linde and Baoli are backed by more than 100 years of material handling expertise, making them more reliable. Small or unknown brands may be less expensive, but what you may save in up-front price, you’ll most likely pay for in replacement parts when your forklift breaks down.

Should I try before I buy?

You wouldn’t buy a car without test driving it, and the same should apply when purchasing a forklift. Before purchasing, request a demo to test the machine in your facility. Test driving a forklift will give you a good idea of how well it functions and how suitable it is for your needs.

By asking these questions and talking to a knowledgeable dealer, you can be sure that you are making a great investment for your business. At KION North America, we provide innovative forklift models to help your business become more productive and profitable. Check out our website to learn more about our models and find a dealer near you.

5 Essential Elements of Forklift Safety

Statistics from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) indicate that approximately 34,900 forklift injuries occur every year. A number of factors contribute to accidents, including equipment and operator error. To reduce the risk of injury, it is crucial that operators understand the dangers asociated with improper operation of a forklift.

In honor of National Forklift Safety Day on June 12, KION North America urges facility managers to stress the importance of safe forklift operation throughout their facilities. Here are five essential elements of forklift safety that your company must put into practice.

Complete the required training

Only employees who have received proper training and certification can legally operate a forklift. Operators who fail to complete the necessary training have an increased risk of injury to themselves and those around them. Allowing an employee without the proper certification to handle a forklift can result in tens of thousands of dollars in fines for the employer.

OSHA’s training program entails practical training and a workplace performance evaluation. Additionally, OSHA requires that operators are evaluated every three years. An operator must meet OSHA’s training course requirements to continue operating a forklift.

Perform regular checkups

To maximize forklift safety, operators should perform routine inspections of their equipment. Items to check include seat belts, tires, lights, brakes, backup alarms, fluid levels and the forks. Any issues with equipment should be reported to a supervisor, and the forklift should immediately be removed from service.

Stay aware of surroundings

While operating the equipment, operators should be aware of their surroundings as well as worksite rules and guidelines. Carefully observe signs for maximum permitted floor loadings and clearance heights. Operators should also pay attention to the height of the load when entering and exiting the warehouse.

In regards to pedestrians, it’s important that operators slow down when approaching heavily-populated areas, such as intersections, corners, and stairways.

Maintain load stability

One of the leading causes of forklift-related injuries is tip-over, which can occur when a forklift carries an unstable load. Operators should ensure loads are completely balanced and secured on the forks before operating to prevent tip-overs.

Operators should also keep the load low to the ground to increase safety. When traveling on ramps and grades, the load should point up the incline regardless of the direction of travel.

Store forklifts properly

After a shift has ended, it’s important for each operator to park the forklift in its designated, authorized area. The forks should be fully lowered to the ground, and the parking brake should be applied. Finally, the forklift should be turned off, and the key should be removed from the ignition and stored in the proper place.

Proper operation of forklifts and other material handling equipment is essential to the safety of your warehouse. Let National Forklift Safety Day serve as a reminder to practice these and other elements of forklift safety year-round.

At KION North America, warehouse safety is a top priority. That’s why we provide facility managers with outstanding forklift models leading the way in efficiency and safety. Contact your local authorized dealer today to find the best forklift for your material handling needs.

How to Invest in Material Handling Equipment

Although necessary for manufacturing and warehouse operations, material handling equipment can be expensive and overwhelming. However, taking the time to research equipment and choose the right investments can help your business grow exponentially. Your facility has individual needs and preferences that will determine the appropriate material handling equipment. Identifying the type of forklift and engine needed, purchasing from a reputable dealership, and strategizing your financial commitments will help you make the best investment.

Choose the type of forklift needed

In the material handling equipment market, there are many forklift models available. When choosing the best machine, you’ll want to consider the size, load capacity, and height limit. If you are operating indoor forklifts, choose machinery that is the right size for your facility. For example, if your warehouse has narrow aisles or tight spaces, you’ll want to invest in a forklift that can operate safely. When determining the load capacity for your forklifts, overestimate rather than underestimate to avoid a potential accident.

Pick an engine

Forklifts usually run on either an internal combustion or an electric engine. When determining which is right for your operations, first ask if the forklift will be operated inside a building or outdoors in the elements. Forklifts with electric engines are typically used indoors. The machines burn cleaner and run more quietly, making them better suited for operating in a busy, crowded environment. An electric counterbalanced forklift is energy efficient while an internal combustion truck has the advantage of lower maintenance expenses.

Purchase from a reputable dealership

Once you are confident in the type of forklift you need, you’ll have to decide who to purchase it from. You’ll want to choose an internationally recognized, experienced company with an excellent reputation. Next, verify that the machinery comes with a warranty that the dealer will honor. Most dealerships are willing to help you choose the right machine and ensure that the transaction runs smoothly.

Strategize financing

When adding new or used forklifts to your fleet, you have several financing options: purchase, lease, or buy in bulk. When purchasing a new forklift, you may be able to negotiate a monthly payment plan that fits in with your budget. To test out a machine or to hire one for a quick job, consider leasing a forklift from a reputable company. If you decide to buy a fleet of forklifts at wholesale price, you may save time and money. Selling outdated or unwanted machinery for extra funds can help you finance your next investment.

At KION North America, we provide high-quality forklifts at reasonable prices. Our widely acclaimed dealership network can help you invest in the material handling equipment that will save your warehouse time and money. Call (843) 875-8000 or visit our website to find the authorized dealer nearest you today.

The Essential Forklift Safety Checklist

Every year, forklifts are involved in 11% of accidents and are responsible for 100,000 injuries worldwide according to OSHA Safety Management. Forklift safety is essential for protecting the health and well-being of your employees. Accidents also result in costly lawsuits that are damaging to your brand’s reputation. Here are five tips that you should always include in your routine safety checks.

Check protective gear

Although the specific standards for safety equipment may vary slightly depending on your employer, protective hard hats, glasses, and reflective clothing will likely be a part of your uniform. You should always refer to the official employee dress code since safety equipment such as face shields or gloves may also be part of the requirements.

Refer to safety guides

The safety guidebook for forklift use and the operator’s manual should always be accessible to employees. Managers should also be available to answer any questions regarding safety. Make sure that employees are up-to-date on the latest forklift technology and safety requirements. Although certification programs are available online for forklift operation, managers should also include a job-specific safety course for all new and existing employees.

Measure fluid levels and tire pressure

It is important to ensure that forklifts have enough battery fluid, water, and hydraulic fluid to operate safely at all times. When forklifts are driven in an industrial environment, there is also a risk of punctured tires. Since daily wear and tear can cause tires to deflate, measure the tire pressure and watch out for any slashes or nails.

Perform a visual inspection

Next, carefully look over the entire forklift for any cracks, leaks, or defects. If anything seems amiss, call someone to repair it. Ignoring a leak and operating the forklift isn’t worth the risk of injury to an employee. Don’t forget to check the overhead guard, lift chains and rollers, forks, mast assembly, and hydraulic cylinders at the start of each day. Finally, check the load-handling attachments to make sure they aren’t loose.

Evaluate safety equipment

After the visual inspection, you’ll want to examine the safety features in the forklift. Seatbelts should fasten securely and be free of any tears or fraying. You’ll also want to test the brakes, steering, horn, and front, tail, and brake lights. Any problems with the safety equipment could put the lives of your employees at risk.

At KION North America, we understand how important safety is to your operations. Discover how our lines of Linde and Baoli forklifts are the leading brands in safety and technology.

How Data, Automation, and Regulations Are Changing Manufacturing

The enormous demands of e-commerce are driving manufacturing plants to continuously expand storage capabilities and pick, slot, and load products faster. The cold food industry has always faced unique challenges when delivering to customers, but it has grown more complex in an age of quick turnover and delivering meal prep kits directly to a customer’s door. In addition to the refrigerated foods sector, other manufacturing industries are streamlining data analytics, automation, and improved safety regulations into their day-to-day operations.

Analyzing data

Data analytics have become a huge part of warehouse operations. The information collected influences the vast majority of management decisions. With data, managers can modify distribution centers according to customer purchasing habits and preferences. Additionally, data can highlight inefficiencies in picking and slotting strategies. Managing a fleet of wireless forklifts and collecting data from robot and AI systems can be expensive, but this technologically-driven practice provides unmatched insight into warehouse operations. Increased demand for products and their fast delivery means that warehouse managers will have to improve current sorting, picking, and slotting systems. Data analytics are the backbone of this advancement.

Incorporating automation

Automation is becoming a fixture of nearly every industry, and manufacturing is no exception. With automation, warehouses can operate 24/7 without compromising efficiency or productivity. Automated storage retrieval systems maintain a database of product locations that is updated in real-time. When the system receives a directive to ship out a particular item, it can quickly and accurately find and retrieve the product. Using radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology, products in the warehouse are assigned a tag identifying both the item and its location. Automated systems can read the radio signals emitted by the products which leads the AI directly to the item it needs. Although expensive, automated systems have a lower margin of error and can operate for significantly longer hours than a human employee.

Developing regulations

Protecting the health and safety of workers is one of the most important aspects of the manufacturing industry. “There will be more workplace regulations considering the harsh environment, leading to worker fatigue due to heavy protective gear to combat the cold,” said Bob Hasenstab, general product manager at the Summerville, S.C. branch of KION North America. “Use dedicated ‘stay in’ equipment with freezer cabs that allow operators to work a full shift without more stoppage time. These heated cabs have features like dual-pane, shatterproof windows, heating strips with block-outs for scanners, heated seats, insulation and energy saving systems.” In an effort to increase employee comfort and productivity, many warehouses are adding heated seats, floorboards and drive handles to cabs.

KION North America is a member of the KION Group–a global leader in industrial trucks, related services and supply chain solutions.  We offer an impressive line of industrial forklifts including Linde and Baoli. Our sister company Dematic offers a comprehensive range of intelligent supply chain and automation solutions. For more information visit us at our website.