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Operating A Forklift In Unpredictable Weather – Rainy Conditions

We have entered that time of the year where many are experiencing the unpredictability of mother nature.  Whether it be extreme spikes in temperature or the sudden torrential downpour, the weather can often catch us off guard.  When operating machinery, like a forklift, it is imperative to be alert on any given day, but especially when the weather takes a turn.  Below we highlight several tips and considerations for operating a forklift in the rain.

Eliminate Distractions

Keeping focused on your equipment and your surroundings should always be a priority while operating a forklift.  That means limiting the amount of outside distractions is crucial to maneuver the truck effectively and safely.  Make sure you are wearing proper attire while working in outside conditions so that you are protected inside your workspace.  For instance, not keeping your head covered can cause a decrease in visibility and focus, creating a potential hazard. Also, strong winds can be associated with heavy rains, so wearing water and windproof jackets and pants will also aide in protection and less distractions. 

To decrease the likelihood of taking your eyes off the road, it is a good idea to leave cell phones and audio devices off the truck.  Eliminating those appliances will help keep you focused on the job at hand.  In addition, keeping food and drinks out of the workspace will prevent the urge to take your hands away from the control deck, thus keeping you in control of your forklift.

Watch your Speed

Just as we slow our speed in our car during rainy weather, the same applies for maneuvering a forklift.  Even with the latest improved features on Linde trucks, of automatic acceleration and deceleration that deliver smoother transitions with speed, wet weather can still greatly affect the driving experience.  Operating the forklift cautiously, during compromised weather, will ultimately make you, the operator, more effective and efficient over the course of the day as well as decreasing the probability of an accident.

Be Alert to Driving on Multiple Surfaces

If you are operating between multiple terrains (indoor and outdoor applications) it is extremely important to be aware of the surfaces you are driving on.  When transporting loads back and forth from the yard to the warehouse, the inclination may be to increase speed since the surface you are driving on is now dry.  However, the wheels on the forklift will still be very wet and will make abrupt stops difficult.  Maintaining consistent, slower speeds, while transitioning from outdoors to indoors, will create a more secure logistical operation.

With the Linde internal combustion trucks, you can automatically rely on the ability of being prepared to deliver solid production in any weather condition. But with the Linde outdoor electric trucks, you’re also assured a precise and agile operating experience with Linde’s robust drive technology, backed by attentive traction control and precise navigation.

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. 

Product Spotlight: The Redesigned Electric Center Rider Pallet Truck Series 1102

We keep the world moving and with that, Linde is continuously looking at new ways to meet the needs of our customers.  Seeking innovative designs to maximize ergonomics, performance, and reliability is paramount in Linde trucks.  The newly redesigned Linde Series 1102 encompasses all those features and more, offering ways to work better, smarter and more efficiently.

Ergonomics

With the operator in mind, the re-designed Series 1102 offers a forward driving position with a unique Linde twin-grip steering control, showcasing 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.  Another attribute is the suspended operator platform, that not only provides the operator with an extremely comfortable work environment, but also incorporates an operator-presence sensor, protecting the operator from any unintentional harm.

Performance

The Series 1102 is extremely versatile, enabling low-level order picking and is designed for both long and short travel distances, all backed by the powerful 5.4 hp AC drive motor.  In addition, it allows for operation on or off the truck using the Easy Pick system with electronic coasting feature.  Recognized as being one of the toughest trucks in the market, it delivers high performance acceleration, braking, and travel speeds but also offers a smooth delivery while transporting heavy loads up to 8,000 lbs. 

Reliability

With the job application and operator in mind, the latest features and re-design results in an extremely durable and reliable truck.  Transporting heavy loads are not an issue as the heavy-duty fork stiffeners provide strength along all the way to the tips.  The durable casters and forks provide greater strength, stability, and longer integrity over the life of the truck, making the Series 1102 a dependable asset in your warehouse operations – even in the most demanding applications. 

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 1102’s capabilities are a reality with the addition of new AC technology, enabling extended maintenance intervals for motors resulting in decreased down time.

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

Product Spotlight: Baoli KBD40/KBD50

The Baoli Series 6012 is the latest addition to KION North America’s Baoli product line. With the introduction of this series, KION North America offers Baoli forklifts with load capacities ranging from 3,500 lbs., all the way up to 10,000 lbs. to provide you with a range of models to get the job done.

Offered in two different models, KBD40 and KBD50, the Baoli Series 6012 is a diesel, four-wheel truck equipped with single or dual SE or pneumatic drive tires, making it suitable for a variety of environments. KBD40 lift capacity is 8,000 lbs. KBD50 lift capacity is 10,000 lbs. Both models have excellent residual capacity at height.

Performance and Value

The Baoli KBD40/KBD50 is an extremely versatile truck that can operate outdoors even in inclement weather with an optional, fully-enclosed and heated cabin. This truck is a perfect match if you need for a sturdy, quality forklift that delivers great value.

Built using proven components, the performance of these trucks is outstanding. The powerful Kohler Tier 4 turbodiesel engine delivers 74 HP and plenty of torque to more easily handle heavy loads. With Kohler’s advanced, common rail direct injection system and Electronic Control Unit (ECU) with fuel mapping, these trucks are very fuel efficient. You can also expect lower maintenance costs and less downtime, with no requirement for a Diesel Particulate (DPF) or Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF).

Since no two operations are the same, the Baoli KBD40/KBD50 models offer a multitude of options to meet your operation’s specific needs. Some of these include 4th function hydraulics for special attachments, multiple mast options, and tapered and polished forks.

Reliability

As with any piece of equipment, routine maintenance is crucial to maximizing efficiency and performance. To help you get the most out of your investment, performing operator checks and doing routine maintenance on this truck has never been easier. The hood opens to a nearly 90-degree angle allowing the operator to easily access the engine compartment. Removable floor plates provide access to a majority of truck components. Taking reliability a step further the KBD40 and KBD50 are DEF and DPF free. They do not use diesel exhaust fluid or have a diesel particulate filter that requires downtime for regeneration and periodic service. This saves your business time and money, and helps keep your operation running smoothly.

Even though the KBD40/KBD50 trucks have outstanding quality and reliability, it never hurts to have a good warranty you can rely on. All Baoli forklifts are backed by KION North America’s standard 2-year warranty which covers standard equipment for the first year and unlimited hours, in addition to standard powertrain coverage for two years or 4,000 hours. An optional extended warranty for one additional year or 2,000 hours can also be purchased.

Baoli brand equipment is fully integrated into KION North America’s supply chain and service system. The company’s South Carolina-based warehouse is stocked with a variety of spare parts. Sales and support for the KBD40/50 is provided by a network of authorized dealers throughout the United States.

Comfort

The Baoli KBD40/KBD50 is equipped with a host of standard comfort features at no extra cost including a tilting, adjustable steering column and a comfort suspension seat with a high-visibility orange seat belt. A roomy, cushioned operator compartment makes these trucks comfortable for any size operator.

Confidence

These trucks are not just comfortable. They also offer standard operator assist features like forward-facing twin LED spotlights, dual external mirrors, and separate brake and inching pedals. Treaded entry steps, an overhead guard mounted entry grab bar, and a handgrip built into the seat’s side bolster, give the operator three-point stability when getting on and off the forklift. The seat side bolsters help keep the operator secure when operating the truck.

The standard, amber warning light and backup alarm help create a more confident workplace for everyone.

If you are looking for a quality counterbalanced forklift with the performance, value, reliability and operator confidence your workplace needs, look no further than the Baoli KBD40/KBD 50. For more information or to request a demo contact your authorized local dealer today.

Linde at Work: SNS Worldwide

SNS Worldwide is a second-generation, family-owned and operated warehousing and transportation company. The company offers global transportation, truck loads, LTL, express air and expedited team service, in addition to superior warehousing, drop shipping, logistical planning and complete fulfillment services.

Located in Linden, New Jersey, SNS is centrally located within minutes of all major ports, airports and New York bridges and tunnel crossings. To help keep their operation running smoothly and efficiently, they rely on Linde Series 391—internal combustion counterbalanced forklifts with pneumatic tires.

“I am a working owner of a family business and I have driven all types of fork trucks throughout my 34-year career,” said John Connelly, president of SNS Worldwide. “These are the best built forklifts on the market.”

Last summer, SNS experienced a surge in business that resulted in the need for an additional lift truck to keep up with the pace. Connelly contacted their sales representative from Liftec—an authorized Linde dealer in their area.

Liftec had a Linde forklift available with about 8,000 operating hours on it—a brand Connelly said he had never used before.

“After the first day of driving it for 9 hours straight, I realized I wasn’t really as tired as I should have been compared to if I were driving my other branded forklifts which have 50% less hours on them,” he said.

By the end of the first week, Connelly was so impressed with the quality, comfort and ease-of-use that the company decided to invest in two new Linde forklifts as permanent additions to their fleet.

“Now, my staff fights over them,” he said. “As a business owner, it’s very comforting to know that your employees are excited to be out on the floor operating a quality piece of equipment.”

From the owner side, he added that by investing in Linde forklifts it’s one less thing off his plate to be concerned with since he knows the equipment will perform every day.

“Like with most things, you get what you pay for,” said Connelly. “Superior dependability comes at cost, but that cost is evaporated when you have no downtime.”

Has your company benefited from using a Linde (or Baoli) forklift? We’d love to hear about it. Submit your photos of our trucks at work to marketing.na(at)kiongroup.com

Linde at Work: Capitol Materials, Inc.

Capitol Materials, Inc., a GMS Company, serves both commercial and residential customers and offers the largest inventory of construction supplies in the southern United States.

The company was founded in 1969 with just one location in downtown Atlanta. Today, they have 19 conveniently located yards across the south including five in Alabama, 12 in Georgia and two in Florida. Their vast product inventory and emphasis on the customer experience have allowed them to achieve their goal of becoming the region’s most complete drywall supply company.

Recently at one of the company’s Atlanta locations, they began the process of switching from diesel forklifts to electric. In a given day, this location serves 100-200 customers using a multi-shift business model to meet demand.

“We decided to use electric forklifts because the reduced fuel cost, the reduced maintenance and less emissions,” said Jamie Walker, assistant manager.

Capitol Materials chose the Linde Series 387—an electric counterbalanced forklift powered by an 80V battery with a capacity range of 4,500-7,000 lbs.

Linde is the only manufacturer that will offer two different chassis versions—low and high. Furthermore the high chassis comes in two varieties— compact and long. This allows users to tailor the machine to meet their exact needs.

The low chassis configuration is suitable for all applications that don’t require as long of run time from the battery, it also provides a lower entry point for the operator and a lower overall height; the high chassis allows for a larger capacity battery and a smaller turning radius for work in tight areas; the high and long provides even longer runtimes and superior capacity retention.

In addition to being beneficial to the company’s bottom line, Linde electric forklifts are operator friendly. Designed based on the principle that a healthy operator is a productive operator, a “floating cab” with neoprene bushings and bearings reduce the vibrations felt at the driver’s contact points with the forklift, keeping fatigue to a minimum.

“The specific features we like in our Linde products is the ease of use, the comfortability, the ergonomic design of the hand controls,” said Walker. “They’re just durable products that we can count on.”

Has your company benefited from using a Linde forklift? We’d love to hear about it. Submit your photos of our trucks at work to marketing.na(at)kiongroup.com

Linde at Work: South Carolina Aquarium

In May, KION North America loaned one of its Linde Series 346 electric forklifts to the South Carolina Aquarium to assist in the transport of Kiki—a female sand tiger shark that has called the Charleston-based attraction home for the past four years.

The South Carolina Aquarium is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization whose mission is to inspire conservation of the natural world by exhibiting and caring for animals, by excelling in education and research, and by providing an exceptional visitor experience.

Kiki, who now lives at Marineland in Florida, is 6.5 feet in length and weighs about 165 lbs. The aquarium wanted to use an environmentally-friendly forklift that aligns with its mission to inspire conservation to secure the lid on the tank used for transport. With a load capacity of up to 4,000 lbs. and manufactured less than 30 miles away, the Linde Series 346 was the perfect solution.

The counterbalanced electric forklift offers more precise load placement, greater accuracy, and reduced noise and vibrations—all great features when you’re working near a live animal.

“Kiki is very special to us and to the species as a whole because she is a new, active participant in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan for sand tiger sharks,” said Bethany Morgan, public relations manager for the South Carolina Aquarium.

The goal of the Survival Plan, with a focus on captive breeding efforts, is to protect sharks and learn more about their genetic diversity and health. Sand tiger sharks have a very low reproduction rate compared to others, which makes it difficult to manage their populations. In collaboration with staff from Marineland and Georgia Aquarium, South Carolina Aquarium biologists participate in breeding workshops and assist with reproductive health exams on sand tiger sharks.

“These efforts will offer valuable insight into the sharks’ reproductive abilities that will hopefully sustain wild populations in the future,” said Morgan.

Has your company benefited from using a Linde (or Baoli) forklift? We’d love to hear about it. Submit your photos of our trucks at work to marketing.na(at)kiongroup.com

Linde at Work: Ratto Bros.

In Modesto, about an hour and a half to the east of San Francisco in California’s San Joaquin Valley, Ratto Bros. grows 40 different types of leafy and root vegetables. Nearly 1,000 acres of farmland produce a rich and varied harvest of savoy cabbage, kale, leek, celery root, beetroot, kohlrabi and much more. In the area where the herbs are packaged, the air is filled with the fresh aroma of mint, basil and coriander.

Each day, up to 12,000 packages leave the site for delivery to customers which include major US supermarkets such as Safeway and Kroger. Ratto Bros. uses a fleet of 15 forklifts and 20 hand pallet trucks manufactured by Linde to execute this impressive feat of logistics.

Currently in the hands of its fourth generation of expert vegetable farmers, Ratto Bros. is a family-owned business. Running it in an ecologically sustainable way is a core principle of Ratto Bros. and, according to operations manager Anthony Ratto, the choice of forklift brand is an important element of this strategy.

“Linde’s technology helps us pursue a sustainable farming model,” he says. “To me, sustainability involves a range of things, and one of them is using our production resources, such as water, soil and energy, in a responsible way.”

The electric forklifts and pallet trucks are primarily used in its 70,000-square-foot cooling and packing facility, with the batteries charged by the company’s own solar farm.

With the help of Linde equipment, Ratto Bros. is able to achieve its goal “to meet and exceed the demands of its corporate customers while retaining the values of hard work, high-quality products and lasting relationships.”

Has your company benefited from using a Linde forklift? We’d love to hear about it. Submit your photos of our trucks at work to marketing.na(at)kiongroup.com

Linde at Work: Southeast Wood Treating

Since 1979, Southeast Wood Treating has been the industry leader when it comes manufacturing and distribution of treated outdoor wood products. The began as a family-owned, local pressure treating company in the small town of Louisville, Alabama and today is one of the largest producers of pressure treated lumber in the United States.

Southeast Wood Treating began using several different models of Linde brand hydrostatic forklifts nearly 20 years ago. In our experience, equipment from other brands that we’ve had would have to be traded in between 9,000 and 15,000 operating hours,” said Richard Queen, human resources director.  “Our Linde units have logged upwards of 20,000-25,000 hours before needing to be replaced.”

In 2014, the company purchased 16 new Linde Series 396 forklifts from their authorized KION North America dealer Springer Equipment Company. “With greater productivity, we have had greater efficiency and lower operating costs as well as lower manpower costs,” said Queen. “The bottom line is that we handle more lumber with fewer lifts and fewer people by using Linde forklifts.”

The Linde Series 396 and the brand’s other hydrostatic drive forklifts offer some of the lowest maintenance and operating costs on the market thanks to extended maintenance intervals and lack of mechanical wear components like service brakes or a torque converter transmission. Other efficiency features include low fuel consumption and low tire wear, which financially have positive impacts on a company’s bottom line.

Has your company benefited from using a Linde (or Baoli) forklift? We’d love to hear about it. Submit your photos of our trucks at work to marketing.na(at)kiongroup.com.