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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.

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 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!

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

How to Make Battery Charging Rooms Safer

Many warehouses are beginning to switch from combustion engine forklifts to electric forklifts in order to lower operating costs and improve environmental impacts. While electric forklifts have a longer lifespan than gas forklifts, they require proper care and maintenance. Lead-acid batteries can take up to eight hours to charge fully, so it’s important that the warehouse has a safe and efficient battery charging room. Here are four ways to make battery charging rooms safer.

Proper ventilation

Forklift batteries can emit hydrogen gas while they are re-charging, and for a short time afterwards, so it’s vital that the charging rooms are properly ventilated. The hydrogen gas level in the charging room should be below two percent to mitigate possible risks of explosion. Installation of exhaust fans, or providing an opening in the roof of the warehouse, will further reduce this risk.

Acid-resistant flooring

The flooring of the charging rooms must be resistant to acid because battery acid is highly corrosive. Unfortunately, spills do happen, but if floor is acid-resistant the spill will be easier to clean up. Without acid-resistant flooring, the corrosive battery acids could result in structural damage to the warehouse.

Availability to safety equipment

All charging rooms should be fitted with a washing area and a Class E fire extinguisher. Forklift operators may need to be able to quickly extinguish an electrical fire, and/or perform an emergency wash. First-aid kits and personal protective equipment (apron, gloves and eye protection) should also be available in the battery charging rooms.

Correct installation of electrical breakers and charging points

Chargers should be mounted on the wall and fitted with an electrical breaker to stop the flow of electricity in an emergency. When charging multiple forklifts, the distance between each truck should be at least three feet. The distance between forklifts provides safe and easy access for operators.

At KION North America, we care about the safety and efficiency of your warehouse. Follow these four steps to make your battery charging rooms safer. If you’re looking to purchase an electric forklift, our Linde and Baoli brands offer solutions for every application. Have more questions? Contact us at 843-875-8000.