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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.

Product Spotlight: Linde K Man-Up Turret Truck

With the ever-growing need for the more efficient use of space, many companies are switching to Very Narrow Aisle (VNA) solutions. Switching to VNA solutions means you can handle more goods in less time, less space and with less damage. The Linde K man-up turret truck is a great solution for warehouse applications. This turret truck is built for pallet handling as well as order picking applications up to 59 feet.

Operator Comfort

The Linde K man-up turret truck provides the highest standard of comfort and safety than the average competitor models. With features like the glass front panel and door, the operator will immediately feel at ease as soon as they step foot in this truck. The more comfortable the truck, the more relaxed and efficient the operator will be. Often referred to as the Kmod, it was designed to ensure low fatigue operation, and the new full-graphic display guarantees just that. This display shows information like time, current lift height, load weight and driving speed. This truck also benefits from two independent braking systems and an innovative rescue alarm that detects unusual operator behavior and attracts attention in emergency situations.

Intelligent Design

The Linde K truck is one of the most reliable and intelligent trucks on the market—requiring very little servicing. An optional online diagnostic GPRS service that allows the truck to report a fault directly to a technician can also be added.

Additionally, this truck has several innovative assisting systems. One of these systems is the Dynamic Reach Control which is effective compensation of lateral mast movements while the reaching of forks and reach adjustment depending on lift height and load weight. Another system is the Lift Height Preselection—where different rack heights can easily be entered into the system’s memory so that the driver then only needs to enter the rack destination. With systems like these and many others incorporated into this truck, the Linde Kmod sits atop of its class in reliability and intelligence.

Customization

Linde K man-up turret truck is also one of the most customizable trucks on the market. Knowing that not all warehouses are the same, Linde makes the customer’s wants and needs a reality with many optional features. Customizable options include the masts, power packages, different cab variations, chassis size, and batteries. The customer can even choose between two different control panels. The standard control panel can be easily adjusted in height, tilt and angle to suit each operator, and the split control panel can be easily adjusted from standing to seated operation.

For more information or to request a demo of any of Linde brand VNA solutions, contact your authorized local dealer today.

Top Forklift Models and Why You Need Them

Although forklifts have been a staple in the material handling and logistics industry for over a century, the models on today’s market offer dramatic improvements in safety, carrying capacity, and fuel economy. With so many forklift models to choose from, it can be difficult and time consuming to decide which equipment is right for your facility. Linde, Baoli, and Dematic offer material handling equipment and supply chain solutions that can help your business increase its productivity and profitability.

Linde

A pioneer in technology and manufacturing, Linde has provided transportation and handling equipment for over 150 years. With its impressive history and reputation, it’s not surprising that Linde continues to provide outstanding machinery. Their electric truck models can easily navigate narrow aisles while the internal combustion counterbalanced pneumatic truck models boast unrivalled controllability. Linde’s quality models are durable and present a lower maintenance cost for managers.

Baoli

An internationally recognized brand, Baoli appeals to the economy segment with cost-effective, high quality forklifts. The forklifts can be purchased with diesel, electric, or LPG engines with load capacities ranging from 3,500 to 7,000 lbs. For the budget-conscious manager, the electric counterbalance sit-down truck provides comfort and an energy-efficient design. The internal combustion counterbalanced cushion tire truck exceeds the fuel efficiency standard for economy segment trucks. KION provides unmatched product support and a standard warranty.

Dematic

With its cutting-edge line of Automatic Guided Vehicles (AGVs), Dematic is revolutionizing the manufacturing industry. The robots, which are autonomous and fully mobile, can boost warehouse productivity and efficiency. With the ability to reduce product damage, AGVs can help your warehouse become more profitable and respond to labor challenges. Dematic AGVs are available in Standard, Hybrid/Series/Dual-Use, and Custom models for the tech-savvy warehouse. The Hybrid/Series/Dual-Use model begins as a manually operated Series vehicle from KION. Dematic adds a full automation pack to the vehicle that allows it to operate manually or as a top-of-the-line AGV.

KION North America is leading the industry by providing innovative forklift models that help businesses become more productive and more profitable. To learn more about our technologically advanced models, check out our Linde and Baoli forklift lines and tailored supply chain solutions from our sister company, Dematic,

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.

5 Important Tips for Warehouse Efficiency

Warehouses often manage thousands of dollars worth of inventory that must be sent and received under tight deadlines. To ensure maximum efficiency, inventory must be labeled, sorted, and retrieved with speed and accuracy. An unproductive warehouse can damage customer or business relationships by wasting time and money. Thrive in today’s highly competitive environment with these five tips for warehouse efficiency.

Stay organized

Organization is key to smooth warehouse operations. A large team of employees managing a wide variety of inventory can quickly become disjointed if managers aren’t careful. Labeling all inventory is the first step of organization. Forgotten or lost items are wasting money and storage space if they cannot be easily located. All inventory should be organized in a way that is understood by employees and safe to access. When scheduling shifts, give employees half an hour at the end of their day to clean up and finish order processing before leaving. This helps your warehouse stay organized and keeps workers on the next shift from becoming confused.

Prioritize high volume inventory

Top-selling items should always be located near the front of the warehouse and within easy reach of the picking team. If a new item becomes a top seller, make sure your team is aware of its location to save time searching through the warehouse. Consider storing less popular items toward the back and relocating them if performance continues to diminish. Color coding orders or pick lists to reflect high- or low-volume inventory can help employees quickly locate and package the materials that are valuable to customers.

Train managers in quality control

If a customer receives the wrong item, it could potentially damage your business’ reputation and can cost time and money fixing. Quality control is a safety net that all managers should practice. Double-check all orders by comparing the picked item’s SKU number and quantity against the order the customer placed. Quality control also involves evaluating the item for damage to make sure the customer receives an order in the expected condition.

Utilize technology

Radio-frequency identification tracking has become integral to many warehouses. It allows you to digitally track all incoming and outgoing inventory while dramatically saving labor. Another option is voice-enabled technology that is incorporated into your warehouse management without any modifications to your WPS. Voice enablers improve inventory control and can be used in various operations including shipping, returns, and receiving. Other technology such as digital twins can help you manage your warehouse more efficiently and provide better customer service.

Designate a damages bin

To prevent damaged items from returning to shelves and accidentally getting sent out to a customer, make sure that employees have designated a section to dispose of damaged items. It is also important to make sure that this section is accessible to the managers or employees who are running quality control on inventory. The more simplified this process, the more quickly inventory can be checked and disposed of if needed.

The team at KION North America is helping businesses grow and operate more efficiently by providing warehouse managers with outstanding forklift models from our Linde and Baoli product lines and tailored supply chain solutions from our sister company, Dematic.

Product Spotlight: Linde Series 1219

The Linde Series 1219 is one of the latest trucks released by KION North America. Introduced at ProMat last spring, this LPG-powered truck has a lift capacity ranging from 5,000 to 6,500 pounds and is offered in four different models. This forklift is best suited for outdoor environments including lumber, paper, agriculture, and general building materials applications.

Safety and Comfort

One way to ensure that you can prioritize workplace safety is by using a reliable and quality piece of equipment. The Linde Series 1219 features a low-mounted propane tank to give the operator an unobstructed rear view while a low dashboard and clear view mast help increase the driver’s all-around visibility.

In many cases, safety and performance features on equipment can often have negative implications on operator comfort. With the Linde Series 1219, that is not the case. The truck was designed to the highest ergonomic standards like all other Linde brand products. Operators benefit from features including a spacious cab and accessibility from both sides of the truck. It is also equipped with deck-mounted hydraulic controls, a suspension seat, and functional positioning of easy-actuation controls which together yield a low-stress working environment, allowing the operator to be 100 percent focused on his/her task at hand.

Performance and Reliability  

The Linde Series 1219 features advanced engine technology in the form of a fuel injected 2.5-liter high-torque engine. With its impressive performance, this truck is efficient in fuel consumption while also giving off low exhaust emissions. A rugged drive line enables the operator to maximize productivity while extended 500-hour maintenance intervals make this forklift one of the top in its class.

Quality components including an inching pedal, foot-operated parking brake and a responsive accelerator pedal allow the operator to have complete control of the truck at all times. The ergonomic layout of all the hydraulic functions allows for a high level of precision fingertip control and working performance. KION North America has such confidence in the quality of this Linde machine that it is backed by the company’s standard 2-year or 4,000-hour warranty. An extended warranty is available for purchase.

For more information or to request a demo of the Linde Series 1219 forklift contact your authorized local dealer today.

Linde at Work: Ganahl Lumber Company

Ganahl Lumber Company is the oldest lumberyard and hardware supply store in the State of California. The family- and employee-owned business has been in operation since 1884 and has grown to 10 locations throughout the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area.

Ganahl Lumber relies primarily on Linde H-Series forklifts to handle its range of products which include building materials, millwork, doors and windows, in addition to tools and paint. Featuring Linde’s hydrostatic drive system, these forklifts put an end to the chronic problems experienced in heavy-duty, high-volume applications like the lumber industry.

The company first purchased Linde forklifts in  2011 from their local authorized dealer Select Equipment.

“Initially, most people involved were adverse to changing brands and remained skeptical,” said Jim Taft, special projects manager at Ganahl Lumber. “The quickest converts were the operators. The machine sold itself to them in just a matter of days.”

After the sale, Select Equipment has continued to provide service support. After the first year of use, the company’s mechanic praised sound design and reliability of the Linde forklifts. “Our yard foreman proclaims that the H80D-900 is the best lift we have ever had,” added Taft.

The hydrostatic drive system eliminates all brake system maintenance, eliminates transmission failures, eliminates truck overheating, reduces fuel expenses by as much as 50 percent and extends maintenance intervals while dramatically increasing productivity.

Taft’s role was to advise and coordinate the purchase of equipment. The hardest sell was to the company’s general managers who “came around in time after positive comments from the users in addition to knowing the cost to operate the unit was lower than in the past,” he said.

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

Product Spotlight: Linde Series 1346

Is your workplace a tight environment with narrow aisles and nonstop commotion? If so, the new Linde Series 1346 may be the truck for you. The Linde 1346 stand-up electric counterbalanced truck was released by KION North America in late October at its annual dealer meeting.

Equipped with new technology this truck is best suited for loading docks, working in narrow aisles and operating in congested areas. The Linde Series 1346 is offered in two models—the E18S and the E20S—which feature lift capacities ranging from 3,500 to 4,000 pounds.

Safety and Comfort

The Linde Series 1346 includes a low-profile front cover and nested mast rails to give the operator increased invisibility of the front chassis corners and drive tire positioning. This truck also comes with Linde Curve Control and tilt assistance making your business a safer working environment. Forklift noise tends to be an issue, but being an electric-powered forklift the 1346 has low noise output making the operator better aware of their surroundings throughout their entire shift.

Designed with superior ergonomics this truck is as comfortable as they come. The operator compartment is spacious and has a 90-degree operating position. Inside the spacious compartment, the operator has the ability to adjust the armrest and steering column to whatever height they find most comfortable making the cab suitable for anyone of almost any size. The truck is also designed with a cushioned backrest so that the operator can lean back to make him/her more relaxed throughout their shift.

Performance and Durability

The performance of the Linde Series 1346 is like no other. This truck combines efficiency and high performance with its high ratio gearbox. The electronically controlled drive and hydraulic functions optimize performance and feature three operational modes: performance, productivity and efficiency. The operator can always be aware of what mode they are in by looking at the onboard display.

The three different modes affect the trucks energy efficiency. The standard setting for this truck is productivity mode, which is more of a “middle setting”, but if you are looking for faster acceleration then you can switch to the performance mode increasing your energy usage. If you switch the truck into efficiency mode then you limit the acceleration of the truck, but use less energy than both of the other modes. However, it is important to note that the operational modes do not change the speed of the hydraulic function, such as lifting or tilting speed.

The Linde Series 1346 has endured extensive driveline testing, duty cycle testing, high impact testing and stability testing to ensure a durable and reliable product you can count on day in and day out. Since the truck is designed for tight spaces it comes equipped with a steel wrap-around bumper to help protect from collisions. All of these features make this truck one of the most durable trucks in the Linde product line.

For more information or to request a demo of the Linde Series 1346 forklift contact your authorized local dealer today.

 

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.

Linde at Work: Contemporary Marketing Group

Contemporary Marketing Group located in Norcross, GA relies on around half a dozen Linde Series 346 forklifts to carry out daily operations in their facility. The company, whose customers include big-box retailers like Home Depot and Lowe’s, produces flooring and countertop samples and displays for the home center industry.

When asked what went into the decision-making process to purchase Linde forklifts, company president Dwayne Slifko said that the equipment sold itself when they were given the ability to try the machines out in their facility.

The customer service on the front-end from both their KION North America regional sales manager, Rick Cates, and their authorized dealer, Lift Atlanta, coupled with the after sales support, gave Contemporary Marketing confidence in their purchase.

Based on their usage and application, Contemporary Marketing went with the E20 model from the Linde Series 346–an electric counterbalanced forklift which offers a 4,000 lb. load capacity. Assembled in Summerville, SC, this series features the Linde Combi-axle which provides excellent stability and exceptional maneuverability in confined areas.

To maximize productivity and uptime, the Linde Series 346 includes features like automatic deceleration, dual independent control systems, a maintenance-free brake system and continuous on-board diagnostics. Paired with a completely sealed AC-drive system, these features yield extended component life and extended maintenance intervals.

As with all Linde forklift operators, the employees at Contemporary Marketing also benefit from numerous ergonomic features including a full suspension seat, ample foot room, and adjustable steering column and armrest.

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