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Forklift Battery Management for Manufacturers

The manufacturing industry can’t operate without adequate material handling systems, and, inevitably, those systems include forklifts. From replenishment to handling pallets of raw goods and finished products, forklifts provide the muscle that keeps manufacturing lines running. It comes as something of a surprise, then, that manufacturing facilities don’t always apply the same engineering interventions that they use to keep lines… Continue Reading

Maintaining the Cold Chain: The Role of the Distributor

Food safety depends on maintaining the cold chain at every step, from producer to processor to foodservice operation to, eventually, the diner’s plate. In the United States, a handful of federal agencies regulate all the industries involved in taking food from farm to fork. These include the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and even… Continue Reading

The 2018 Industrial Truck Association Meeting: Business Trends and ITA Approaches

The Industrial Truck Association (ITA) will host the 2018 ITA Annual Meeting September 26 through 29, at the Ponte Vedra Inn and Club in Ponte Vedra, Florida. The meeting arrives during a time of great disruption, as global trade rules are being rewritten. The ITA leadership chose an appropriate theme for this year’s meeting, considering these changes: Charting the Course…. Continue Reading

How Automotive Manufacturers Can Improve Material Flow Systems During Plant Shutdowns

Automotive manufacturers can’t push out the next big model without retooling plants, and that means periodic shutdowns at factories across the U.S. But while teams of workers busily upgrade assembly lines, plant managers also stay busy planning to move the entire operation forward. Disruptions of day-to-day plant operation create tremendous opportunities for improvement. This is especially true in the automotive… Continue Reading

Alternatives to Going Forklift-Free at Automotive Manufacturing Facilities

Automotive manufacturing facilities have long been at the forefront of lean manufacturing — after all, the practice was born out of Toyota’s process of continual improvement, or kaizen. But unlike some other sectors, many auto manufacturers are choosing not to go forklift-free to achieve their goals. That’s because automakers have discovered how to become leaner without sacrificing the muscle of… Continue Reading

Understanding the Forklift Stability Triangle

The forklift stability triangle is a fundamental concept that operators of counterbalanced lift trucks must understand. In order to maintain longitudinal, lateral, and dynamic stability, operators must be able to locate the center of gravity of a loaded truck and ensure that it falls within this imaginary triangle that spans the front axle to the center of the steer axle…. Continue Reading

Cold Storage Forklift Battery Maintenance

Cold storage is hard on lift truck batteries. Poor inventory management and maintenance is even worse. The combination of an extreme environment and shortcuts in battery handling practices can cause major reductions in battery capacity and lifespan. That’s why it’s important to use best practices for forklift batteries in cold storage applications. Here’s what you need to know to keep… Continue Reading

Electric Forklifts in Cold Storage: Solutions to Common Challenges

Cold storage facilities are the backbone of the supply chain for crucial products, including frozen and refrigerated foods, pharmaceuticals, and petrochemicals. Unfortunately, the extreme temperatures needed to preserve perishables can reduce efficiency in electric forklifts — or even damage them outright. Thankfully, there are a number of mitigating strategies that can improve forklift performance in cold storage applications. For instance:… Continue Reading

Sustainable Forklift Fleets: Save Energy on Core Material Handling Tasks

Electric lift trucks are the best choice for green warehousing operations working to build a sustainable forklift fleet. But not all electric forklift fleets are equally green, and going electric is not a guarantee of sustainability. The switch from diesel or propane to electric lift trucks is a terrific first step in the effort to reduce a warehouse’s carbon footprint,… Continue Reading

Forklift Sales Grow for the Third Consecutive Year in a Row, Says ITA Report

The Industrial Truck Association (ITA) has announced that 2017 was the third consecutive year of record-breaking forklift sales in North America. Over 250,000 units were sold marking a nearly 10 percent increase from 2016. These record-breaking numbers took even industry insiders by surprise. “The 2017 sales numbers of 253,146 exceeded most industry expectations,” said Brian Feehan, president of the Industrial… Continue Reading