How do I reduce the costs I am paying for forklift repairs?
First and foremost, get your forklifts on a Preventative Maintenance program. This is an inexpensive way to keep your trucks maintained. PM service helps to catch repair items at the early stages before they become major repairs. It also helps to facilitate a budget for future repair needs. If our technicians notice an item during PM service they will inform you if the repairs can wait and approximately how long, allowing you to budget for repairs down the road.
If your forklifts are older you may want to look to replace them with new or used equipment depending on how much you operate them. The more hours a forklift has the more the maintenance cost per hour to run them will increase. It may be time to look at replacing some of the older trucks in your fleet with newer forklifts and newer technology, which will help to reduce your overall costs. Contact a Mid-Ohio Forklifts team member to discuss other ways we can help reduce your overall costs.
What are cushion tires, pneumatic tires and solid pneumatic tires, and which is right for me?
Choosing the right tires significantly impacts forklift handling and safety characteristics. But before you start searching for tires, see if your forklift gives you the option to choose different tires. The majority of forklifts have frames that will only accept a specific tire type. This is why choosing the right tire really means choosing the right machine for the work you plan to do.
If most of your lifting will take place indoors or with light outdoor usage on asphalt, then cushion tires will do the job. Cushion tire forklifts have a smaller chassis and sit much lower to the ground than pneumatic forklifts. Cushion lifts are less expensive and are much easier to come by than pneumatic lifts.
Similar to the tires on a car, pneumatic tires have air in them, and are most useful outdoors on gravel or in yard work, though they can be used inside as well. Pneumatic tires are longer and wider than cushion tire lifts which is why they are primarily used outdoors. There are two types of pneumatic tires – solid and air. Solid pneumatic tires are made of solid rubber. Like solid pneumatics, air pneumatics work well outdoors on asphalt, ingravel and in yards, but they can be punctured so you’ll want to make sure your work areais free of any sharp objects before you begin making your lifts. Many air pneumatic users foam fill their tires, giving themselves a smoother ride than the one experienced on solid pneumatic tires.
Before you decide on cushion or pneumatic tires for your forklift, determine the type of work you plan to do. While cushion tire forklifts are ideal for indoor lifting, pneumatic forklifts are better suited for outdoor lifting. But both offer almost any load capacity. Foranswers to more questions about forklifts and the one that’s best for you, please contact us.
Why did I purchase a 5,000 lb. capacity forklift and the data plate says 4,500 lb. capacity?
This is because the rated load center for the forklift has been altered, most likely by an attachment such as a sideshifter or something similar. Most manufacturers rate the truckcapacity based on a 24” load center. This is measured from the front of the lift carriage. If you put an attachment on the carriage it pushes this load center out further, which means the truck capacity will reduce a little bit the further you push it out. If you have questions on this please contact our sales team, and they will be happy to discuss this more in depth with you as there are a lot of items that can affect truck capacity.
How is forklift capacity calculated?
The capacity factor is important in your selection regardless of whether you are buying the truck with the attachment or are adding the attachment to a truck yourself. In addition to the safety aspect — stability and avoidance of damage to the truck — you should assure yourself that the truck can do the work you need done.
Normally, an attachment tends to move the center of gravity of the combined truck and load forward. It does this by adding its own weight to the load side of the fulcrum, and bymoving the truck’s load center forward. The farther forward the center of gravity moves,the smaller the load weight must be and the more likely the truck is to tip forward. If the load-weight limit is too restricting for your job, you will probably need a truck with a higher original capacity rating. Thus selection of an attachment can also involve selection of a truck.
For exact determination of the attachment/truck capacity, refer to the truck manufacturers specifications. Contact us to supply you weight, lost load and center of gravity figures for the truck manufacturer’s calculations and help you answer any questions you have on your truck’s capacity.
What can affect the rated capacity of a forklift?
Anything that pushes the load center past what the manufacturer rated the truck for. Mosttruck capacities are rated based upon a 24” load center. This means that the center of theload should be 24” from the back of the forks. A typical pallet is 48” x 48;” therefore, if your forks are fully inserted into the pallet, the center of the load would be 24.” If you install anattachment such as a hang-on sideshifter, clamp, etc., these all push the load center out further, thus the capacity of the truck derates. If you are lifting an odd shaped load it can affect truck capacity. Consult the forklift manufacturer for what the truck capacities are based on your specific situation. If confused by this ask us, we can help.
Can I make modifications to my forklift which might affect the truck capacity?
OSHA 1926.602(c)(1)(ii) states “…(N)o modifications or additions which affect the capacityor safe operation of the equipment shall be made without the manufacturer’s writtenapproval. If such modifications or changes are made, the capacity, operation, and maintenance instruction plates, tags, or decals shall be changed accordingly. In no case shall the original safety factor of the equipment be reduced.”
What are the OSHA requirements for forklifts?
For more information, refer to OSHA’s website at www.osha.gov.
What kind of attachments can I put on my forklift?
Mid-Ohio Forklifts offers many forklift attachments from the top manufacturers. We have an extensive catalog of attachments for all makes and models of forklifts. Contact us with questions about how we can help with your forklift attachment needs.
Do you have leasing or financing options for your forklifts?
Yes, contact us for current information on leasing and financing.
What are the different types of leasing options available for new equipment?
There are many. The most typical are a Capital Lease and an Operating Lease.
A Capital lease is one that meets anyone or more of four criteria per Financial Accounting Standards Board Number 13 (FASB-13). A capital lease is often structured with a bargain purchase option that can range from $1.00 to some amount below the expected fair market value. A lease in which the present value of the payments exceeds 90% of the cost of the equipment would also qualify as a Capital lease regardless of the purchase option. A Capital lease is a finance lease, which means that it represents nominal ownership for the customer. The cost of the equipment and the Lease obligation must be presented on thecustomer’s balance sheet with a Capital lease.
An Operating lease must not meet any of the criteria of FASB-13. On operating lease is structured so that the customer uses the lift truck for the term of the lease with the options to renew, return the equipment, or purchase it at its fair market value at the end of thelease term. An operating lease is basically a “Long-term Rental Agreement” in which thecustomer obtains the use of the lift truck without the risk or benefits of ownership. For accounting purposes these transactions are usually treated as off-balance sheet.
What are the features and benefits of a Capital or Operating Lease?
Capital lease features level monthly payments, Depreciation and interest deductions are claimed by the Lessee, and you have payment of the lift truck over time. The benefits of this lease are your fixed costs aid in budgeting. The Lessees takes full advantage of the tax benefits, and this lease helps to conserver working capital.
An Operating lease features level monthly payments, the Lessee has the option to purchase the unit for a fixed price, the Lessee may claim payments as an expense (subject to advice of tax advisor), you have the benefit of payment of the lift truck over time, and the equipment can be returned at lease end. Some of the benefits of this type of lease include fixed costs aid in budgeting, optional ownership, Lessee takes full advantage of tax benefits, it helps to conserve working capital, and you pay only for equipment use.
Do you carry electric pallet jacks?
Yes, we offer Big Joe electric pallet trucks. Big Joe offers several different options depending on your usage. The E30 electric pallet truck is a small, compact pallet truck for light duty use. The D40 model is a slightly heavier duty unit. The WPT45 version is for a more demanding application. Call us today for a demo or for pricing.
When should I check and add water on a forklift battery?
Always check and add water, if needed, after the charge cycle has been completed. Never overfill your battery with water.
How much water should I add to my forklift battery?
Add just enough water to cover the perforated element protector (visible at the bottom of the vent well).
What kind of water should I use with my battery?
In most areas of the United States, tap water is satisfactory for use in lead acid batteries. Use distilled water when in doubt.
When should I add acid to my battery?
Never add acid to a battery. Call Mid-Ohio Forklifts to have a trained technician check and adjust acid levels if needed.
When should I replace a battery?
Repair or replace batteries when capacity that has fallen below 80% of its rated capacity. Continuing to operate a bad battery can damage a truck’s electric motor and electronics. Failing batteries also require recharging more frequently, wasting hundreds or thousands of dollars in energy per year, depending on the size of your fleet.
What is a battery lifespan?
Industrial batteries are typically designed to last at least 1,500 charge cycles, over a five to fifteen year period. Every time you charge a battery, regardless of how long, it counts as a charge cycle. The less you charge the battery, the longer it should last. Wait until your battery is 80% discharged before you charge it. Allow the battery to charge for the full cycle, typically 8 hours, and then allow the battery to cool down for 8 hours, before putting back into service. This will help to increase the lifespan of your battery.
Does over discharging damage batteries?
Never over discharge batteries. More is not necessarily better when it comes to recharging batteries. Most battery manufacturers warrant their batteries for up to 1,500 cycles of charge and discharge provided, among other things, that the battery is never discharged beyond 80%. This normally coincides with an eight-hour shift. Trucks fitted with extra equipment such as clamps, high speed lifts, etc., will need a higher capacity battery to ensure the battery is not discharged beyond 80%. Lift truck interrupts are available to detect the correct discharge level and are recommended by battery manufacturers as a means of ensuring batteries are not over discharged. The best way to ensure batteries are not being overcharged is to periodically (once a month) check the temperature of the center cell on a battery at the end of regular charge. If the temperature of the electrolyte is more than 36° F above the ambient temperature, call your battery technician— there is a problem.
Does overcharging damage batteries?
Yes, industrial batteries are typically designed to last at least 1,500 charge cycles. Each time you charge a battery, regardless of how long, it counts as one cycle. So, if you are charging your battery at lunch time or breaks to get a little more out of it, you are taking life cycles off the battery. You should always wait until your battery is discharged 80% then put it on a full charge.
I think a new forklift is too expensive for my anticipated usage, what would you recommend when buying a used forklift?
Your anticipated usage should play a major factor in your decision on the used truck you plan to purchase. Below is a brief overview of hours of usage and what to expect when buying used.
What type of equipment can I expect in the low dollar ranges?
Typically trucks that are 1999 or older will be sold in as is condition. These trucks may have some minor oil leaks, very high hours, worn or cut seat cushions, heavy paint damage, worn tires etc. If a truck has nice paint, don’t let that fool you, it will still likely have high maintenance costs. These trucks should only be looked at if your usage is minimal. Expect to have repair issues with these trucks regularly. If you can fix these yourself it might be worth it, if not you may want to look at a newer unit.
Typically trucks in the 2000-2008 age range will also be higher hours. These trucks may have a 30 day warranty or less with them. These trucks will be in slightly better condition, but still you can expect minor oil leaks, mid to higher hours, worn tires, etc.
Trucks in the 2008-2015 age range usually have less hours and less wear and tear. These trucks are typically sold with up to a 90 day warranty. These units typically are ready to go with some paint damage and possible worn seat cushions, etc.
Trucks in the 2015 or newer range are low hour units that can be used frequently. These units tend to carry at least a 90 day warranty and usually have some of the manufacturers factory warranty coverage still available. These trucks should be free of any oil leaks and should be in good condition.
I am looking at buying a used electric forklift, what should I look at with these units?
It is very important on electric trucks that you have the proper charger to compliment your truck battery. You must know what building power you have. Your charger Amp Hour must match the battery Amp Hour, or else you will never fully charge the battery. Some building power will not be sufficient for larger batteries.
If I am using a forklift sparingly, should I look at an electric truck?
The battery is typically the most expensive part of an electric forklift. If you are using the truck sparingly you run the risk of the battery sulfating from sitting idle for so long. To combat this make sure your charger has an equalize function, this helps to break up some of the sulfation from sitting for a while.
How long will the battery last on a used electric forklift?
It depends on how old the battery is and how it was maintained and used. Typically on older used electric forklifts you can expect the battery to last about 2-3 hours before it needs charged. Forklifts that are 4-5 years old you should be able to get 4-5 hours out of a charge. Newer trucks can get you about 6-7 hours out of a charge. If you are running your forklift for longer periods you will need to make sure the battery is new or newer.
What kind of warranty can I expect with a used forklift?
This depends on the equipment age and condition. If you are looking at the cheapest alternative the truck will likely be susceptible to repairs so don’t expect any warranty on lower end units. These are typically trade in units that are older and may have minor leaks or problems. These units are typically sold in As Is Condition. If you are looking at a lower end truck expect to have maintenance costs regularly with the unit. Medium to high hour trucks will likely come with a 30-60 day warranty. Trucks with 6,000 hours or less you can expect a 60-90 day warranty. Typically 90 days will be the longest warranty offer. Forklifts that are one or two years old likely will have some of the manufacturer’s warranty coverage still in effect, make sure to check to ensure the manufacturer’s warranty is transferrable from one user to another as some don’t allow this.
How do I maintain an electric forklift?
Your electric truck has three main components to make it work: the truck, the battery and the charger. We recommend a regular maintenance program on each of these to ensure the sustainability and proper function of your truck. A few key things to remember are to keep all moving parts well lubricated; check fluid levels regularly; keep your forklift charged or fueled; keep truck gauges functioning properly; keep tires in good shape. Contact us today to discuss our Planned Maintenance program and how it can save you time and money.
How often do I need to have my forklifts serviced?
Most manufacturers recommend PM service every 200-250 truck hours. In addition, there are other maintenance items, such as transmission filter/oil change, hydraulic filter/oil change, etc., that typically should be addressed at other truck hour intervals. Consult your specific trucks operator’s manual for manufacturers recommended maintenance schedules.
When should I replace the tires on my forklift?
A general rule of thumb to determine if your tires need to be replaced is to see if the tire wear reaches just above the imprinted area with the brand name and the size of the tire. Most, but not all tires brands will also have a wear bar indicator.
While inspecting your tires if you notice any cracks, splits or the tread is almost gone and the tires are smooth they need replacing. For cushion tires you should also replace the tire if you see signs of tire separation from its band.
When do my forks not meet OSHA requirements?
When 10% of the fork heel is worn. This is measured via a fork wear caliper. We offer these for sale for $15.00. Or just simply ask our service technicians the next time they are out to measure your forks. All of our technicians have fork wear calipers with them at all times.
What kind of training do I need in order to operate a forklift?
OSHA Rule 1910.178(l)(2)(ii) states that “…(T)raining shall consist of a combination of formal instruction (e.g., lecture, discussion, interactive computer learning, video tape, written material), practical training (demonstrations performed by the trainer and practical exercises performed by the trainee), and evaluation of the operator’s performance in the workplace.”
Mid-Ohio Forklifts is certified to offer a comprehensive, on-site forklift safety course that meets and exceeds OSHA’s stringent requirements. Using your own equipment, we will work with your staff over a half-day time-frame to teach forklift truck safety via classroom work, video reviews and a forklift driving test.
How often do my operators need forklift training?
OSHA requires training for operators at least once every three years. In addition refresher training in relevant topics shall be provided to the operator when: A) the operator has been observed to operate the vehicle in an unsafe manner. B) The operator has been involved in an accident or a near-miss accident C) The operator has received an evaluation that reveals that the operator is not operating the truck safely. D) The operator is assigned to a different type of truck. E) A condition in the workplace changes in a manner that could affect the safe operation of the truck.
Can I train my own employees on forklift safety?
Maybe, but probably not recommended. OSHA states all operators training and evaluation shall be conducted by persons who have the knowledge, training, and experience to train powered industrial truck operators and evaluate their competence. So, if you decide to do the training yourself you would have to prove to OSHA that you have the knowledge and experience to do so. Why risk it? Our trainers have been training in the industry for over 20 years and have been to numerous factory training schools.
Are seat belts required on forklifts?
According to section 1926.602(a)(2)(i) and 1926.602(a)(2)(ii) OSHA states seat belts shall be provided on all equipment. However, seat belts need not be provided for equipment which is designed only for standup operation. So basically, if you have a sit-down forklift, it must have a seat belt. If you have a standup forklift, such as a reach truck or standup counterbalanced truck, then a seat belt is not required.
My horn doesn’t work on my forklift, do I need to have it fixed?
Yes. According to 1926.602(a)(9)(i) OSHA states “…(A)ll bidirectional machines…shall be equipped with a horn, distinguishable from the surrounding noise level, which shall be operated as needed when the machine is moving in either direction. The horn shall be maintained in an operative condition.”
What exactly is planned maintenance service?
After determining how much you use your forklift, we suggest how often you should have basic service performed (oil and filter change, battery check, fluids topped off as well as a host of other items). We set up your service automatically and come out to service your forklift on a regular basis. By servicing your forklift before you have trouble, we can catch
many things (a worn belt, for example) that can be taken care of before it becomes a problem and your forklift stops running. PM Service is less expensive than a service call and it only takes us about an hour.
Our electric PM Service includes a 68-point inspection and our gas PM service includes a 54-point inspection. Planned maintenance is your best option to reduce breakdowns and keep your equipment running at peak performance levels.
What is included in the planned maintenance service?
Our PM programs include travel and service labor for a flat rate charge. Our technicians will lubed and grease the unit and check multiple areas on the truck including, but not limited to, the battery, electric system, hydraulics, drive unit, and mast. We perform a total operational check and test drive as well.