FAQs: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
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There’s a lot to purchasing and maintaining forklifts and other material-handling equipment, so don’t be shy!
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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.
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.
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. For answers to more questions about forklifts and the one that’s best for you, please contact us.
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.
For more information, refer to OSHA’s website at www.osha.gov.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.