Minimizing the Costs of Your Forklift Tires

Forklift Tires - WegYour forklift tires are the only thing that stands between thousands of pounds of forklift and the Earth beneath. As many can attest, if you ignore the importance of the tires, bad things can happen including more frequent replacement, increased operating costs, accidents and even injuries. Some experts estimate that forklift tires can account for as much as 30% of a forklift’s operating budget.

Following are a few things you can do to ensure that you have optimized the performance of your forklift tires and are getting the best performance and useful life.

Selecting the right tire

We could write an encyclopedia on this topic as there are many factors to consider. Our best suggestion is to meet with a professional who knows forklift tires (like one of our aftermarket customer support representatives).  A trained professional will consider factors like the types of equipment you operate, what type of surface they are operating on and what are the conditions of operation? Do your forklifts operate on a smooth surface in a temperature-controlled environment, or is the surface rough, gravel, blacktop or is the floor subject to debris? Are your forklifts making frequent turns, never getting to full speed, or do your forklifts frequently make long runs which generate much more heat?

After consulting with you and observing your operation, a professional can suggest tires that will last longer, wear better, resist heat, while maximizing operator comfort.

And if you’re purchasing a new forklift, make sure the right forklift tire is part of the quote. Standard issue tires can work for some operations, but be sure you’re getting the right tire for your operation before you put it into service.

Little known fact: If your forklifts frequently carry loads that are half the rated capacity of the forklift, it puts more pressure on your steer tires as the load up front does not balance out the load of the counterweight.

Purchase a Premium Tire

We’re not suggesting you simply purchase the most expensive tire. However, purchasing a tire simply because it’s on sale or is the lowest cost alternative, will often end up costing you more in the long-run. After consulting with a professional, there are usually options based upon your operation and budgetary constraints. Finding the BEST tire for your operation, usage, wear and tear, will pay off in the long run. The quality of tire should likely increase with the weight of the load, length of the run and condition of the surface on which it operates.

Frequent Inspections

Pre-shift inspections are required by OSHA and tire inspections are part of that process.  Look for things like stress cracks, tread wear and chunking. Knowing how to determine wear on your tires depends upon the type of tire and how the manufacturer determines it is time to replace. When you purchase your forklift tires, be sure the representative explains how to inspect them and when it is time for “re-tirement.” And make that inspection part of your forklift operator training. All your operators should know how to inspect all your forklift tires.

Keep it Clean

Keeping the surface a forklift operates on clean will provide additional useful life of your forklift tires. Metal bands, shrapnel, nails, screws and the like are the obvious enemies of a forklift tire and if your operation is manufacturing, you probably have plenty of debris to consider. Often times a floor sweeper (rider or push) will pay for itself over time in reduced damage to your tires.

In addition to the obvious culprits there are other concerns with operating surface. Dirt and debris can build which can reduce traction of the forklift tires creating a dangerous operating environment. A regular review of your floor can also reduce damaging factors. Things like uneven concrete joints, cracks in pavement or concrete surfaces and dock plates that are un-even or damaged can reduce wear and increase damage. Some customers even consider the condition of the tractor trailer floors. Things like nails in the floors or large splinters in trailer floors can wreak havoc on your forklift tires.

Creating a regular process for purchasing and caring for forklift tires can provide many benefits to safety, productivity and your bottom line. To consult with one of our tire professionals, please contact us at 800-322-5438.


CLARK S-Series Nominated for IFOY 2019

CLARK IFOY 2019Ismaning near Munich, 14.1.2019. The finalists for this year’s IFOY AWARD (International Intralogistics and Forklift Truck of the Year) are nominated. From the pool of applicants for the seventh round of the world-renowned award the jury will send 15 products and solutions from a dozen manufacturers into the race for the best products and solutions of the year.

The competition will soon enter its second round: The finalists have to undergo the IFOY audit at the international IFOY TEST DAYS at the beginning of March at the IFOY partner CeMAT’s exhibition grounds in Hannover (Germany). In the IFOY Test experts measure the key figures of the finalists in a standardized procedure. In the IFOY Innovation Check renowned scientist assess the innovation value of the nominated products and solutions. This is carried out by specialists from the Dortmund Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics (IML), the Chair for Technical Logistics at the University of Dresden, the Chair for Materials Handling, Material Flow and Logistics (fml) at the Technical University of Munich and the Chair for Machine Elements and Technical Logistics at the Helmut Schmidt University in Hamburg.

As a highlight of the IFOY TEST DAYS jurors from all over Europe, Australia, Brazil, Russia and the US will travel to Hannover to inspect and test the nominated equipment. Among other things the innovation value, technology, design, ergonomics and handling, safety, marketability and customer benefit as well as economy and sustainability will be evaluated. The jury consists of 29 renowned journalists from leading logistics media in 19 countries.

“A golden rule of the IFOY test series is: The finalists are not compared with each other in their respective categories but with their rival trucks or machines on the market. Only those nominees who outperform their direct competitors in terms of innovation have a chance of winning the trophy,” explains Anita Würmser, chairwoman of the IFOY jury.

The trophies will be awarded on April 26 2019. As the IFOY organisation already announced in 2018 the IFOY AWARD Night will take place for the first time in the Hofburg in the Austrian Capital Vienna. In cooperation with LOGISTIK.Kurier and the Austrian Chamber of Commerce the award ceremony will take place during the gala of the Austrian HERMES Transport.Logistics.Award. More than 600 international guests are expected in the traditional Great Festival Hall in the Hofburg among them leading persons in transport, logistics and intralogistics. Until then the result will remain a secret – for both the finalists and the public.

n the counterbalanced truck segment the Clark S25 gas driven forklift with a lifting capacity of 2.5 tons has been nominated for the finals. Tthe S-Series offers low total cost of ownership and significantly higher comfort. The three s (smart, strong and safe) are the core characteristics of the completely newly developed model. Learn more about CLARK’s S-Series.

CLARK Expands Lexington KY Facility

CLARK employeesLexington, KY – March 5, 2019 – CLARK Material Handling Company, one of the most recognized forklift brands in North America, plans to expand facilities at its North American corporate headquarters in Lexington, Kentucky by adding a third facility to the company’s manufacturing operation. In conjunction with this expansion, CLARK will begin re-shoring to Lexington production of its “heart-of-the-line” internal combustion products, the “S-Series.” Volume production of the S-Series is expected this summer.

“This is the third expansion of CLARK’s Lexington campus in four years,” said Scott Johnson, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for CLARK. “We completed a new R & D/Engineering Center in 2017, and in 2016 we expanded our manufacturing footprint to include high volume models previously produced in Mexico. To meet the growing demand for the company’s electric and internal combustion products, CLARK will produce nearly 80% of its products in Lexington.”

At a recent groundbreaking ceremony held in Lexington, Dennis Lawrence, CLARK’s President & CEO commented: “This is an important step to position CLARK for the future. This expansion will enable us to improve our operations, drive out waste and reduce lead times. We are excited to be strengthening our investment in the Lexington area. The dedication and productivity of the local workforce is key to helping expand our production capacity. Our expanded facilities are important elements in our desire to exceed customer expectations and fuel global growth.”

About CLARK Material Handling Company

CLARK Material Handling Company has been an industry leader since its production of the first gasoline powered material handling truck in 1917. CLARK is privately held by the Young An Company. CLARK has over 550 locations worldwide with dealer representation in more than 80 countries. A full range of I.C. and Electric trucks for diverse applications are available in the CLARK product line. CLARK was named a Best Place to Work in Kentucky for 2019.

About Cal-Lift

Cal-Lift is a full-service material handling equipment dealership in Southern California. Lift Truck brands include, BYD Lithium Iron Phosphate battery powered forklifts, CLARK Material Handling forklifts, Combilift multi-directional narrow aisle forklifts, Lift Master narrow aisle articulating forklifts and Taylor Big Red, heavy-duty forklifts and container handlers. We also specialize in service and parts for all makes and models of forklifts. In addition, we are the local distributor and servicing company for Kalmar Ottawa yard tractors and spotters. Learn more about Cal-Lift at our website.


Four Traits of Safety Minded Companies

TrainingWhen companies are safety-minded these are four things that almost all of them do proactively to ensure a safe operation.
As managers and owners, we want a safe work environment for all of our employees. Unfortunately, all too often it escapes us. Time passes quickly, and initiatives that were once important standards become guidelines or even merely suggestions. How can we ensure that when we put safety measures in place, they will stay in place as employees come and go in a business climate that is constantly in flux?

While we lack the space to answer this question in full detail here, there are a few major approaches to providing a safe work environment that transcend industries, equipment and facilities. We outline these “hows and whys” of workplace safety below.

Since 1970, OSHA has worked to create a safer workplace for all employees, and their mission has been very successful. However, accidents still happen, and not only at companies willfully violating OSHA standards. Sometimes safety goes beyond meeting standards due to unique circumstances in certain operations.

The following are a few approaches to safety that have helped both large and small companies to achieve better workplace safety, fewer incidents and accidents, lower costs, more productivity and better workplace attitudes.

Safety is integrated with company mission – Safe companies put as much emphasis on doing things safely as on doing them productively. From day one, every employee knows they are working for a company that would rather they do their job safely than quickly. These employees will lockout a piece of equipment when something goes wrong, will replace light bulbs that need it instead of ignoring them and will report unsafe behavior or unsafe conditions.

Training never ends – Employees are involved in ongoing training – how to lift more safely, how to sit properly in a chair, how to operate a certain piece of equipment and so on. Your business is fluid: things change; equipment changes; and equipment, building space and employees are added. As your conditions change, your training must address these changes. Training for the safest work environments is never a one-time event or a two- or three-day training initiation. It is an ongoing pursuit of the safest possible work facility. It should be a goal of all employees to see that their coworkers go home safe every night.

Involvement at all levels
 – While involvement in a safe work environment must start from the corner office, the mission and strategy it is also important to ensure that every employee knows that they are involved and responsible. It is a good idea to create safety teams for every facet of your business, to revolve people in and out of those teams, and to have them conduct frequent facility or department reviews to identify potential threats. The most successful companies have reward systems for reporting anything that could be a potential threat, even if it is as minor as a sharp corner on a coat rack. This keeps all employees engaged in creating a safe work environment.

Accountability – Once you have established your safety mission and mapped out your strategy, everyone involved must be held accountable. No one can shirk their safety responsibilities. If a sharp corner on a coat rack is missed and someone gets cut, find out why no one noticed. Are they doing regular inspections? If safety standards are not being met, it is the leadership’s job to find out why and fix it. Everyone must know that if an accident happens on their watch, it must be accounted for and a plan must be designed to ensure that it will not happen again.

A truly safe, productive and profitable workplace is attained through ongoing efforts, and these are just a few of the major traits of successful organizations. We encourage you to seek the assistance of OSHA, NIOSH or other private safety consultants to help you organize and strategize your safety plans.

If there is anything we can help you with in regard to your equipment and its operators, please contact us at 800-322-5438. We would be happy to assist you!

Planned Maintenance as Part of Your Safety Program

CLARKMaintenance smallLike anything else in life, whether it’s your car, your home or even your body, planning and conducting preventive maintenance creates long-term benefits that are well worth the investment. Why would your forklift and other materials handling equipment be any different?

Having your forklifts regularly serviced reduces the likelihood of component failure, which improves the safety of not only your forklift fleet, but anyone that works around them.

There are many benefits of properly maintaining your forklift fleet and other equipment. However, we have recognized five major benefits that our customers have enjoyed.

Planned Maintenance has been proven to:

Lower Your Maintenance Costs – Proactive and preventive maintenance has proven to lower costs by catching small service issues before they blossom into giant repair headaches.

Improve Useful Equipment Life – Equipment that is serviced regularly does not have to be “turned over” as frequently. This lowers your equipment costs over time.

Increased Productivity – Equipment that is well maintained does not break down. This improves productivity as well as your bottom line performance.

Increase Residual Values – When you trade-in your equipment, or sell it to purchase new equipment, well maintained equipment has proven to have higher values than equipment serviced on an “as needed” basis.

Enhance Facility Safety – Equipment failures can have catastrophic consequences. Properly maintaining your equipment will improve operator safety, as well as those that work around your equipment.

Having the right partner in maintaining your equipment is as important as selecting the right doctor for the maintenance of your health. Our trained, experienced technicians perform thousands of Planned Maintenance service calls each year.

Get more information or a quote on a Planned Maintenance program for your material handling equipment.

CLARK S-Series Forklift “Smart-Dash”

Smart Dash is programmed to provide operators with real-time information and on-board diagnostics. The dash integrates with multiple truck options including optional backup camera, optional load weight scale, operator checklist and telematics. The dash intelligence also provides the ability to limit access for unauthorized operation of the truck or changing settings via password protection.

The optional Load Weight Scale will display the lifted load value on the main screen in large, easy to read text. The Smart Dash allows the customer to “tune” the truck to their specific requirements. The truck’s maximum speed can be set and password protected directly through the screen. Learn more about the S-Series.