Lowering Energy Costs During Winter

Winter is fast approaching, which means increased energy expenses to keep your warehouse warm and productive. While Southern California is not as effected by colder weather as our friends on the east coast, we will still be turning on the heat and anything we can do to minimize the impact of that on our bottom is helpful to a profitable 2018.

The following steps are five of our top recommendations for reducing energy consumption without turning down the thermostat.

Ensure Efficient Heat Generation Processes

Whatever thermal system you use, now is the time to make sure it is up to date with regular maintenance. Keeping your system in good operating order extends its life and ensures that it operates at optimal efficiency. Meanwhile, a poorly maintained system—particularly a gas-fired one—can pose a significant safety risk.

Another area of concern is the quantity, type, and location of your heating units. If you have made any changes to your warehouse configuration since your HVAC system was installed, now would be a good time for consultation. Technology advances quickly, and you want to be sure your HVAC system is up-to-date with current technology to ensure efficiency and effectiveness.

Maintain Proper Air Circulation

We all know that heat rises, and 20-degree temperature variances between the warehouse floor and the typical 40-foot ceiling are not uncommon. Circulating warmth to the floor can save hundreds—if not thousands—of dollars each month during the winter. The best means to accomplish this is through large industrial ceiling fans.

Determining what size, how many, and where to install industrial ceiling fans is our specialty. Fans can save up to 30 percent of your heating costs and deliver positive ROI in less than two years in many applications. Contact us for more information on fans and how many you might need to improve your energy circulation.

Retain as Much Heat as Possible

If you operate a warehouse, you have doors—very large doors. Although it is impossible to eliminate heat exchanges with cold outdoor air, you can take specific steps to significantly reduce it. These steps are more cost-effective than you probably expect.

Insulated dock panel doors can help retain warm air. However, depending on the number of dock positions, investment in them can be prohibitively costly. Instead, consider an insulation kit for each door. Insulation kits are less expensive, provide an R-Value of 6.81, and are easy to install.

Gaps around your dock doors can also cause significant heat loss. Inspect the top, bottom, and both sides of each door. If you see daylight, you are losing energy. Weather stripping kits are available to fill these gaps. The kits include weather stripping for the perimeter of the door as well as a 5-inch double-loop bottom rubber astragal to ensure that doors close tightly at the bottom. In addition to preserving heat, the seals keep bugs and other debris outside your warehouse facility. Caulking and sealants available at your local DIY big box store can help improve retention of heat dramatically over the winter.

Dock seals or shelters are imperative for preventing tremendous heat loss during trailer loading and unloading. If you are running a high-traffic operation without seals or even with worn seals, tens of thousands of expensive BTUs can blow out the door each winter day. If your seals or shelters are in good condition, be sure each tractor trailer is backed up tight against them before the dock doors are opened. Many types of dock seals and shelters are available. We can help you choose the right ones for your doors and budget.

One final area we recommend assessing is your dock leveler. If you use pit-mounted levelers, it makes sense to ensure that the side and rear seals are in good condition. Worn seals on your dock leveler result in air infiltration. We can inspect your levelers and seals, and service or replace any that are worn

Install Windows and/or Skylights

Although it is not always practical depending on the construction of your warehouse (or if you own or lease it), we certainly recommend investigating ways to improve the natural light and heat generated by the sun! Strategically placed windows or skylights can dramatically reduce your warehouse energy costs during the winter not only by using the sun’s energy for heat, but also by improving the natural lighting in your warehouse. This reduces your reliance on lighting fixtures and further reduces your energy costs. Using retractable blinds allows you to close the windows during the summer months, which reduces heat generation when it is not required.

And if you facility has windows, consider replacing them with energy efficient windows that can provide better heat retention and help keep the cold air out. If your windows are more than 10 years old, chances are you can improve energy consumption with new, more efficient windows.

Use Air Curtains or High-Speed Doors to Segment Your Warehouse Energy Needs

Some areas of your warehouse may not be used by employees often, who do most of their work in other areas of your warehouse. These low-use areas can be kept much cooler than the areas that employees use most. Air curtains and high-speed doors are excellent ways to keep the two areas temperature controlled while dramatically decreasing your energy consumption.

Winter can be an expensive time for warehouse operators, but the right steps taken the right way can significantly reduce the negative impact to your bottom line. We can help you find the right products to ensure you’re maximizing the use of energy in your facility during the colder winter months. Contact us at 800-322-5438 to speak to one of our representatives.


OSHA Releases Top Ten Cited Categories for FY 2016

Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration releases a preliminary list of the 10 most frequently cited safety and health violations for the fiscal year, compiled from nearly 32,000 inspections of workplaces by federal OSHA staff. One remarkable thing about the list is that it rarely changes.

Year after year, inspectors see thousands of the same on-the-job hazards, any one of which could result in a fatality or severe injury. More than 4,500 workers are killed on the job every year, and approximately 3 million are injured, despite the fact that by law, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their workers. If all employers simply corrected the top 10 hazards, we are confident the number of deaths, amputations and hospitalizations would drastically decline. Consider this list a starting point for workplace safety:

  1. Fall protection
  2. Hazard communication
  3. Scaffolds
  4. Respiratory protection
  5. Lockout/tagout
  6. Powered industrial trucks
  7. Ladders
  8. Machine guarding
  9. Electrical wiring
  10. Electrical, general requirements

It’s no coincidence that falls are among the leading causes of worker deaths, particularly in construction, and our top 10 list features lack of fall protection as well as ladder and scaffold safety issues. We know how to protect workers from falls, and have an ongoing campaign to inform employers and workers about these measures. Employers must take these issues seriously. We also see far too many workers killed or gruesomely injured when machinery starts up suddenly while being repaired, or hands and fingers are exposed to moving parts. Lockout/tagout and machine guarding violations are often the culprit here.

Proper lockout/tagout procedures ensure that machines are powered off and can’t be turned on while someone is working on them. And installing guards to keep hands, feet and other appendages away from moving machinery prevents amputations and worse. Respiratory protection is essential for preventing long term and sometimes fatal health problems associated with breathing in asbestos, silica or a host of other toxic substances. But we can see from our list of violations that not nearly enough employers are providing this needed protection and training.

The high number of fatalities associated with forklifts, and high number of violations for powered industrial truck safety, tell us that many workers are not being properly trained to safely drive these kinds of potentially hazardous equipment. Rounding out the top 10 list are violations related to electrical safety, an area where the dangers are well-known. Our list of top violations is far from comprehensive.

OSHA regulations cover a wide range of hazards, all of which imperil worker health and safety. And we urge employers to go beyond the minimal requirements to create a culture of safety at work, which has been shown to reduce costs, raise productivity and improve morale.

To help them, we have released new recommendations for creating a safety and health program at their workplaces. We have many additional resources, including a wealth of information on our website and our free and confidential On-site Consultation Program. But tackling the most common hazards is a good place to start saving workers’ lives and limbs..

Well-maintained forklifts are more productive, safer and have a longer useful life. Find out more about how we can help you keep your forklift fleet operating at peak efficiency and safety at our forklift services page.

Contact us to learn more at 800-322-LIFT.

Maximizing Warehouse Space with Aislemaster


The Aisle-Master VNA articulated forklift is the versatile lift truck that does it all. It works in narrow aisles to enable a dramatic reduction of working aisle widths in the warehouse.  This can increase the amount of storage space available by up to 50%. The Aisle-Master Very Narrow Aisle forklift is designed to work both inside and out, and can do the work of both reach and counterbalance forklifts for quicker operations. This reduces the number of trucks needed and cuts costs. AC electric and LPG powered models are available with lift capacities of up to 2.5t.

Easy Operation

The Aisle-Master couldn’t be easier to operate. The articulated design enables the operator to drive to the center of the pallet required, turn the steering, mast through 90 degrees and then drive directly into the pallet. The operator then simply reverses out while unwinding the steering wheel.

Indoors & Out

The Aisle-Master’s large super elastic tires and hydrostatic drive make light work of loading and off-loading in semi-rough yards, and ensure a smooth ride regardless of the terrain. Ramps or gradients are mastered effortlessly with the truck’s 67 horse power engine.

Safety & Comfort

Manufacturing standards at Aisle-Master have long been in accordance with the stringent USA regulations, with build quality and safety featuring uppermost on the company’s agenda. All the fundamental aspects of the Aisle-Master’s design, from the overhead guard for enhanced driver protection, the ergonomics of the controls, down to the high quality seating, guarantee the highest level of operator safety and comfort.

Low Maintenance

Aisle-Master’s hydrostatic drive system eliminates the problems associated with batteries and brake motors, further reducing maintenance and overall running costs.

Learn more about Aisle-Master at our website. Then contact us for more information or an Aisle-Master to fit your operation at 800-322-5438.


Tomtop Inc., in City of Industry utilizes Aisle-Master forklifts from Cal-Lift to maximize warehouse space and decrease storage costs. Find out how you can save too by contacting us at 800-322-5438.