Friday, December 30, 2016

Happy New Year - Now, are your inspections up to date?

I don't think anyone likes all the inspections required to run a business, and it is easy to let them slide.  It is a large task to keep current on your inventory, much less the annual inspections required for certain equipment. We can help. We offer free inventory evaluations that include recommendations and requirements for each different type. One area that people overlook until it is too late is the Fire Door areas of their facility.  Take a look at this short video on fire door safety and required inspections for this type of equipment.
That inspection sticker is a great piece of mind that you meet the requirement but more importantly that your associates are safer in case of a fire.  This door happens to be at the ACT Winston-Salem facility and it gives us piece of mind that the door will close in the case of a fire in our forklift shop area, and that it will close at the proper speed.
Take a look at that aerial work platform Blake is using in the video.  This scissor lift requires an annual inspection to insure that it is operating safely and properly. We can help identify the other areas in your facility that require inspection and certification, and look forward to helping you have a great 2017.  Contact us at www.actforklift.com or at 800-849-5438. Happy New Year.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Back Up, and do it right.

Back Up!  Do It Right.

Often times when customers move into a building, the original design and equipment are not optimized for the new tenant and intended use.  The shipping and receiving areas of the building show signs of an ill fit and improper equipment use.  Different load weights, truck and trailer sizes, shipping methods, and other factors often result in very expensive and extensive damage to the equipment and the building.


Take this illustration, for example.  Here we can see a trailer is too narrow for the dock equipment.  The trailer is backed into a dock and the seals are not designed to accommodate the trailer.  This puts too much pressure on the bumper and allows the trailer to back in too deep. This causes several problems, and many of the problems can be seen here if you look closely.

Start with the trailer - See how the bottom corner has recessed nicely into the center of the bumper? This is due to advanced wear and deterioration of the bumper material. Over time, this allows each trailer to back in too far.  This reduces the effectiveness of the bumper and stresses other areas of the building and dock equipment.  

Now look at the wall  -  Over time, the bumper deterioration allows the trailer to back in too deep, 
creating a rut in the bumper, eventually rendering the bumper completely useless. When the is bumper was new, it had twice as much surface and had a square and even face. This bumper pad has 5" of worn surface, so the trailers are 5" closer to the dock than with the original design.  The worn bumper surface also reduces the shock absorbing qualities of a dock bumper.  Now you can see noticeable stress on the building itself in cracks, and chunks.  Trailers are slowly chipping away at the wall and causing noticeable stress fractures.

Now look at the seal - Too much pressure on the seal now allows the trailer to slide inside the edges because the bumper doesn’t provide enough resistance. This causes buckling of the exterior wall panels from the repeated hard bounces

This is just a small example and photo of the cause/effect relationship between the dock bumpers, dock seals, and dock levelers/boards in the shipping and receiving area.  
It doesn’t have to result in damage to the building and raising your “cost of doing business”.

Because of the newer equipment that is available now, features provide exceptional shock absorption, tighter seals around the trailers, and of course protects the integrity of the dock opening and surrounding building.  Steel faced bumpers that prevent ruts and maintain their thickness keep the truck from backing into the building and protects walls. Properly sized seals made of dense foam add additional shock absorption and also protect the walls.


Make an appointment today and let us share some ideas with you that will save you money while increasing the value of your docks and doors.  Visit us at www.actforklift.com for more details or call us at 800-849-5438. 

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Family Road Trips -Ahh, the memories!


Do you remember those road trips during the holiday season?  Some of those trips were short, some long, and some took most of the day.  The kids in the back fidgeting, fighting, and asking "Are we there yet? every 30 minutes.  Can you imagine riding in your car on a torn seat during an 8-hour road trip?  That would just add to the family experience and probably would have everyone in a bad mood by the time we get to grandma's house.

If your forklifts have old seats, we are essentially asking the same of our forklift operators – every shift, every day. The loss of the seat’s cushion and support creates an uncomfortable ride with exposed foam and wires, and increases excessive vibration. As the shift goes on, operators become sore and irritated which then decreases productivity.

A damaged forklift seat may also pose a larger problem if the seat belt doesn’t work. During an OSHA audit, a non-working seat belt can result in a fine under the General Duty clause of 1910.178. More importantly, a restraint system can be a life-saver in an event of tip-over or the forklift being driven off a dock.
Take a minute to review your forklift fleet and their seat condition. When it comes time to replace your forklift seats, don’t be fooled by low-cost generic brands. To keep your operators as comfortable, safe and productive as possible, trust Toyota Genuine Forklift Seats.
For more information on forklift ergonomic accessories, contact ACT at www.actforklift.com.


Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Where's the beef?

Where's the beef?  This question was part of pop culture back in 1984 as Clara at the ripe old age of 81 asked of the fictional fast food chain "Big Buns".    Three elderly ladies were served an enormous hamburger bun containing a very small hamburger patty.  "Where's the beef" line instantly became a catchphrase across the United States.  Wendy's, sales jumped 31% in 1985 worldwide.
The advertisement was a huge success as it showed the contrast between Clara's two friends that were impressed with the large buns while Clara was more concerned about what was inside.  You can see the original commercial form 32 years ago by clicking this link.  https://youtu.be/Ug75diEyiA0?t=22

Toyota puts great thought and planning in the details of what is on the inside of their forklifts. Only the best parts that meet stringent testing and quality checks are allowed in the forklifts. This helps to continue Toyota's tradition of the highest customer satisfaction numbers in the industry.
As business owners become Toyota forklift owners, what is on the insider should remain important. Quality parts backed with a strong warranty are reasons for replacing parts with genuine Toyota parts. Toyota takes it another step further and agrees to replace the part and cover the labor to replace failed parts.  That is confidence in replacement part durability and quality. These things add up to lower maintenance cost, increased uptime, and a forklift that keeps running while others sit on the sidelines awaiting repairs.  Here is a short video that discusses Toyota genuine parts.  https://youtu.be/Ug75diEyiA0?t=22


Contact ACT at 800-849-5438 or at www.actforklift.com for more details or to request a quote.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Created Equal? Not Really!

Why are there so many forklift manufacturers?  Not all forklifts are created equal, and certainly not all applications are the same.  Manitou offers a full line of industrial forklifts that share similar capacities, options, and basic operation as most other forklifts on the market.  However, the Manitou is created to thrive in areas and applications where ground conditions are not always ideal. As shown in the picture below, the Manitou works well in outside area where normal forklifts do not dare consider travel.  The Manitou shown here is a rough terrain mast forklift that offers superior ground clearance, tractor type tires, and even four wheel drive where needed.  The forklift in this picture shows a lift that is loaded with items that are needed in the not so perfect world of outdoor material handling.  You can see the additional clearance and larger tires, but maybe not so easy to see are the other items that can make this forklift a "must have" for yard work in not so perfect weather conditions.  The operator is sage and dry in a cab. The cab has defrost, wipers on the front and back, rear work lights, recessed running lights in the counterweight, and even a draw pin if you need to pull someone or something out of a ditch. 
While this model is complete overkill for warehouse dock environment, it is right at home in the yard on pavement, gravel, or dirt.  Manitou does not make a forklift for dock, stock, and rack aisle type work with narrow aisles and controlled conditions. So, ACT carries several lines of forklifts to meet the varying needs of our customer applications. We strive to always provide experience based solutions at ACT, and having products that bring solutions, reduce customer expenses, and provide return on investment help us meet that goal.

For more details on experience based solutions, visit our website at www.actforklift.com

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Work security - A place to call home?

It seems that human nature causes most people to complain about their work. And in reality, there are a lot of people working in places they do not want to be.  It doesn't take much time while shopping for something you or your family needs to experience an exceptional worker. Some exceptional workers provide a bad customer experience with rude and overall  bad service and attitude.  The other side is the exceptional customer experience with a pleasant, well trained, and positive attitude worker that makes our customer experience memorable for all the right reasons.

In a Forbes magazine article from June 2014, survey responses indicated that 52.3% of people are unhappy at work. The number of unhappy people in the workplace has continued to slide over the past years.  The one thing that worries workers most are layoffs. 46.6% of employees say they feel satisfied with their job security, and that’s way down from the 59.4% who said they felt they had job security in 1987.

Job security is important in all phases of life. Whether you are just out of school, raising a family, supporting kids in college, or nearing retirement, we need to know our job is going to be there for us like we are for it. Forklift service careers are rewarding and the life blood of forklift dealerships across the United States. Below is a link to a short video about service technician opportunities, specifically the large population of Toyota forklifts in the market place and the security of working on Toyota forklifts in the United States.


Please contact us at HR@actforklift.com for details on a career with Atlantic Coast Toyotalift.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Expansion? We don't have space now!



Companies want to grow, get stronger, bring on new business, and gain more customers.  What if you are successful at that goal? Where will all the new product go?
One solution that allows businesses to grow yet still use a product that goes from trailer to rack storage area is Flexi.  This product reduces normal aisle for sit down counterbalanced forklifts and provides 40-50% increase in product storage.  The aisle for the Flexi gets down to seven feet, so while offering storage increase over normal sit down counterbalanced forklifts, it also offers 20-25% increase over Reach Trucks yet reduces overall maintenance costs while increasing storage.
5. Applications
In the above picture, you can see how the front wheel drive Flexi operates in an aisle while operating similar to other sit down counterbalanced forklifts.  This product is electric powered with easy to use controls and local support for parts and service.  Whether you want to purchase, lease, or rent, this unit is a good option for increasing storage in your facility.  Real estate is expensive, and certain special requirements for warehouse (cold storage, for example) gets very expensive. The Flexi is "flexible" in the areas it can store; 5 deep push back rack, flow through, drive in, and standard rack systems all can be serviced with the Flexi. 

 
 
So, call for a free demo to see how it can help your company with storage problems. You may not need to expand the warehouse, or go off site. Maybe the solution is a Flexi?  If interested it finding out more, contact Brett Davis at bdavis@actforklift.com or 336-397-5018 for details.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Show Me The Money!

This famous line from the 1996 movie titled "Jerry Maguire" captured pop culture for a while. Many can still hear Cuba Gooding Jr. asking his agent to show him the money.  While the film takes a lot of turns and involves a lot more story content, it appears that in the end, the character of Rod Tidwell, played by Cuba Gooding Jr., wants to receive that lucrative free agent contract signing and the money that comes with it. 
Well, most of us will never know the feeling of getting that type of financial windfall for our ability to play and succeed in professional sports. However, I do believe most people want to feel appreciated for the work and effort they put in at work.  Just this past week, ACT completed their annual customer appreciation golf event where ACT folks worked hard to show our customers our appreciation for their business and loyalty.

We realize we live in a very competitive world with lots of options vying for business and opportunities, so customers are at the core of all our decisions.  When we stop focusing on our customers, we begin a downward spiral toward mediocrity and lose the business we have worked so hard to earn.  ACT invited hundreds of customers to this annual event and had a wonderful time at the course.  It is not about lavish gifts and enticing people to do business with us based on the things we give them. Rather it is about the ongoing value of business partnership and the rewards that come with a value added relationship throughout the year.


We strive hard to proactively bring experience based solutions to our customers year round. We like to believe we "show them the money" year round and the annual golf event is simply a time to relax for one day and enjoy a short time together with the challenge of a golf course instead of the business world.  We can afford to take one day off work to celebrate because we work hard the other days of the year delivering solutions and assisting customers with implementation of new products and services. 
I would like to take one brief moment to publicly say thank you to the ACT associate volunteers.  Our associates did a great job putting together and pulling off this customer appreciation event. These are the people delivering solutions, and they did an awesome job of working this event so things went smooth and our customers had a great time at the course.  ACT Team, well done.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Protecting Facility Investments - What Is Your Strategy?

I really enjoy my visits with a prospect or customer and getting a tour of the facility. I am encouraged by those tour leaders and their excitement for completed, current, and future projects.  ACT works hard to keep our facilities up to date, safe, and clean.  There are ways for us to protect our investment, and most are simple and low cost items.  But it takes a strategy and plan to complete the investment protection part of a project.  I believe a small investment in protection systems continues to promote the idea of the project while protecting the project from damage and extra costs.
Here are some examples to consider:

Let's say you have a new door installed that connects parts of your facility. Don't let all the expense for the project go to the installation and equipment. Set up some protection for that investment. The picture above shows a yellow overhead door track protector and this device calls attention to the door, protects the track, and enhances the initial project while reducing maintenance costs for damage.  Costs?  Less than $100 for a 36" tall protector.

 
How about the dock area?  Let's say have a near miss accident due to early departure of a tractor/trailer.  Your project to address the situation is to add a wheel chock program. Add the wheel chocks as well as the signage and checklist to the dock area wall. Costs?  $65.  Confirm to associates and visitors your desire for a safe work environment. 

The list is endless, and that is why finding the right material handling equipment partner is so important. A simple facility review and tour can result in cost saving ideas that increase safety and OSHA compliance for your company. Let the material handling experts assist with ideas and brainstorming, and if the ideas are strong and value adding, then let them propose the project to your team.

Friday, September 2, 2016


Onsite Parts Inventory – Good or Bad Idea

 For companies that either do their own maintenance, or have a fleet of equipment, onsite parts inventory can be a good solution to some common problems.  Onsite inventories can also lead to more problems, so it can be a bad idea as well.  Let’s take a quick look at this potential solution.

Onsite inventory comes in many different forms, varieties, and the pros and cons vary with each form. Most common is the consignment inventory.  Let’s start with a simple definition: Consignment Inventory is inventory that is in the possession of the customer, but is still owned by the supplier.

In other words, the supplier places some of his inventory in his customer’s possession (in their warehouse) and allows them to consume directly from his stock. The customer purchases the inventory only after he has consumed it.

The key benefit to the customer should be obvious; he does not have to tie up his capital in inventory. The customer does have some inventory carrying costs as he still incurs costs related to storing and managing the inventory. Another benefit is the reduction in customer down time as equipment has needed repair parts at the facility, so repair time is reduced and productivity increases. Another benefit can be savings in freight cost for parts shipped in overnight for down equipment.   One of the potential disadvantages is security and accuracy of the consignment parts. Who has access to the parts? Are the parts secure? Are the parts being accounted for accurately when used?  Typically, companies providing consignment inventories conduct quarterly inventories so problems can be detected quickly and potential issues and solutions discussed and implemented. So, there is shared risk/shared benefit and the two companies are partners in this solution.



Another form of onsite inventory we see implemented by some customers is a secured area for parts storage on site. It has many of the benefits above; reduced downtime, increased productivity, cost savings due to volume purchases, reduced freight expense, etc. The customer buys these parts as the parts are entered into the storage area.  This approach works best for customers that have a good parts management system already in place. It can work better for customers with high security concerns due to the nature of their business.  The need for onsite vendor provided inventory checks are removed or reduced, as inventory management, usage policies, and access are all customer controlled and regulated as the shared risk of the vendor has been removed due to the upfront purchase.

Agreement Issues to Review
·      Both parties need to clearly understand the terms.
·      When does the sale occur?
·      Time limit (must be purchased or returned within specified period).
·      What is the freight policy?
·      What is the return policy?
·      Who holds responsibility for damage or loss while in customer’s possession?
·      What are the Insurance implications?
·      Exactly how and when is data exchanged? What data is exchanged?
·      How are miscellaneous transactions processed?
     o   Cycle count adjustments,
     o   Customer Returns (does a return initiate a credit from the supplier?)
     o   Scrap

It's very important to realize that consignment inventory will almost always add costs to the supply chain. Use it when it provides benefits that surpass the added costs. One of the most critical factors for consideration is the level of importance material handling equipment has in regards to company business flow. For many customers, this can relate to proper fleet size, seasonality of business, and average service time to get down equipment back up and running.  This solution is not for everyone, but it is a solution that delivers for many companies.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Look Out Below!!! Potential Dangers of forklift chains

Have you ever been carrying a bag full of groceries as a small hole in the bag was growing larger and larger? Perhaps the hole kept growing bigger until just before you got inside, the bag ripped and your canned fruit and vegetables flew everywhere. That scenario is a bit like what happens when your forklift chain isn’t properly maintained.


  1. The pins in your forklift chain are extremely important.
  2. The pins in the chain are what hold your entire load.
  3. Over time, those pins wear out.
  4. If your pins are wearing out and you’re either unaware or not addressing the issue, you’re playing roulette and your odds aren’t good.


Dropping your groceries is bad. Dropping a 3,000 lb. load can be catastrophic. At the very least, when you suddenly drop thousands of pounds, you’re going to scare yourself and other people. Unfortunately, that usually isn’t the only outcome. If pedestrians are walking by when you drop a load, the outcome could be fatal. Fortunately, proper maintenance can help get ahead of old forklift chains before they break. Make planned maintenance a priority. Save your gambling for the casino, not the warehouse. To get your forklift chains checked.  We offer a free chain inspection and use an industry gauge for testing the chain and pins on your forklifts. The chain gauge gives immediate and visual feedback on whether your chains pass or fail.  

Friday, August 12, 2016

Excuse Me, I have Work To Do!

We all enjoy a good balance in our lives. Work. Family. Hobby. Rest.  When it comes to work, we are tasked with seemingly more than we can get done. We feel the overload condition as we trudge through work and spend more time getting work completed, and less time with things that bring that proper balance.
Here is a solution for many work place problems.  Utility vehicles that allow you to move, tow, carry, and haul people and products in the work place can help gain lost time back.  People need to get where they are going quickly to keep things running smoothly. The personnel carrier gets people there three times faster than walking. Also, carry more than one person, or carry tools, or carry product, or tow product or supplies.  The versatility of these units make them one of the most overlooked potential solutions in the work place.

C6 Move
MOVE - You may need to move one key employee around a large plant quickly or move 14 guests around your amusement park or zoo. An electric vehicle can handle that and everything in between. If you have personnel walking when they should be riding you are wasting money.

IS Tow
TOW - Forklifts are not the ideal piece of machinery to tow materials or other equipment around your facility. We suggest highly maneuverable tow platforms for loads of up to 14,000 lbs. Maybe you are looking to pull a small utility trailer or maybe an empty semi trailer. Use the right tool for the job and save money while you are at it.

BC Carry
CARRY - You can carry loads up to 6000 lbs. indoors and out.  Maybe you need to move a heavy load in tight quarters, maybe with aisles as small as 30 inches wide. Pure Electric power means there is no emission or noise pollution to worry about.  A burden carrier can be an integral part of your material handling system.

EU Haul
HAUL - Your job requires you to be versatile, so you need a vehicle to match. The utility vehicle is the Swiss army knife of transportation. Move cargo around a nursery in the morning, and carry customers and their purchases to their cars in the afternoon. When your transportation needs are a mix of passengers and cargo, choose a utility vehicle.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Production and Safety - Side by Side

Businesses are tasked with many objectives and hurdles on the way to being successful.  One of the hurdles we face is the balance of production and safety in the workplace.  A recent trend in the work place is to reduce forklift traffic in production areas.  There are success stories in the business world where companies strike the delicate balance, realizing increase profits and cost reduction.
A company in Florida with under $15 million in annual sales is a good example. This company had experienced the high costs associated with worker back injury due to repetitive motion associated with production work.  The workers bent over to remove components from pallets, and this repetitive motion over a period of time resulted in several back injuries leading to lost productivity, insurance rate increases, and worker compensation rate increases.

Floor Level Lift Table Video

Check out the video link above to see one example of product that offered the solution.
The answer turned out to be a floor level lift table. This product offered quick installation on floor level, 110 Volt AC power, Operator control of lift table height by foot control, and flexibility for movement as plant layout changes over time. The product reduced back injuries, increased productivity by 20%, and had a quick 3 month pay back.  Safety, production, and ergonomics can work together to increase company profits and protect the most valuable assets, the associates.

 
 
 
 

Friday, April 15, 2016

Culture of Safety

Creating a workplace that is safe, efficient, and compliant takes effort and teamwork. It is important to company success, employee retention and recruitment, and potential growth. Here are some areas to consider in y our business.

Operator Training can help you to make your work environment safer and at the same time help your operators to work more efficiently. As an employer, you want to make sure that you meet all the requirements of law so you meet compliance requirements to ANSI and do not get charged during an OSHA inspection. Training performed professionally and properly provides training to help your operators work productively and efficiently.

Here are a few summary points:
  • As an employer, you have a responsibility to ensure that employees have adequate training before they use work equipment. This training should cover each different type of equipment they may be required to use.
  • Operator training can be provided by an in-house or an external trainer, but the training provider should issue an official document or certificate that details the training. You should keep this on record, but note this document is not a license.
  • As an employer, you are required to give written authority for any employee to operate the equipment.  There are devices that can restrict operation of equipment to only those that are trained and authorized to use specific equipment.
  • Monitor the performance of all operators to make sure they are working safely. This may also help you to identify areas for further training, or where refresher training may be needed.
  • Make sure to have a structured training program in place to cover all areas of truck and site safety, including: worker responsibilities, safe operator training, daily check process, PPE (personal protective equipment) requirements, site rules, service processes, and refueling / charging processes. 

Personal protective equipment (PPE)

It is important that operators and people working around material handling equipment are dressed appropriately and safely. The employer has the responsibility to provide adequate and safe PPE. Forklift operators may be required to wear safety boots, high visibility vest, and gloves.  Additional PPE may be required for refueling or battery charging

Speed  

Forklifts are not designed to be driven at excessive speeds, as both the forklift and its load can become unstable. Warehouse environments are filled with dangers including pedestrians, other vehicles and blind corners. While there is no mandated maximum speed, forklifts should be operated safe for the environment. A safe speed for one application may not be safe for another.

So, in summary, here are a few actions steps for your consideration:

  • Carry out a risk assessment on your operation to set a maximum speed – review this if the operation changes. Determine how you will measure speed, then how you will monitor speed. Some forklifts have speedometers, some do not so don't feel pressured to buy a new forklift fleet with speedometers. You can purchase a measurement device and use it randomly in your facility to monitor, remind, and enforce maximum speeds. Make sure your operators are aware of this speed limit – signs are a good reminder but this should also be covered in their training.

  • Make sure these limits are enforced throughout the operation. Where needed, a speed limiter can be added as an option to trucks – speak to your materials handling provider for advice.

  • Look at other systems to support warehouse safety e.g. speed bumps or warning systems.

Mobile Phones

There are no regulations that prohibit using a mobile device while operating a forklift, unless you are driving on a public road. However, using a mobile phone while operating machinery can be distracting and dangerous. Consider these action steps:

  • Have a policy in place that prohibits the use of a mobile phone whilst operating a forklift.

  • Make your operators aware of this policy and enforce it where possible.

  • Put ‘No Mobile Phone’ signs both on the forklifts and around the site as reminders to both operators and pedestrians.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Pre-Owned Equipment - Right or Wrong?

Lots of people stress about purchasing forklifts, and one area of concern is deciding between new and pre-owned equipment.  When we are making personal decisions between new and pre-owned vehicles for ourselves or our families, the decision is much easier. Why?  Because if we chose badly, we are the only ones that suffer from it. However, when the workplace is involved, a whole new set of critics are involved.  We have a lot more people to make happy not only with the purchase, but the return on investment and productivity that comes with the acquisition. Will the operators like it?  Will it meet all safety requirements in the facility? Should we go with electric power over internal combustion power?  What brand? What price level? Should I buy new over pre-owned?  The questions are almost endless, so the purchase of a forklift can be overwhelming.  As a starting point, the application typically drives the potential of considering pre-owned equipment. For example, if your application is unique, you may not be able to find options for pre-owned equipment. Or, your usage of the equipment exceeds the recommendations for a used piece of equipment. Certainly, the hours a forklift is used on a monthly basis should determine the year range for consideration.  In reality, the buyers typically are given a budget amount, and no one is sure on how that amount was determined.  At times, the budget places limits on the purchase price, and these limits force the buyer to buy less forklift than the application requires. This is where customers experience pain, and continue to experience pain for the life of that piece of equipment. Don't get caught in this pinch of pain. A professional recommendation based on real application, current conditions, and future expectations can help provide the right piece of equipment, regardless "new" or "used" status. In reality, you are purchasing the work a forklift can do for your company, and the cost of the forklift is a small percentage of the cost of ownership. Driver safety, productivity, and maintenance costs all make up a much bigger percentage of ownership costs. Unfortunately, many buyers base their purchase decision on who offers the best purchase price. 
So, when a decision to purchase a forklift is made, and potential vendors are being interviewed, be sure to request a reference list for new or pre-owned purchases.  Review the checklist of service items. Review the warranty coverage details, Review options available to help the forklift match your facility needs as much as possible. See the video below of a forklift before, during, and after a paint job at the ACT Winston-Salem facility. While paint jobs do little to enhance the mechanical condition, it does wonders for eye appeal when you have customer visits, and as you can see, the forklift looks like a new one.
 
There are lots of things to consider when purchasing the right piece of equipment for  your facility, so get professional help so you can get what you need. Many times, buyers just replace the old forklift for one that has the same specifications. Why replace that 15 year old forklift with one just like it. Odds are, your application and needs have changed. We know that forklift technology has changed greatly in the last few years.  A site survey and review of current forklifts gives us the right details to make the proper recommendation. Get it right, use a professional.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Do more, with less!
Many times in business, we are asked to do more with the same, sometimes with less.  In the case of warehouse space, the costs are high so proper management and use of available space is a good area to apply "do more, with less" strategy.  There are products offered that meet this need head on.  The Flexi Narrow Aisle units offer a reduction of aisle space while offering the ability to load and unload trailers, a rare combination in the material handling world. See the chart below for typical aisles required, and you can see how the Flexi can give you back 40-50% more space in your warehouse compared to a conventional sit down counterbalanced forklift, and 25-30% more space compared to a reach Truck application. Do more, with the same, or even less.
An application study at your warehouse can help determine the savings specific to your building and needs. A product demonstration on site with your driver can help show the product working in less space and confirm the savings.  A warehouse product specialist will assist with the redesign of the rack storage components, smaller aisles, and price additional components if more pallet storage locations is the goal. If not, the assistance for relocation and installation is confirmed with pricing. Putting this all together allows you to confirm the product works and confirm the space savings, therefore you can develop a return on investment rather quickly for your management team.

Flexi Compare

This link from the Narrow Aisle Inc. explains more specifics with a short 2 minute video.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6w37y0F3RxU&feature=player_embedded

Another experience based solution from ACT that helps customers meet the growing demand in the business world to do more, with less.

Monday, March 14, 2016




It's time for Spring Cleaning, and you can reduce maintenance costs and increase safety at the same time.  Spring is here. Be prepared with forklifts that are ready for the temperature change and higher demands for performance.  Forklifts used in various environments are sometimes exposed to shrink wrap, banding materials and other debris from the manufacturing process. This can pose as a maintenance issue for forklifts. If plastic banding material can hold a 3,000 pound load together, imagine what it can do to brake lines, park brake systems, and other forklift parts.

The ground clearance of a forklift is generally kept to a minimum for stability reasons. Unfortunately, low ground clearance makes it easy for materials on the floor to get caught in rotating assemblies, like wheels and fans. Forklift cooling systems are designed to pull air off the floor to help cool the engine. This can create a vacuum that can suck debris (i.e. shrink wrap and dust) off the floor and into the radiator and other components. Debris in the internal components of a forklift can cause damage and overheating. Serious or fatal accidents can also be the result of a forklift damaged by floor debris.  To help with proactive forklift maintenance so you can reduce expense and increase productivity, contact us for more details.
Image result for warehouse floor debris
It only takes one piece of banding to compromise the brakes or steering system, in which case, operators can lose control of equipment and cause serious damage.
Promote good housekeeping at your warehouse. Remove floor debris and potential hazards for everyone’s safety. To help with other facility safety issues, contact us and request a site survey. 

Friday, February 26, 2016

Specialty Solutions

Specialty Solutions since 1973
ACT has been a dealer for LIFT-A-LOFT for 43 years.  Lift-A-Loft makes vertical mast aerial lifts designed to operate in narrow aisles and congested plant environments. These self-propelled aerial lift platforms offer a combination of high lift, reach, and maneuverability that make them a safe solution for tough industrial applications. When floor space is at a premium, it is more important than ever to have vertical mast lifts that can fit in tight areas and provide up and over reach. These aerial lifts can be used for facilities maintenance, work process or work positioning applications.
 Vertical Mast Lifts
Vertical mast aerial lifts are known for their versatility, stability and durability. Operators feel comfortable working when they are able to access hard to reach areas that other products cannot accommodate. This is why thousands of industrial manufacturing facilities around the world depend on Lift-A-Loft lifts on a daily basis.

Lift-A-Loft also supplies custom solutions for industrial customers with unique or unusual needs. Special units are built by adding features and tools to lifting systems to improve efficiency and safety for a given application. Lift-A-Loft can also offer certain material handling and order picking solutions or design products from the ground up to solve a particular application requirement.
With an onsite assessment, recommendations can be made for the proper solution. Options include sale, lease, rental, as well as rebuild of existing units. Does your company get the annual ANSI required inspection for aerial work platform equipment?  ACT offers complete service and safety training for aerial work platforms, so solutions come in and a variety of ways.
Up, up, and away, but do it safely!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Inclement Weather - Regional challenges

Weather in the North Carolina and Virginia can create difficult times for businesses. Companies are faced with difficult decisions about closures, delays, and closing early. A close eye on local forecasts along with an eye toward other institutions and businesses helps provide some guidance. Companies always look to create a safe environment and work place for their associates, and the challenge is compounded when the business provides services that require most of the associates to travel on the potentially hazardous roads.  Material handling equipment dealers typically have over 50% of their associates driving to and from customer locations, providing services, deliveries, and providing solutions. So, a close eye to weather forecast, closing and delay announcements, and internal conversations help provide some input in the right decision.
Specific more in North Carolina than Virginia is the dilemma of making a decision for a business that services customers as far south as Fayetteville, and as far north as Mount Airy.  Anyone from the Piedmont Triad area of North Carolina realizes that most of our storm forecasts shows that line of participation with types and accumulation estimates.

 The decision regarding inclement weather involves a great deal more than safety. What about customer service and customer retention?  If a business is open, and requires a specific service that is needed that day, competitors have gained access and opportunities in the account. If the material handling dealer is fortunate and the service need will wait for a couple of days, one potential issue has been avoided, but a very real one still exists.  Most material handling dealers generate their revenue during normal work days and hours, Monday through Friday, 7:30 am to 5:00 pm.  When the material handling dealer closes, revenue is lost and profits are diminished, so the decision to close comes with a real cost.  For example, lets says that business A generates $3,000,000 in profits from their parts and service departments annually. The decision to close each day costs approximately $11,538 in profit.   So the next time you see that "crawl" at the bottom of the local TV station and see that long list of closed businesses, think about all those poor people making decisions for their companies and their associates.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Piggyback Solutions



Truck mounted forklifts offer buyers the luxury of controlling delivery schedules, improve customer satisfaction, and get product delivered to difficult areas.  Manitou recently updated their product and the new release brings a new Kubota engine, updated hood design, and improved instrument cluster.

The TMT 55 Truck-Mounted Forklifts provide convenience and quick deliveries with the ability to unload a flatbed from a single side. The telescopic boom with reach 4'10" forward, with standard stabilizers and tilt for more load control. The TMT 55 also has the shortest trailer overhang in the industry with a lighter overall machine weight allowing for more materials to be hauled in each load.

The ability to load and unload from one side of the trailer saves a great deal of time, bringing a return on investment quickly, and the unit also provides low overhang with less total weight, allowing customers to maximize the products delivered to their end users. This model comes with 5500 lb capacity, and offers extra traction, high traction, and 4 way travel models to match a variety of applications in the field. Solutions from the road and over the road.