Category Archives: News

How to perform a proper forklift pre-use inspection

According to OSHA regulations, forklift inspections should be conducted on a daily basis at the start of the operator’s shift. It is the operator’s responsibility to fully inspect the forklift before it is placed into service and report any abnormalities to their supervisor. Operations that run multiple shifts are required to perform a pre-use inspection at the beginning of every shift.

A proper pre-use inspection consists of two parts:

  • Walk Around Inspection
  • Seated Inspection

Let’s take a closer look.

Walk Around Inspection

You may be asking yourself, what should I be checking when conducting a walk around inspection? Here’s a list of the things you should be checking:

  • Tires: Ensure the forklift’s tires are in good condition. Check for slashes, cuts and air pressure in pneumatic tires.
  • Hoses, Belts & Chains: Inspect these for excessive wear. Things to look out for are cracks, pinholes or leaks. SAFETY TIP: NEVER place your fingers inside the mast.
  • Fluid Levels: Check hydraulic fluid levels and ensure there are no leaks.
  • Engine / Power Source: Check engine in IC forklifts and check the power source in electric forklifts.
  • Forks, Backrest, Mast, & Overhead Guard: Check each piece for cracks, dents, broken welds or any other irregularities.
  • Data Plate & Labels: Ensure both the data plate and any warning labels are legible.

Seated Inspection

Now that you have completed the walk around inspection; let’s move onto the seated portion. Climb into your forklift using three points of contact. While seated check the following:

  • Seat Belt: Check the seat belt is in good condition and fasten it securely.
  • Gauges, Warning Lights, & Fuel Levels: Turn on your forklift and check the gauges, warning light and battery/fuel levels. You should ALWAYS be seated when you turn on a forklift. Do not attempt to start the engine while standing outside the forklift.
  • Safety Equipment: Check any safety equipment such as a safety lights to ensure they’re working properly.
  • Controls: Use the controls to lift/lower the forks and to tilt the mast and check they’re operating smoothly.
  • Horn: Honk to test your horn is working. Remember to always honk at intersections.
  • Brakes: Allow the forklift to move forward and then step on the brake to ensure it’s working smoothly and reliably.
  • Steering: Check the steering. Note that hard steering may reduce your control.
  • Parking Brake: Set and test the parking brake. Don’t forget to put the controls in neutral. At this time, get out of the forklift and check for leaks. Leaks can signal a hydraulic issue. Any fluid left on the floor could also result as a slipping hazard.
  • Exhaust System: Check to see if there are any sparks or flames coming from the exhaust and listen for any unusual sounds.

Congratulations! You’ve made it to the end of the forklift pre-use inspection as mandated by OSHA. If you didn’t spot any irregularities, you’re ready to get your shift started.

SAFETY NOTE: As always, if you notice any abnormalities during your forklift pre-use inspection, please report your concerns to your supervisor and flag the forklift until you have received clearance. Your safety and the safety of others always comes first.

____________________________________________________

Interested in earning your Forklift Certification? Doosan Material Handling Solutions offers forklift training once a month in the Buford, GA training facility for both new and experienced operators looking to renew their certification. Private forklift training sessions can also be scheduled at your site. For more info visit www.doosanmhs.com/training or email dmhs.sales@doosan.com

Why is Safety Training Important?

Even though forklift operators experience much pressure to perform efficiently, it should never be at the expense of safety. In the U.S alone there are over 1 million operating forklifts in warehouses and various other environments. Meaning, there are countless people besides operators coming in contact with all these forklifts and their security should be a priority.

Let’s discuss why safety is so important and what you can do to improve safety in your workplace.

Prevent Injuries

With over 96,000 forklift-related incidents a year including non-serious, serious and fatal injuries, more companies are equipping operators with appropriate safety training. Common causes of forklift accidents include:

  • Poor Training

  • Speeding

  • Operating a forklift with an elevated load

  • Improper turning

  • Insufficient warnings and markings

  • Giving rides or riding on the forklift load

  • Workplace design

Investing upfront in quality training for operators would reduce costly injury-related expenses down the line.

Be one with the forklift you operate

Learn how to care for your forklift properly. The better you know your machine, the easier it will be to detect when something is wrong. Routine daily inspections are required by OSHA regulations under the Powered Industrial Truck standard at 1910.178(q)(7). Some of the main checkpoints during inspections include seat belts, tires, lights, horn, brakes, backup alarms, and fluid levels, as well as the moving and load-supporting parts of the forklift.

Know the basics

The forklift stability triangle is a fundamental concept every forklift operator should have in their knowledge toolbox. A counterbalance forklift has a three-point suspension system. Points at the front two wheels and the center of the steer axle come together to form a stability triangle. To safely carry a load, the forklift’s center of gravity needs to fall within the triangle’s perimeter. Whenever there aren’t any loads on the forklift, the center of gravity is right at the center of the counterbalance. As weight is added, the center of gravity begins to shift to the front axle. The closer to the edge of the front axle, the more unsafe the load becomes to carry.  Make sure to master this concept and the following tips to avoid tipping over:

  • Loads should always be completely stable and secure on the forks

  • Loads should be kept low to the ground

  • Loads should be tilted up when ascending or descending an incline

  • Drive slowly in wet or slippery conditions

  • Slow down when making a turn

  • Use horn at intersections and in congested areas

Summary

Safety should always be top of mind when operating a forklift.  Don’t underestimate the importance of conducting daily inspections and mastering concepts such as the forklift stability triangle. By staying alert and exercising good judgment, incidents of all severity can be avoided.

Best Forklift Fuel Type for your Workplace

Determining the best-suited forklift fuel type for your application is an important factor in running an efficient and cost-effective operation. We’ll describe 3 fuel types- Diesel, LPG, and Electric- along with the appropriate application for each fuel type and their advantages and disadvantages. With this information, you will be able to determine which fuel type would be most suitable for your workplace and whether your current fuel type is appropriate.

Diesel

Diesel forklifts are most commonly used for heavy lifting, industrial or outdoor applications. The lifting capacity for a diesel forklift ranges from 4,000 lb. to 55,000 lb. Wet or damp environments do not adversely affect the performance of a diesel truck making it a great option for outdoor applications.

Advantages

  • Lower running costs, when compared to gas, fueled forklifts

  • More torque when compared to electric counterparts

  • Longer lifespan when compared to propane counterparts

  • Quick refueling – when gas level is low you can simply refuel without wasting time charging a battery

Disadvantages

  • Higher purchase price compared to other fuel types

  • Create a lot of loud noise

  • Requires an EPA standard fuel reserve storage room

  • More maintenance required than electric counterpart

  • Can only be operated in open spaces or well-ventilated area

Electric

Electric forklifts are battery operated and most commonly used for indoor or cold storage applications. These forklifts are safe to use in closed food processing environments because there are no fumes emitted. Electric forklifts should never be used outdoors. Exposure to rain or snow can cause a short circuit.

Advantages

  • Most environmentally friendly fuel type

  • Best suited for indoor and small areas

  • Longer life span compared to other forklift types

  • Cheaper consumption when it comes to hourly work compared to gas/diesel

  • Lower noise level

  • Low center of gravity; more stable at greater lift heights

  • Less maintenance because it is more mechanically simplistic (no transmission, torque converter etc.)

Disadvantages

  • Not appropriate for outdoor use especially in wet weather

  • Extra batteries are needed if the lift is used for extended periods

  • Charging the battery takes 8 hours plus additional cool down time

  • Swapping batteries takes 10-45 minutes

  • Required to have an onsite charging station that is well ventilated, dry and temperature controlled

Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG)

LPG forklifts offer the versatility to be used in various environments. This is the perfect option for a workplace that requires both indoor and outdoor applications. Emissions from LPG forklifts are much lower than their diesel counterparts making it safe to use indoors. No concern for short circuits allow this lift to be used outdoor in wet climates.

Advantages

  • Low carbon emissions – burns cleaner than diesel with no soot and very few Sulphur emissions

  • Better travel speeds, rates of acceleration and lift speeds than electric and diesel counterparts due to their power to weight ratios and responsive engines

  • Parts are readily available

  • Non-corrosive, nontoxic and free of any additives, high octane rating

  • Quick refueling

Disadvantages

  • Required on-site storage of propane which can be dangerous if not stored properly

  • More maintenance required than electric counterpart due more complicated engine

  • Less power than diesel/petrol (90%)

Summary

Now knowing the pros and cons to each fuel type, you have a good foundation for choosing the best-suited fuel type for your application. One of our experts at Doosan Material Handling Solutions can fully assess your workplace, application and other operational needs to provide a tailored forklift solution built to your specifications.  Contact us at dmhs.sales@doosan.com or 678-745-2230.

If you have found this blog helpful share it on your social channels.

Must-Have Efficiency Boosting Attachments

Nothing affects your bottom line as profoundly as increased efficiency. Installing side shifters and fork positioners on your forklift will undoubtedly increase productivity allowing your forklift operators to make fewer movements when moving heavy loads. The benefits don’t stop there creating a snowball of savings. With increased productivity, forklift operators complete work in less time. Now that loads are being moved more quickly, fuel consumption is significantly decreased as well.  Forklift operators will be substantially pleased with this attachment as it will make their work more comfortable and safer, reducing workplace accidents.

Side Shifters

The function of the side shifters is to allow the forklift operator to move a carried load left or right directly from his seat without needing to move the entire forklift. Therefore, saving time. Other benefits include:

•    Shifting loads in tight spaces

•    Moving heavy loads with more precision

•    Positioning cargo when loading/unloading

Fork Positioners

As with the side shifter, the operator can control the movement of the fork positioners directly from the seat. The space in between the forks can be adjusted in and out to accommodate loads with different widths. Other benefits include:

•    Distributing the load equally between the two forks

•    Minimizing pallet/product damage by adjusting forks to the pallet’s width

•    Operating in narrow aisles, zero closing units and extra wide opening units that extend beyond the width of the truck

Installation

So now that you know the benefits and uses, how do you get these attachments installed on your forklift? If in the purchasing stage, “integral installation” can be done directly by the manufacturer. This means that the attachment is added when the truck is being produced, and the rated forklift capacity will not be compromised. However, if you have already purchased your forklift, don’t worry, you can still take advantage of this cost-saving attachment. In this case, Doosan Material Handling Solutions (DMHS) can do an “aftermarket installation.” Since both the side shifter and fork positioners are mounted onto the carriage assembly and powered by hydraulics cylinders attached to the fork tynes, we recommend installing both at the same time. This assures the least amount of capacity being compromised.

If you are considering adding these or any attachments to your existing forklift and would like more information, reach out to DMHS. Our parts experts can assist you at any of our 3 metro Atlanta locations in Buford, Austell, and Fayetteville.

DMHS Buford, Georgia Opens its Doors

On Thursday, May 17, Doosan Material Handling Solutions (DMHS) in Buford, GA opened its doors for the first time. The morning started with a lively town hall, with a speech from Tony Jones, CEO of Doosan Industrial Vehicle America Corporation (DIVAC) who stated, “the weather may not be sunny, but the future of Doosan Industrial Vehicle America is bright, especially for our new store, Doosan Material Handling Solutions.”

Other speeches from the morning were given by Gail Edwards, Dean of Automotive, Construction and Trades at Gwinnett Technical College, Trena Harris, General Manager of Human Resources for DIVAC, John Faulkner, President of FMH Material Handling Solutions, Sangchul Kwak, CEO of Doosan Industrial Vehicle, and Hyunsoo Dong, Vice Chairman of Doosan Corporation.

After a spirit-filled town hall meeting, everyone moved to the warehouse for popsicles provided by Steel City Pops Atlanta, where we enjoyed fellowship and networking.

It was finally time for the big moment. We walked to the front of the new building where Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce had set up for the ribbon cutting. Tony Jones invited our VIP guests up to the front and thanked all the people who made this day possible.

After an inspirational speech about Doosan Material Handling Solutions’ story, Mr. Dong, Vice Chairman of Doosan, Mr. Kwak, CEO of Doosan Industrial Vehicle, Nicholas Garbis, Sales Manager of DMHS, and Dale Darling, Operations Manager of DMHS were invited to cut the ribbon with Mr. Jones, CEO of Doosan Industrial Vehicle America Corporation. Everyone moved into the new building, where a tour of the facility was conducted, and a video of Atlanta’s market data was shown.

The day concluded with lunch, and a separate tour of Doosan Material Handling Solutions’ second location in Fayetteville, Georgia. Doosan Material Handling Solutions (DMHS) is unique to Atlanta’s market. As Doosan’s first corporate retail operation, DMHS is looking forward to providing quality customer service to Atlanta. DMHS is a combination of world-class products, a dedication to customers, and service and parts support backed by factory certified technicians, and the most extensive inventory of parts in the Southeast.

What to Expect from DMHS

We caught up with Nicholas Garbis, Sales Manager of Doosan Material Handling Solutions (DMHS), to talk about what Atlanta can expect from Doosan’s newest retail operation.

D: What brought you into the material handling business?

NG: I worked in the Electric motors industry on the service side. Before that, I owned a small business. On one hand, I have been a small business owner. On the other hand, I have worked in the corporate world managing teams in warranty and quality. I understand how to start things from scratch and how to excel as a small team within a large organization. I think having these experiences have helped me immensely in the creative process as Dale Darling, the Operations Manager, and I continue to develop the factory store model.

D: How many locations does Doosan Material Handling Solutions have?

NG: There are three locations, one in the north, here in Buford, GA, one in the south, in Fayetteville, GA, and one in the west, in Austell, GA. These ensure coverage of the entire Atlanta region. Doosan carefully and strategically chose these three locations around the city, so we can better serve our customers with specials unmet by the competition – like a 4-hour response rate and from $49/ PM rates.

DMHS embraces “inwha” or “harmony” one of our parent company’s core value. From the parts and service side, we are focused on your forklift operational issues and ensuring quick, professional resolution.  From the sales side, we are committed to finding you find the right forklift or pallet truck for your business growth. Our credo is the will earn your business.

D: What do you think your greatest asset is that you are bringing to the Atlanta market as DMHS?

NG: I think the Atlanta market is starved for fast, professional, and quality service. At DMHS, we view ourselves as a direct extension of Doosan Industrial Vehicle. First, Atlanta is a huge market for forklifts, especially in shipping/distribution and wholesale retail. Secondly, we are headquartered here. This is our neighborhood and we have a vested interest in success.  Finally, we have a tremendous amount of product here, ready for Atlanta.

D: With Atlanta being in the top ten markets for distributing goods, what message do you want Atlanta to know about DMHS?

NG: We are here! We have been here since 1994, we have a long history of quality product, and we can’t wait to be the customer facing entity of Doosan in Atlanta. Atlanta is clearly the economic hub for the Southeast, meaning there is a copious amount of needs for equipment in this area. The airport alone is one of the most heavily trafficked airports in the world. This is an active region, with people moving to the area and product moving in and out daily.

We simply want Atlanta to experience the Doosan difference. We are not a run of the mill dealership, we are different. As a factory store, we have both the resources and products that will allow us to stand out against the competition and really ensure that we can provide the best customer service in the industry.  As a start, we are offering unprecedented door buster deals with a commitment to servicing all brands at the lowest rate. We offer new and used equipment, parts, service, and rentals!

Don’t take our word for it.  Let our actions speak for themselves. We will earn our customers’ business the old-fashioned way – through our actions.

Press Release: Doosan Material Handling Solutions Purchases All-Lift of Georgia

Buford, GA: Doosan Material Handling Solutions (DMHS) of Doosan Industrial Vehicle America Corp. (DIVAC) purchased All-Lift of Georgia in Fayetteville, GA this past Friday, March 9, 2018. This is the third location of DMHS, including American Forklift in Austell, GA, and the location in the Doosan headquarters in Buford, GA.

“Friday’s acquisition of All-Lift of Georgia is another step in our strategic initiative to better serve the Atlanta material handling market,” Tony Jones, VP/CEO of DIVAC commented. “Doosan and its retail operation, Doosan Material Handling Solutions, is uniquely positioned to bring value to our customers. Our manufacturing and company store will be a winning combination, bringing value and offering true partnership, serving the customers of Atlanta and the state of Georgia.”

Doosan Material Handling Solutions (DMHS) is unique to Atlanta’s market. As Doosan’s first corporate retail operation, DMHS is looking forward to providing quality customer service to Atlanta. DMHS is a combination of world-class products, a dedication to customers, and service and parts support backed by factory certified technicians and the largest inventory of parts in the Southeast.

About Doosan:

Doosan is Korea’s oldest business organization with a proud history spanning more than 120 years. As the world’s leading Infrastructure Support Business (ISB) provider, Doosan delivers the basic necessary for improving the quality of people’s lives. Doosan’s history represents a story of dynamic change and growth. With about 40,000 employees in 38 countries, Doosan  now operates 25 affiliates and 121 global entities. Doosan’s presence can be found in every area of the infrastructure support business, which encompasses energy development, industrial facilities, parts and machinery, heavy equipment, construction, civil engineering, transportation and other value-added areas. Doosan Industrial Vehicle America Corp. is headquartered in Buford, GA.