The Forklift Boss Blog

Blog posts from Marshall Cromer, "The Forklift Boss". Follow us for information on forklift safety, available parts, & upcoming technologies shaping the future of material handling!
Forklift Boss Blog
  • High Speed Doors: Secret Weapons for Warehouse Productivity

    By Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss | Jun 26, 2018

    How many times a day do you have to wait for warehouse loading doors to open or close?

    You click the button, the door starts up with a loud rattle...and you wait. You wait and wait as the door trundles upward. Finally, you end up ducking under it in your rush to get on with the workday.

    If you're in a high-activity or temperature-sensitive workplace, a slow-moving door clogs up everyone's productivity.

    That's why we have high speed doors. Which is what we're talking about today.

    What's a High Speed Door? What Does It Do?

    A high speed door is just a loading door that opens & closes fast. Much faster than an everyday strip door.

    Exterior Speed Door

    Photos courtesy of Albany High Speed Doors.

    Generally speaking, you can put a high speed door anywhere you have a normal strip door. Interior or exterior loading, protection doors, specialty doors, and more.

    We've put in high speed doors for food distributors, vineyards, and warehouses in hot environments. In all those cases, using a high speed door helped the employees and the product inside.

    What's the Value in Adding High Speed Doors?

    1. Productivity Improvement. A high speed door speeds up loading & unloading. Recapturing the time everyone has to waste on waiting for slow strip doors. 3 minutes per person, 20+ times a day, every day? You're getting back hours of productive time every week.
    2. Regulates Temperature. Now that summer's here, don't let all the cooler air escape the warehouse! Using a high speed door cuts down on cool air going out, and warmer air getting in.
    3. Keeps Clean Rooms Clean. High speed doors reduce exposure to outside contamination. If you have a clean room or sensitive materials (like certain foods).
    4. Security. Yes, a fast-closing door actually helps security! Think about this…the longer a door's open, the more time thieves have to get in & out. Unless someone's standing by the door the whole time, a thief has time to rob you (or worse). With a speed door, those 'windows of opportunity' vanish. Protecting your product & your employees.

    Regain Wasted Time with a High Speed Door

    Cold Storage Speed Door

    It's easy to figure out if a high speed door would improve your facility. Look at any of your loading doors and ask yourself:

    • Does this door need to open more than 20 times a day?
    • Does this door protect temperature-sensitive products?
    • Does this door offer unauthorized personnel entry into our facility?

    If you answer 'Yes' to more than one question, a high speed door will improve things. Install just one and watch the productivity rise! 

    Cromer carries & services the Albany brand of high speed doors. Albany doors are made in the USA and are one of the most durable doors on the market.


    Until next month! 

    Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss
    Cromer Material Handling 


    Deal of the Month

    2-YARD HOPPER – ONLY $1,600

    2-Yard Hopper

    For the June Deal of the Month…we have hoppers in stock!

    These are brand-new 2018 hoppers, in capacities from 1 yard to 4. They dump without the need for any chains or ropes, making particulate collection & disposal as easy as can be.

    The 2-yard model hopper you see is on sale for $1,600. It's available at our Fresno location now. Stop by & pick yours up!

    To reserve your hopper, call Cromer at 800.974.5438 and ask for the June Deal of the Month.

  • Hard Safety Lessons from a San Francisco Forklift Accident

    By Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss | May 22, 2018

    On May 7, prosecutors filed charges against a San Francisco lumber company's owner and manager. One of their forklift operators died in a November 2016 incident. The accident was completely preventable.

    Here's why prosecutors are right to charge the owner & manager for their employee's death. We'll also cover what went wrong in this incident…and what you can do to prevent it happening at your company.

    The Incident

    The San Francisco Chronicle's May 7 article detailed the 2016 accident. From the article:

    Ruan was killed just before 2 p.m. on Nov. 21, 2016, when his forklift tipped over at the bottom of a ramp leading from the company’s loading dock. He had been descending the ramp with a bag of mortar mix on a wooden pallet to load into a customer’s car, when the bag fell off and blocked his front wheel.

    When Ruan tried to back up to free the wheel, he rolled off the ramp. Ruan tried to jump to safety as his forklift began tilting over, but just as he jumped, he was hit by the forklift and crushed.

    Ruan was not wearing a seat belt. He was also not certified to operate the forklift, according to Cal/OSHA. The ramp was in violation of state workplace safety regulations because it should have had a curb to prevent the forklift from going over the side.

    Now the company's owner and manager are charged with "Involuntary Manslaughter," as well as "Causing an Unsafe Work Environment Resulting in Death." Not only that, but they received six OSHA violations…a $62,320 fine.

    SF Chronicle Forklift Accident
    Image courtesy of

    Could your business survive a Manslaughter charge and $62,320 in fines?

    What Went Wrong: 7 Safety Violations

    First things first: This was a horrible accident. No one wanted it to happen. But it did…and it was preventable. Let's look at why.

    From the description above, we can see several safety violations and neglect of safety practices. Some are the operator's responsibility. Some are the company's.

    The operator's responsibility:

    • No seatbelt worn.
    • Jumping out of the forklift as it tipped. The forklift's cage would have protected him. He should have known that, but the operator did not have up-to-date safety training.
    • Load was not restrained.

    The company's responsibility:

    • No curb on the loading ramp.
    • Did not require the operator to attend safety training.
    • No supervisor monitoring.

    How to Prevent Forklift Accidents at Your Workplace

    Safety measures that would have stopped the death:

    1. Curbs on loading ramps. Not only do they protect against driving off the ramp, they're a visual aide which operators can follow.
    2. Restraints available for pallet loads in several easy-to-see locations. It may seem like overkill to tie down one cement bag. But it only took one to cause this accident.
    3. Safety Training for all employees & managers, required & tracked.
    4. Supervisors monitoring operations. We do not know for sure whether a supervisor was on duty that day. But if a supervisor had seen the cement bag slide off, he/she could have sounded an alarm & maybe prevented the accident.
    5. Posted reminders to follow safety procedures like wearing hard hats, putting on safety belts, etc.

    You can implement all of these at your workplace, too. Some you may already have.

    Of these, the most important is easily Safety Training for all. No exceptions. Equip everyone with the awareness to spot any of these violations (e.g. the lack of seat belt, or the unrestrained cement bag).

    If one person had spotted this and called it out, Mr. Ruan may still be alive today.

    Incidents Like This Make the Case for Safety Training

    We really wish it didn't take accidents to prove the need for regular safety training. But they do. One safety training course would have made the difference between life and death.

    It is everyone's responsibility to maintain a safe working environment. Especially the on-site managers. You can, and absolutely need to, prevent accidents like this from happening at your workplace. 

    Until next month!

    Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss
    Cromer Material Handling


    Deal of the Month 


    You may have seen our Wire Shelving "Sale of the Month" email. If you haven't picked up your shelving units, you're in luck—we still have some in stock!

    Industrial Wire Shelving

    These units come in 6' and 12' heights. Shelves are 48" wide by 24" deep. Units are connectable. These are like-new units, made in the U.S.

    Since you're a Cromer email subscriber, you can still get the Email-Only price.
    $110 per 12' shelving unit.
    $55 per 6' shelving unit.

    Ready to build out your storage capacity? Call Cromer at 800.974.5438 and ask for the Wire Shelving Email-Only Deal.


  • Wear & Tear Signs for Forklift Tires

    By Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss | Mar 27, 2018

    If you see a forklift tire missing a huge chunk or rubber, or a tire with a big blow-out on the're going to replace that tire.

    The question is, when does "normal wear & tear" produce a dangerous tire? Most tires don't have spectacular blow-outs; they wear slowly over time. Reacting to the conditions in your facility.

    Your job is to keep an eye on those tires. Fortunately, regular checks on tires are easy. Wear & tear signs will show up right away, if you know what to look for.

    How to Identify Wear & Tear…Before it Becomes a Big Problem

    In 2014 we gave you the "Top of the Numbers" method in: How and When to Replace Forklift Tires Safely.

    "On cushion tires, there’s a rule of thumb: “To the top of the numbers”. Each tire has a set of size numbers on it. For example, if you see “21x7x15” then you know it’s a 21-inch tire. Through use, the tire’s rubber wears down until the top of its surface touches these numbers."
    "On solid pneumatic tires, you’ll find a wear ring or band. When wear & tear reaches this ring, then it’s time to replace the tire."
    Tire Wear Area

    However, these aren't the only wear & tear signs you can watch for. Let me share 4 more.

    Flat Spots

    A flat spot means the tires have repeatedly worn down at one place in their routine. Frequent sharp turns under heavy loads can cause this. But if you see flat spots on more than one forklift's tires, you have an uneven spot in your warehouse floor.

    Skid Marks/Balding

    The tire is over- or under-inflated. This affects stopping power, forcing operators to jam on the brakes over & over. Not only does this hurt the tire, it can hurt the brakes!


    Cracking/chunking occurs from running over debris. I've also seen many tires crack due to temperature swings. Years back a customer's employees repeatedly drove a forklift past an open freezer on the left side. The forklift's left tires eventually cracked (even though the right-side tires were fine).

    Oil/Grease Stains

    An operator has driven the forklift through an oil spot or grease spill. Not only does this affect control of the forklift, the chemicals in oil & grease can eat away the tire rubber.

    Spotting Wear & Tear Early Keeps Operators and Other Personnel Safe

    These signs typically show up earlier than wear to the top of the numbers/wear ring. Which means they may help you prevent accidents well before any arise.

    80% of tires are the same on every forklift. So don't discount one sign because "your tires don't do that." They might!

    How do you avoid wear & tear like this? Good maintenance and regular clean-up. Specifically, things like:

    • Keep Forklifts Well-Maintained. Preventative Maintenance not only extends forklift lifespan; it keeps their tires clean & properly inflated.
    • Have Forklift Operators Check Their Tires Weekly. I know customers who check their tires on Mondays; others do it on Fridays. Whichever works best for you.
    • Sweep Your Floors. Even built-up dust can cause problems, if your forklift tires are over-inflated and prone to skidding.


    Time to Replace Old Forklift Tires? Call Cromer

    Replacing forklift tires is a cheap & quick way to preserve forklifts (and their operators). That's why we're running a special on forklift tire replacements: 15% OFF on Tires, from now until May 31.

    Click to Email Cromer for Forklift Tire Discount

    All Cromer locations have a tire trailer with a 250-ton hydraulic press. Tire replacement takes less than 30 minutes on average. (Note: Delivery & recycling fee extra)

    Remember, we will not replace only one tire on a forklift. It's unsafe. If one tire is worn down, chances are the other one needs replacement too (even if it looks OK).

    Until next month!

    Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss
    Cromer Material Handling


    Deal of the Month 


    CAT GP45N1 March 2018 DealFor the March Deal of the Month, we have a powerful CAT forklift for hauling lumber.

    This is a CAT GP45N1 - 9,000lb capacity, LP Pneumatic tires, a 177” two-stage upright mast, and a high air filter intake.

    It's built to haul lumber anywhere the lumber needs to go, while still keeping the driver comfortable and safe.

    These forklifts are brand new. We have two in stock now at our Oakland headquarters. Drive this forklift into your facility for only $49,964.

    Ready to haul some lumber? Call Cromer at 800.974.5438 and talk with your nearest location manager.

  • Unsafe Forklift Driving: 10 Warning Signs to Watch For

    By Chris Williams, The Forklift Boss | Feb 23, 2018

    Are your forklift operators driving safely?

    Worker SafetyWe're always tempted to say, "Of course!" to a question like this. But the truth is, unsafe driving can happen anytime. Someone speeds up a little too much, takes a corner a little too fast, they tip a load…and you have an accident.

    In our industry though, accidents come with warning signs. A damaged forklift will cause trouble before it breaks down. Similarly, we can spot unsafe driving before it causes accidents.

    We've collected several warnings signs from our own experiences, and those of our customers, to help you prevent accidents before they start.

    The 10 Warning Signs of Unsafe Forklift Operation

    Here are ten warning signs to watch out for. If you see one or more of these, chances are someone is driving their forklift improperly.

    1. Loud Noises

    Forklifts aren't silent when running. But like any vehicle, they make more noise when overworked. (Noisy forklifts may need maintenance too, which can also prevent accidents.)

    2. Complaints

    Make sure employees know that they should make management aware of improper driving. Everyone's in a rush…but nobody should rush a forklift.

    3. Shouting

    Did you hear someone shout, "Hey, slow down!"? Then someone needs to slow down!

    4. Frequent Opportunity Charging (for Electric Forklifts)

    You're aware of the charging interval necessary for electric forklifts. If operators are "opportunity charging" (charging during the shift) more frequently, chances are they're pushing the battery too hard.

    5. Increase in Fuel Consumption (for LPG forklifts)

    Fuel costs for LPG forklifts should remain stable week after week. If you have an increase, especially a sudden one, somebody is pushing that forklift too hard.

    6. Extra Riders

    Is someone hanging onto the side of a forklift while it's in motion? Or worse, standing on the forks? Get them off there right away!

    7. Crowded Lanes

    Forklifts need space not just to run, but to turn. Extra boxes, pallets, even trash on the warehouse floor? Remove it at once.

    8. Forklifts Jerking/Moving Erratically

    If a forklift jerks while operating, it either needs maintenance or its driver needs more training.

    9. Warning Lights Off

    If your forklifts have warning lights (such as a blue light), but operators drive without them on? They're endangering co-workers.

    10. Missed Training

    If your records show an operator skipping a training session, they may think they don't need it. That kind of attitude causes accidents. Bad ones.

    Accidents: The Result You Don't Want

    All of these warning signs can lead to a workplace accident. Just one unsafe driver can collapse entire racks, seriously injure multiple people, or both. It can happen in seconds.

    Creative Safety Supply created this infographic showing the 10 most common forklift accidents. You can order it as a poster for a good safety reminder: 10 Common Forklift Accidents – Creative Safety Supply

    Forklift with Embedded Fork

    That's the wrong load…


    Unsafe Forklift Operation Can Happen at Any Moment. Stay Vigilant.

    One in every six workplace deaths involves a forklift. Let's all do what we can to bring that number down.

    When you hear or see these warning signs, take action. Identify the operator and caution them about safe forklift driving. Send them to safety training if you feel they need it (and make sure they go!).

    Until next month!

    Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss
    Cromer Material Handling 


    Cromer Deal of the Month


    che30Curious about the BYD electrics? We can demo one at your workplace!

    BYD is the forklift of the future. An electric that's totally green, longer-lasting, and much faster to charge.

    You'll only find BYDs at your local Cromer facility. We have a BYD truck in all 6 locations. All you have to do is request a demo, and we'll arrange for the demo on-site.

    For a good idea of how well a BYD forklift handles, check out this video Marshall Cromer/The Forklift Boss did with one:
    BYD Forklift Promo with the Forklift Boss (YouTube) 

    Ready for your on-site BYD demo? Call Cromer at 800.974.5438 and talk with your nearest location manager.

    *Please Note: Demo must be approved beforehand by Cromer General Manager.

  • Princeton Delivery Systems Announces Cromer Material Handling as Forklift Dealer for Northern and Central California

    By Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss | Jan 23, 2018

    PiggyBack Truck & Trailer Mounted Forklifts Sales, Parts, and Service

    Cromer Material Handling now carries the Princeton PiggyBack forklift line at its Bay Area and Central California locations.

    With load capacities ranging from 3,600 to 8,000 pounds, Princeton offers the industry’s broadest range of three-wheel Hydrostatic Drive truck-mounted forklifts.

    Piggybacks are unique in many ways—they have "Double Reach" masts for one-sided vehicle unloading, "4-way" movement for transporting long loads through narrow job sites, and a patented Easy Hitch Hook mounting system.

    PiggyBacks can mount quickly & easy to the rear of a truck or trailer…making them the smart choice for many industrial job sites.

    Details on PiggyBack Forklifts

    Princeton forklifts look & function a bit differently than your typical Doosan or CAT. For one, they're 3-wheel as opposed to 4-wheel. This makes them easier to mount on the backs of some trucks & trailers, for easier transport to a job site.

    Let's look at two examples to demonstrate.

    PiggyBack PB45

    Piggyback PB45

    The PB45 has a 5,000lb capacity. With its center seating and wider mast rails, operators have great visibility. Thanks to a low center of gravity, it has excellent stability as well.

    PiggyBack PB55

    Piggyback PB55

    The 5,500lb capacity PB55s are a favorite for carrying brick, blocks, and pavers. It's a high-horsepower truck too, helping it haul heavy loads even in rough terrain (like an unfinished construction site).

    New Year, New Forklifts—A Strong Start to 2018

    You're welcome to come try out a Princeton! They're tough forklifts. Made to help the construction and beverage industries, but they'll do just as well for outdoor transport or produce.

    From the entire Cromer family—have a safe and prosperous 2018.

    Until next month!

    Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss
    Cromer Material Handling

    2012 Clark C30C Deal of the Month

    2012 CLARK C30C LPG FORKLIFT – $15,900 

    For our first 2018 Deal of the Month, we’ve got a 2012 Clark. These C30Cs are small, but pack a solid punch—6,000# capacity, side shift, three-stage masts, 48" forks. This particular truck has only 83 hours on it, too. It's in stock at our Oakland headquarters.

    You'll see from the photo that it has cushion tires for indoor use. Ideal for delivering pallets throughout the warehouse all day.

    Save big on a good warehouse LPG forklift. Our price—only $15,900.

    Interested? Call Cromer at 800-974-5438 and ask for the 2012 Clark C30C.  

  • Financial Benefits to Going Green on Your Forklifts

    By Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss | Nov 29, 2017

    A few years ago, “going green” meant you spent a little extra money on “green” products. In return, you got to feel good about helping preserve the environment.

    It’s still a noble goal today, but now “going green” doesn’t have to cost more.  In fact, it can save you money at the same time . . . even on material handling equipment!

    It’s true. I’ll show you.

    Go Electric, Save on Total ROI

    Saving on green equipment comes down to total ROI.  We all know a forklift’s up-front price isn’t the total cost you pay for the equipment. There’s also fuel & maintenance costs over time.

    It’s here that a green electric forklift provides a huge ROI boost. Yes, I’m talking about the BYD electric forklifts again. And I’ve got numbers to back me up.

    These numbers come from industry testing and operator reports. BYD tested a standard propane forklift against one of their electrics.  They used a 5-year operating term, with 2,500 annual hours of operation.

    While the BYD forklift costs more up front, as you’ll see, it costs far less to fuel & maintain:

    BYD vs Propane 5-Year 01

    From my own experience, the numbers add up.  BYD forklifts are long-term cost-savers.

    Want to see more? Let’s look at operating costs over time.

    BYD vs Propane 5-Year 02

    This is a summary of operating costs & savings. It compares 20 propane forklifts to 20 BYD electrics over a 5-year term. The same annual hours and maintenance estimates apply.

    Look at the investment payback. 3.17 years. You make your investment back in just over 3 years, save over $100,000 on fuel, and cut maintenance costs by as much as 50%. Those are huge savings!

    More reasons why the BYD forklifts are “Too Great to Ignore.”

    Congratulatory Spot – Thermo Fisher Scientific

    Congratulations to Thermo Fisher Scientific of Fremont on their new BYD forklift!

    BYD Thermo Fisher Scientific

    Thermo Fisher Scientific develops biotech & medical products. They employ 65,000 people, and took in $18 billion in revenue last year. They’re a huge player with huge material handling needs.

    Transporting these products requires incredible care—what you and I would consider a minor bump while operating a forklift, could destroy thousands of dollars’ worth of product. The BYD will give them the stability they need, as well as long operating times.

    But what really sold them was the fact that it’s a fully “Green” forklift. They’re trying to make their own facilities as clean & sustainable as possible. I worked this deal myself, because I wanted them to see how passionate we are for the BYDs.

    Thermo Fisher Scientific’s Website

    Move from an LPG Forklift to an Electric. Save Money AND Go Green.

    I’m happy to demo a BYD electric at your request. They’re a big step forward for our industry, the environment, and your balance sheet.  We’ve actually reached a point where industrial businesses can “go green” and save money at the same time.

    Want to see one in action? Just call your local Cromer office and ask about the BYDs.

    Until next month!

    Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss
    Cromer Material Handling


    Section 179 Reminder

    You have 1 month left to complete your material handling purchases & get a big tax break!

    The Section 179 tax deduction expires on December 31. Purchases of business equipment—including forklifts, rack, etc.—qualify for the 179 deduction. You buy now, you save now.

    Since last month’s newsletter went out, several customers have taken advantage of Section 179. We still have inventory available, but time’s running out.

    See our October newsletter for more details. Or just call up your local Cromer office to get started!

  Deal of the Month

    2017 DOOSAN G25N 5K FORKLIFT – $23,866

    2017 Doosan G25NFor our November Deal of the Month, we’re bringing back the 2017 Doosan G25N. Customers love these—and for good reason. They’re the best 5K in the industry.

    Hauling loads in these is a breeze. Each has a Nissan 2.5L engine, 5,000# capacity, with oil-cooled disc brakes, and tires with 30% more rubber than competitor trucks. Best of all, since they’re brand new, they come with a 2-year Doosan warranty.

    We still have a couple of these Doosans in stock at the Oakland location. You get the best price with Cromer—only $23,866.

    Remember: You can claim the Section 179 deduction on this forklift!

    Interested? Call Cromer at 800-974-5438 and ask for the new Doosan 5K.  

  • Reminder: Use the Section 179 Tax Deduction on All Your Material Handling Purchases

    By Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss | Oct 25, 2017

    (Valid Until December 31)

    Now that the year’s winding down, we want to remind everyone about the Section 179 Tax Deduction. Just like last year, Section 179 is available on all your material handling purchases…if you make them before the end of the year.

    Refresher on Section 179

    Section 179 is a tax deduction you can take on equipment purchased OR leased, if you make your purchase before the end of tax year 2017. The current deduction limit is $500,000.

    While the Section 179 deduction remains active for 2017, we don’t know if it will extend into next year. We do know that the 50% bonus depreciation will stay valid through 2019.

    How Do I Take the Section 179 Deduction?

    It’s simple. When you file your business’ taxes for 2017, include IRS Form 4562 and deduct your covered business equipment. If you need to estimate the savings beforehand, use this Section 179 Savings Calculator.

    All of the following qualifies under Section 179:

    • Industrial Equipment (like our forklifts, pallet jacks, warehouse rack, and shelving)
    • Office furniture and office equipment
    • Computer hardware or software
    • Vehicles used for business

    The Bonus Depreciation still allows you to depreciate 50 percent of the equipment cost. However, this will shift down to 40 percent in 2018, and to 30 percent in 2019. This is the last year you’ll enjoy the 179 deduction, plus the 50% bonus depreciation!

    You’ll find full details at

    Congratulatory Spot – Impact Transportation

    We just had a great purchase from a great Cromer customer. One that directly relates to this topic.

    Congratulations to Impact Transportation of Oakland on their new forklifts!

    Ron at Impact Transportation with Kalmar Forklifts
    Ron Cancilla, President of Impact Transportation, showing off his new Kalmars!

    Impact bought two Kalmar forklifts—a 36,000lb Kalmar DCG180-6, and a 55,000lb Kalmar DCG250-12.

    Impact transports large-scale materials from the Port of Oakland. Containers, trucks, you name it.

    They bought these two Kalmar beasts to haul more of those large-scale materials. These boys will pick up containers like you pick up an apple.

    Now, here’s the best part. Because they bought before December 31, they’ll get a nice big Section 179 tax deduction! We helped them sort out the paperwork and everything. They’re all set to go.

    Impact Transportation's Website

    Get Your 179 Deduction Too!

    Get the same tax write-off Impact Transportation did! Buy or Lease the forklifts you’ll need for 2018 today. Come out to any Cromer location before December 31. We have your Section 179 write-offs waiting for you.

    Until next month!

    Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss
    Cromer Material Handling

  Deal of the Month 

    2011 CAT 8,000# FORKLIFT – $16,862 OR LEASE FOR $385/MONTH

    2011 CAT LPG Used Forklift

    For our October Deal of the Month, we have a high-capacity CAT forklift for sale or lease. This is a 2011 Caterpillar GC40K-STR with an 8,000# capacity. LPG, Triple stage, 95” lowered, 209”, with 48” forks. Only has 4,042 hours on it.

    It looks small. But don’t be fooled—at 8,000 pounds capacity, it will haul anything you need it to. We have only one of these in stock, and it’s ready to go at our Oakland headquarters. Buy it for only $16,862.

    Prefer to lease? You can lease this CAT GC40K for $385/month. It’s a 48-month lease, after which you own the forklift. You get the right price, only at Cromer.

    Interested? Call Cromer at 800-974-5438 and ask for the high-capacity CAT!  

  • Are You Maximizing Your Trailer Space?

    By Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss | Sep 26, 2017

    If Not, You're Throwing Money Away on Each Pallet

    “The pallet is the unit that controls the world.”

    That’s what I told a group of attendees at the Doosan Boot Camp last week.  The boot camp ran from September 19-21 in Atlanta.

    My Forklift Boss T-Shirt

    Doosan kindly gave me presentation time. (I had a Forklift Boss t-shirt. It’s awesome.) While speaking, I challenged the attendees to tell me their average pallet weight. I offered $20 to anyone who could give me the weight amount. 

    Nobody won it.

    Why is average pallet weight important? If you ship even a single truck of product out this holiday season, you need to know the answer. Let's break it down.

    How Many Pallets can You Fit in a Shipping Trailer?

    There are three shipping trailer sizes in use today: 40-foot, 48-foot, and 53-foot. A standard GMA pallet is 48" long x 40" wide.

    Some simple math tells us that a 53-foot trailer (636” long) will fit 13 pallets lengthwise, with about 1 foot extra. These trailers are wide enough for two rows of pallets. So you’re looking at 26 pallets per 53-foot trailer.

    Pallet Specs

    What does this have to do with weight? Now that we know how many pallets we can add in, we can determine how much each needs to weigh. But there’s one more thing to take into account.

    Are Your Shipping Trailers Full? If Not, They Cost You Money

    Every time a shipping truck has to stop at a weigh station, they must meet certain state guidelines on gross weight. In California, shipping trucks cannot weigh over 80,000 pounds. (Some states go up to 84,500 pounds.)

    But that’s the total weight. It includes the weight of the trailer itself, and the truck pulling it!

    We don’t have 80,000 pounds to work with. We have 80,000 pounds minus the weight of the truck & trailer.

    By law, the truck & trailer cannot weigh more than 38,000 pounds. So we have...

    80,000 pounds [gross weight] – 38,000 pounds [truck & trailer] =
    42,000 pounds [max weight of product]

    42,000 pounds to work with. Those 26 pallets need to weigh 42,000 pounds total. If they don’t, you’re not maximizing the trailer’s shipping value.

    If we divide the product weight by the number of pallets determined earlier:

    42,000 pounds [max product weight] / 26 [number of pallets in a 53-foot trailer] =
    1,615 pounds per pallet

    For a smaller container (40-foot):

    42,000 pounds [max product weight] / 20 [number of pallets in a 40-foot trailer] =
    2,100 pounds per pallet

    Each pallet must carry 1,615 pounds in weight to maximize trailer space for 53-foot containers. If you have a 40-foot container, it’s 2,100 pounds per pallet. Now we know what each pallet’s average weight should be!

    Why is this important? Consider what happens if a shipping truck pulls up to a weigh station, and it’s either over the gross weight, or under it.


    If either a trailer’s front or back axles are overloaded (above 34,000 pounds per double axle at the weigh station), then they have to rearrange the trailer’s contents. Right at the weigh station. The truck cannot leave until it’s below the max gross weight, and its axles are balanced.

    You’re losing money for all the time the truck is stationary (and not traveling to its destination).


    An under-loaded truck at a weigh station won’t have to deal with delays. But you’ll have less total profit from that shipment than you could have.

    One or more pallets in the trailer are under-loaded. You could have shipped more product in the trailer. Which means you lost money by not filling each pallet to their average weight.

    Maximize Your Trailer Space for Maximum Profit per Shipment

    Now you know why I asked the Doosan boot camp attendees, What is the average weight of YOUR pallets?

    Do you know yours? If not, you may be losing money on each & every pallet leaving the warehouse. Check the weights using the math I’ve given here. Hopefully it helps you reach maximum profit!

    Until next month!

    Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss
    Cromer Material Handling

  Deal of the Month

    2017 DOOSAN LPG 5K FORKLIFT – $23,866

    Doosan G25N DealFor our September Deal of the Month, we’re offering our brand-new 2017 Doosan G25Ns. These forklifts are LPG, with a 5,000# capacity.  They’re the best 5K in the industry.

    Hauling loads in these is a breeze. Each has a Nissan 2.5L engine, oil-cooled disc brakes, and tires with 30% more rubber than competitor trucks. Best of all, since they’re brand new, they come with a 2-year warranty.

    We have a few of these Doosans in stock at the Oakland location. You get the best price with Cromer—only $23,866.

    Want to lease a G25N? With Cromer, your lease option is only $295/month.

    Interested? Call Cromer at 800-974-5438 and ask for the new Doosan 5Ks.  

  • 6 Places a Dock Light Improves Warehouse Operations

    By Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss | Aug 29, 2017

    The other day, one of our managers visited a customer’s warehouse. He saw a safety risk and an opportunity for improving efficiency, all by adding one thing. A dock light.

    While next to the warehouse’s loading docks, he saw a forklift operator using a flashlight to look into a backed up trailer. There was one dock light mounted on the interior of the dock’s frame, but it couldn’t shine into the trailer.

    Of course, he pointed this out to the supervisor and arranged to bring in a dock light that same day. Only a few days later, he got a call from the supervisor, saying everyone appreciated the additional light.

    Warehouse Stop and Go Lights

    Do You Need Dock Lights?

    We often underestimate just how important lighting is. Until there’s an accident.

    Take a stroll around the warehouse. Do you see any of these signs?

    • Workers squinting/leaning their head closer to something
    • Damage to docks from improperly-aligned trailers
    • Forklift operators carrying flashlights
    • Dock loaders/unloaders carrying flashlights
    • Forklifts bumping into pallets or shelves

    If so, your workers need more light.

    Dock lights serve to illuminate not only a dock. They’re good for inside trailers, around corners, and in safety-conscious areas too. Let’s go through 6 ways you can use dock lights in the warehouse, as well as what kind of efficiency improvements to expect.

    6 Places to Mount Dock Lights (and the Efficiency Improvements They Yield)

    1. Outside the Dock/on the Building Exterior (Stop & Go Lights)
    PURPOSE – Just like their city-road counterparts, these lights help the drivers guide their trailers back into the dock.

    EFFICIENCY IMPROVEMENT – Regulates traffic, and reduces risk of dock damage.

    2. Inside the Dock (On a Flexible Arm)
    PURPOSE – Illuminates the inside of a trailer, at any height workers need.

    Flexible Arm Dock LightsEFFICIENCY IMPROVEMENT – When going through a dock, you’re passing through different light levels.

    Warehouse → Dock Frame → Trailer Interior

    If the trailer interior has poor lighting and you’re driving a forklift into it? You could easily have trouble seeing for 1-2 seconds. Two seconds is long enough to hit a co-worker or crash into pallets.

    3. Inside the Dock (On a Swing/Strut Arm)
    PURPOSE – Illuminates the inside of a trailer, and helps with paperwork.

    EFFICIENCY IMPROVEMENT – Yes, this can speed up paperwork! Sometimes people will set up a small workstation next to the docks, and use the dock lights to complete their paperwork.

    4. Outside Secure-Access Entryways (Stop & Go Lights)
    PURPOSE – Identifies when it’s safe to enter (green) or when the entryway is closed/in use (red).

    EFFICIENCY IMPROVEMENT – Protects against unauthorized access, and keeps safety regulations enforced (especially where hazardous materials are contained).

    5. Above Blind Corners/Turns (Heavy Duty LED Lamps)
    PURPOSE – Illuminates workers & forklifts turning around the corner.

    EFFICIENCY IMPROVEMENT – Worker Safety. Others can see the shadows and movement, warning them about rounding the corner (and risking an accident).

    6. Above Frequently-Trafficked Areas (Not Already Well-Lit)
    PURPOSE – Extra lighting to make navigating a busy area clearer for everyone.

    EFFICIENCY IMPROVEMENT – The simplest and most important reason of all…better lighting makes everyone safer while going about their work.

    Boost Your Warehouse Efficiency with Dock Lights—Keep Everyone Safe and Productive

    We’re seeing more activity from OSHA lately. More OSHA inspections, USDA inspections, and more oversight into corporate safety in general.

    Worker safety, product integrity, avoiding any OSHA issues…it pays to be safe and productive! Dock lights are just one part of the successful warehouse. But they’re important when it comes to safety AND productivity.

    Until next month!

    Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss
    Cromer Material Handling Deal of the Month

    2008 Mitsubisihi FG40K Forklift for Sale2008 MITSUBISHI LPG WITH ULTRA-LOW HOURS – $26,950

    For Summer’s last Deal of the Month, we have a 2008 Mitsubishi FG40K forklift. This is an LPG forklift, three-stage mast, with an 8,000# capacity.

    Here’s the kicker. It has only 141 hours on it.

    You read that right. A reliable, high-capacity LPG forklift with only 141 hours of use. The Cromer techs have inspected & serviced every part. It’s squeaky clean and fully tuned.

    Put it to work for you, for only $26,950.

    Interested? Call Cromer at 800-974-5438 and ask for the Ultra-Low Hours Mitsubishi. It’s ready to roll.

  • How to Notify Workers When an Emergency Occurs

    By Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss | Jul 28, 2017

    If racks began to collapse in your facility, how would you tell everyone to evacuate?

    Last August we published an article on preparing for workplace accidents. In the article, we recommended creating an “Accident Response Policy” – what everyone should do if there’s an accident or emergency.

    Such a policy needs to cover how you notify workers of emergencies. Several methods exist…and to help our readers, we’re documenting those methods today.

    Common Problems Affecting Industrial Workplaces

    Here’s a list of accidents that merit immediate response in an industrial setting. This isn’t everything that can happen, but it will illustrate the need for notifying workers as soon as possible.

    1. Aisle/Door blocked by product
    2. Chemical spill
    3. Collapsed shelving
    4. Fire
    5. Natural Disaster (Earthquake, Flood)
    6. Overturned forklift
    7. Worker injury

    Getting the Word Out: Notification Methods You Can Use

    The big question is, HOW do you tell workers when one of these emergencies occurs? They need notification, and fast.

    Here are several notification methods. You can use these in any industrial setting. Employ as many of them as you feel are necessary.

    USE EXISTING SAFETY EQUIPMENT TO ANNOUNCE THE EMERGENCY. Activate strobe lights. Use a loudspeaker or PA system to make announcements. Run a siren if you have one.

    (You can also use signal flares, or our LED road flares, to identify problem areas. We did a test run with the LED flares the other day, to mark off a spot where a “collapse” could occur. Even the forklift operators instinctively avoided the spot.)

    PRE-DEFINED PHRASES. Most emergency procedures use certain phrases to identify the problem. There’s no reason you can’t use similar phrases to notify workers of emergencies.

    Cromer facilities use a PA system with pre-defined phrases, and group texting, to notify workers of problems. Our phrases follow this format.

    • Give a code level (see the “Severity” section below),
    • Define the emergency,
    • Tell workers where to go,
    • Repeat the code,
    • Repeat the worker order.

    This takes less than 5 seconds, and everyone recognizes it right away.

    TEXTING. Sending a group text to all phones actually works quite well. Even if workers don’t check their phones often, a sudden text will grab their attention.

    HAND SIGNALS. Forklift operators use hand signals all the time. You've seen the "Stop" signal—both hands extended out to the sides at shoulder-level.

    Forklift Operation Hand Signals

    [Image courtesy of]

    Here's a similar hand signal you can use to call for evacuation.

    1. Do the "Stop" signal illustrated above.
    2. Raise both hands to the sides of the head.
    3. Make fists. Shake them side to side.
    4. With the appropriate hand, point in the direction of evacuation.

    Severity: Identifying How Bad the Problem Is

    You’ll have to include the problem’s severity in your notifications. Should workers abandon their forklifts, or is it OK to drive them away? Should people walk or run?

    If you’re using loudspeakers and/or texting, one way to identify severity is to use hospital color codes. Code Red, Code Blue, etc. Try these, for example:

    • CODE BLUE: Accident has occurred. Avoid the area. Other workers not at risk.
    • CODE YELLOW: Medium-level danger. Drive forklifts out of facility. Walk to evacuation points.
    • CODE RED: Drop whatever you're doing and get out!

    For example, let’s say you have a fire in the warehouse’s southeast corner. The fire alarm just sounded. Your notification methods are loudspeaker announcements, coupled with hand signals.

    You might use this statement over the loudspeaker:

    Code Red. Fire in Southeast corner. All workers evacuate to the north doors. Supervisors, give evac signals. Code Red. Evacuate to the north doors.

    Make Sure Your Accident Response Policy Tells Workers What to Look For

    Emergency notifications are just one part of an accident response policy. But it’s a critical part. It helps you keep as many workers as possible safe.

    Document your notification methods in the policy. Make sure every employee receives a copy. Post it with your other emergency notices.

    Lastly, don't forget to consult with the shift supervisors. They know their schedule and their people. If a problem does occur, they should be the ones helping coordinate the response.

    Until next month!

    Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss
    Cromer Material Handling Deal of the Month


    For our Deal of the Month, we have a combination sale/rental deal. Up for sale/rent are several Kalmar lift trucks. These are the big boys—36,000# and 55,000# capacities.

    The forklift pictured above is the Kalmar DCG250-12. It’s a 55,000# capacity, brand new, and ready for mega-scale work. Purchase new for: $349,000.

    We also have its little brother, the Kalmar DCG160-6. It’s a 36,000# capacity, also brand new. Both trucks have safety features installed. Purchase new for: $214,000.

    Both of these models are in our Oakland HQ. However, we do have similar equipment available used at other Cromer facilities.

    Interested in renting a Kalmar truck? Call Cromer at 800-974-5438 and ask for the rental rates. We will extend discounts based on the duration of rental.


  • A Message to all Komatsu Customers

    By Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss | Jul 17, 2017

    Komatsu’s Oakland and Stockton locations are closing July 30, 2017.

    Now, I’m a competitive business owner. But my staff and I were sorry to hear of the closure. We know most of the staff at Komatsu. They’re good, hard-working people. If Cromer can assist them after the facility closes, we will.

    What’s also important are the Komatsu Oakland and Stockton customers. They will need help going forward, both in material handling equipment and in service. Cromer is here, and ready to help you with both.

    • If you have forklifts on lease through Komatsu: You’ll need replacements fast when those leases expire. Cromer has electric forklifts ready for lease out of our Oakland and Manteca facilities.
    • If Komatsu technicians serviced your forklifts: Bring them over to Cromer. Our technicians are trained to service multiple forklifts. We also hope to have some Komatsu technicians join our team very soon.

    Because you’ll need to keep workers going, we’re offering a special deal for Komatsu customers.


    This deal will stand until January 1, 2018. Every business moves at its own pace, especially when you lose a supplier & have to adapt. I want Cromer there when you need us.

    Do you know a Komatsu customer, or staff member? Please forward this post to them.

    ~Marshall Cromer, Cromer Material Handling

    Go comment!
  • Product Deep Dive: The Jungheinrich EJE 120 Electric Pallet Jack

    By Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss | Jun 29, 2017

    Today we’re taking a more detailed look at one of our favorite products—Jungheinrich’s EJE 120 pallet jack.

    Sometimes a colleague or customer says to me, “All electric pallet jacks are the same.” Then I say, “You’ve never tried out the EJE 120, have you?”

    After a brief demo, they often end up ordering on the spot!


    This month’s News from the Forklift Boss will examine the EJE 120 through a pallet jack’s two most important roles: Production and Safety. If you haven’t used one of these, you’re in for a big surprise.

    Pallet Jack Safety

    A pallet jack, manual or electric, is one of the simplest material handling tools. Place product on it, convey product to its destination, and unload.

    And yet, jacks still pose a high safety risk if used improperly. Look at this list of OSHA accidents. Pallet jacks appear multiple times:

    • Employee's Leg Is Fractured By Pallet Jack
    • Employee Fractures Hip While Operating Pallet Jack
    • Employee's Toes Amputated After Pallet Jack Collision

    Most of the time, serious injuries like these occur when the jack is overloaded, or employees are not paying attention when pulling the jack. We’ve found you can eliminate such risks with good safety training and by switching to electric pallet jacks.

    But here’s the thing. Among pallet jacks—even electrics—you have low-quality and high-quality products. The EJE 120 pretty much defines “high-quality.”

    A low-quality jack is:

    • Easy to tip over/pull over
    • Hard to turn
    • Responsive to accidental button taps which can send the pallet jack surging forward
    • Short-lived—the batteries last 1 shift at best
    • Equipped with a short handle, which puts the jack close to the operator’s heels

    A high-quality jack is:

    • Prevented from shaking or tipping by stability casters
    • Balanced on the bottom with heavier forks
    • Easy to turn
    • Long-lasting—solid industrial batteries that go 2 shifts
    • Equipped with a long handle, putting the jack a safer distance away from the operator’s heels

    See the differences for yourself. I did a video comparing a Crown electric jack to the Jungheinrich EJE 120. The Crown kept rocking and fighting me. The Jungheinrich did exactly what I needed it to.

    Pallet Jack Production

    Nobody has time to fuss with a pallet jack. Every operator needs their pallet jack to ‘just work’ every time. Electric pallet jacks help make this happen. But in terms of production, not all electrics are created equal.

    Ease of Use

    As I demonstrated in the YouTube video, the EJE 120 glides exactly where I steer it. When I stop, it stops.

    Shift Length

    Have you heard of Jungheinrich’s “2Shifts1Charge” Guarantee? The manufacturer guarantees a large group of its products—including the EJE 120—will operate for 2 shifts on 1 battery charge. Some of our customers report getting 3 shifts on one battery. Plus, the battery comes with a 3-year warranty.

    Turn Radius

    Your pallet jack’s turn radius is an important factor in stacking, especially when shipping. A standard trailer is 96” wide. Pallets in North America vary from 36” to 48” in width. If you want to stack two rows in a trailer, you are fighting for inches.

    Each time you load a pallet, the jack must turn to position it. The closer you can get the jack, the better. Even 2 inches in turn radius makes a huge difference.

    Most electric pallet jacks have a 22-23" head length. But the EJE 120 has a 19.4" head length. That gives it the tightest turn radius in the industry.

    Why We Love the EJE 120: Safe, Reliable, Easy to Use

    Jungheinrich makes its material handling products in Germany, not China. The home of BMW and Mercedes. So when I say the EJE 120 is the BMW of pallet jacks, you can believe it!

    Do you use other electric pallet jacks? Throw those out. The EJE 120s do everything we need them to, and keep us safe at the same time.

    Never tried the Jungheinrich EJE 120? Cromer will provide a free demo for any of our customers. Just call us. No time limit.

    Until next month!

    Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss
    Cromer Material Handling Deal of the Month


    Pallet Rack 96For our Deal of the Month, we have rack on sale! This is a complete package: two new 12-foot uprights, with six 96” beams for shelves, and six wire decks for shelving support.

    You get a steel freestanding pallet rack, usable anywhere. They’ll hold up everything you want to stack.

    We normally sell this rack set, all included, for $390. For our deal of the month, pick it up for only $325.

    (They’ll even connect to starter rack with some good bolts. If you want that option, we’ll sell the addition for only $245.)

    Interested? Call Cromer at 800-974-5438 and ask for the Deal on Pallet Rack.

  • Ergonomic Lift Tables: Save Your Workers' Backs

    By Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss | May 30, 2017

    Are You Using Ergonomic Lift Tables Yet? If Not, Here’s Why You Should

    The Cromer team has visited tens of thousands of our customers’ facilities over the years—warehouses, offices, docks, and manufacturers.

    In our opinion, 80% of those facilities could benefit from investing in one piece of equipment—an ergonomic lift table.

    If you’re not familiar with lift tables, this is the “News from the Forklift Boss” to read. We will cover what lift tables do, how best to use them in your facility, and some dos & don’ts to keep in mind.

    What is an Ergonomic Lift Table?

    Ergonomic Lift Table

    An ergonomic lift table is a small scissor lift with a flat surface on top (pictured above). It provides a raised platform where you can stack boxes & pallets. Some models even have wheels.

    Using a Lift TableIts purpose? To reduce workers’ fatigue, increase productivity, and foster a safer work environment. By lifting boxes or pallets up to a worker’s waist level, lift tables eliminate the need to bend over repeatedly while stacking product.

    Lift tables come in three main types:

    • Mechanical – uses a crank to lift
    • Air Bag – uses factory air to lift
    • Hydraulic – uses a hydraulic piston to lift

    Lift Table Uses

    The typical use of a lift table is in a warehouse. But we’ve also seen them used in mechanics’ garages, manufacturing plants, and even inside an industrial refrigerator. Lift tables are suitable for all types of environments (indoor and outdoor).

    Lift tables speed up and simplify product movement. Lifting a group of boxes up to waist-height may not seem like much, but it can save a worker’s back.

    Think of how many times a worker has to bend down, turn, lift, turn, set a box down, and repeat. One ergonomic lift table not only cuts down on all that motion, it can speed up pallet loading and unloading time by 40%.

    Dos & Don’ts of Lift Tables

    As with all material handling equipment, there’s a safe way to use lift tables and an unsafe way. Please follow these dos & don’ts to keep your workers safe.

    • DO select the correct lift table for the product you’re moving. Make sure the capacity and height match the worker’s waist height.
    • DO make use of a lift table wherever it improves worker health. Lift tables aren’t very expensive (starting at $2,000-$3,000), but they’re a huge money saver when you consider workers’ comp!
    • DO locate and station the places in your warehouse where a lift table should go. These are places where floor-level stacking and sorting occurs most often.
    • DON’T use a lift table in place of a pallet jack. It’s tempting to stack a mobile lift table, then push it where you want to go. Don’t do that—you risk spilling product off the table, onto you.
    • DON’T exceed a lift table’s capacity. Each table has a capacity rating—beyond that, they can tip over.
    • DON’T stand on a lift table. It’s not a ladder.

    Choose the Right Lift Table, and Save Your Workers’ Backs!

    The principle behind the ergonomic lift table is to reduce motion. The fewer times your workers have to bend down and pick up items, the fewer chances they have of injury.

    Lift tables come in many sizes, types, and capacities. Choose the lift table best suited to your workers’ routines, and the types of product they are moving. You’ll get a great ROI from time saved, fewer workers’ comp claims, and healthier workers.

    Until next month!

    Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss
    Cromer Material Handling

  Deal of the Month

    DOOSAN G25N 5,000lb. FORKLIFTS AT $23,866 EACH!

    Doosan G25 2017For our May Deal of the Month, we have a selection of Doosan G25N LPGs on sale. These are brand-new pneumatic forklifts, with 5,000lb. capacity.

    These are the best 5Ks in the industry. Each forklift has a three-stage 186” mast, with side shift. Oil-cooled disc brakes mean it stops fast, without tossing product (or the driver) around. 42” and 48” forks available. We’ve added blue lights for extra safety.

    Since these are new forklifts, you have the option to buy or lease!

    • Buy a brand-new Doosan G25N for only $23,866 each.
    • Lease one for only $294.48/month.

    Interested? Call Cromer at 800-974-5438 and ask for the New Doosan G25Ns.


  • Time to Reserve Your Summer Rentals!

    By Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss | Apr 27, 2017

    Reserve your Forklifts and Bin Dumpers Now, or They’ll Be Gone by Summer

    Every year in April, I have a note on my calendar. It reminds me of one simple thing.

    “Summer’s coming up. Get the rental equipment ready!”

    Not just the forklifts. Our rental customers also need balers, extra pallet jacks…and bin dumpers.

    In the past we’ve talked about rental forklifts. This year, let’s talk rental bin dumpers. It’s important to know all your equipment before you start on something as high-traffic as Summer Harvest.

    Bin Dumper 101

    A bin dumper mounts to the front of a forklift, allowing it to pick up and manipulate bins. Forklift operators use bin dumpers to move product bins from collection site, into and around the warehouse.

    When properly installed and operated, bin dumpers make the forklift driver’s job much simpler. They only have to focus on loading and unloading bins.

    Dueling Forklifts with Bin Dumpers

    When it comes to our summer rentals, bin dumpers are a regular rental for these two industries:

    • Wineries – Harvesting grapes for crush
    • Produce – Harvesting produce for nationwide distribution

    I’ve been out to several Napa Valley customer sites. It’s amazing to watch them harvesting. The bins fill up in no time, the operators take them back for dumping, and are out again. Everyone’s working together like a well-oiled machine.

    Which is why I make sure all the forklifts they rent are well-oiled machines, too!

    Bin Dumper Inspection & Maintenance

    All rented bin dumpers arrive ready for work, but like forklifts, it’s always good to inspect them before use.

    We recommend doing a quick daily inspection. Check these elements on and around a bin dumper before you start for the day:

    1. Check the bolts. Make sure none are loose or missing.
    2. Check the forklift & bin dumper hoses for wear, damage, or hydraulic leaks.
    3. Check oil levels.
    4. Inspect the top and front bin retainers. You should see no damage and proper alignment with the forklift. If not, call Cromer to adjust the bin dumper.

    Bin dumper not responding? If any of our rental bin dumpers fails, Cromer service techs come out and fix it. If we can’t fix it on-site, we’ll swap it out right there. If the failure is due to faulty equipment, we pay for the swap.

    How to Reserve Bin Dumper (and Forklift) Rentals with Cromer

    1. Visit our Rentals page to select the equipment you’ll need this summer:
      Cromer Rentals List (Includes Rate Sheet)
    2. Call Cromer at 800-974-5438. Ask for the Rentals Department.
      If you prefer email, please use
    3. Tell us which items you want to rent, the number you need, the dates you need them, and the delivery location(s).
    4. We add you to the rental reservation list.
    5. On the scheduled delivery date, you receive your rentals on-site and start work.

    Our rental fleet stands at over 200 forklifts. The rental forklifts are all undergoing their preventative maintenance while you read this.

    As of this newsletter, we have 35 bin dumpers available for rent. You can rent them independently, or with a forklift. (Please note: We do not rent bins.)

    Summer rentals are always huge. If you need extra forklifts (and bin dumpers) for summer/fall, reserve them now or they'll be gone!

    Until next month!

    Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss
    Cromer Material Handling Deal of the Month


    3 CAT Electrics Deal of the MonthFor our April Deal of the Month, we have three CAT 48-volt electrics on sale. These are 2013 CAT EC30Ns, at 6,000-lb. capacity.

    Each forklift has a three-stage 186” mast, with side shift. These have between 5,500-7,000 hours of use on them. We’ve performed all maintenance, conducted battery tests, and certified them ready for duty.

    Pick up one of these for only $13,800 each. Includes charger. (Single Double Attachment is also available, for $2,200.)

    Interested? Call Cromer at 800-974-5438 and ask for the April Deal of the Month.


  • Bug Doors: Keep Warehouse Employees Cool and Bugs Out

    By Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss | Apr 06, 2017

    Two Reasons to Install Bug Doors in Your Warehouse before Summer

    The recent warm weather has our customers looking ahead to summer. As a result, we’ve been getting lots of calls for bug doors. When you’re working in a hot warehouse during summer, you’d love to roll up the big warehouse doors for ventilation, right?

    But this can let insects and rodents into the warehouse. The USDA, of course, requires that all food source businesses secure their doors, so leaving a warehouse door open isn’t an option.

    What’s a Bug Door?

    Bug doors are basically giant screen doors. They cover open doorways, roll-up doors, and even man/exit doors. They’re made of a fine mesh to let air through, with bright yellow strips to identify them to workers (so nobody walks into one).

    Warehouse Bug DoorYou can get two types of warehouse bug doors. A manual operation type is like a window blind. Pull it down, or tug on it to make it go up. A high cycle type is motor operated. You can open & close these more than 100 times per day.

    On average, bug doors last 5-7 years, as long as nobody drives a forklift into one. (Which does happen!) The most common cause of wear on a bug door—holes or tears in the screen—comes from impacts. If you use them, make sure all your workers know to watch where they’re going!

    What Does a Bug Door Do for Me?

    You get two benefits from using bug doors:

    1. Better air circulation through the warehouse. Letting in outside air with bug doors improves air circulation, up to 35%. That helps employees stay comfortable and productive.
    2. Stopping bugs, birds, and other pests from getting into the warehouse. This is important for food storage warehouses in particular, but every warehouse is at risk for bugs flying in through a big warehouse door if there’s no screen preventing their access.

    What’s the Value in Adding Bug Doors?

    A bug door is a low-cost way to keep the warehouse, and its workers, cooler, especially during hot summer days. It also prevents any risk to product from insect contamination. If zero bugs get in, zero product has insect damage.

    There’s also the FDA. FDA requirements for food storage and warehousing are pretty strict. If an FDA inspector finds ONE live insect inside the warehouse, they can shut you down. Bug doors head off the problem before it happens.

    Bug Doors Spare Everybody as Much Heat (from Summer and the FDA) as Possible

    Warehouse doors have to open all the time. Good dock seals prevent pests while loading/unloading. But what if the warehouse gets too hot, and someone just leaves the door open after the truck leaves?

    It’s not worth the risk. Especially since bug doors are affordable and easy to install (typically takes us less than 1 day).

    If you do have bug doors in your warehouse, check them for any tears. If you don’t, we still have time to put them in before summer. Don’t wait too long!

    Until next month!

    Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss
    Cromer Material Handling Deal of the Month

    1998 DAEWOO DIESEL FORKLIFT – $14,911

    1998 Daewoo Diesel ForkliftFor our March Deal of the Month, we’re offering this 1998 Daewoo D70 forklift. These are “oldies but goodies” – long-time workhorses. Diesel fuel, 15,500-lb. capacity and a two-stage mast with 96” forks.

    The forklift has 5,554 hours on it. It’s been serviced, tested, and ready to get back to work. If you’re a budget-conscious forklift buyer, this is a good deal to pick up.

    This Daewoo is on sale for only $14,911. It’s currently located in Bakersfield.

    Interested? To pick it up, call Cromer at 800-974-5438 and ask for the March Deal of the Month.

  • Two-Minute Video Tour of the BYD Electric Forklift

    By Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss | Mar 21, 2017

    Take a 2-minute tour of the BYD forklift with The Forklift Boss.

    We've put together a new video showcasing BYD. It's up on YouTube now.

    You'll also find it on the Cromer Videos page, in the top bar.

    Watch me ride around on a BYD electric, show you how it charges up, where the batteries are, and point out some of its safety features. Had a great time filming it.

    BYD forklifts challenge the status quo. They've created a whole new standard of what operators should expect from an electric forklift. Up to an 18-hour run time on one charge, recharging in 60-90 minutes, with no heat from the batteries and no gassing risk?

    It's too great to ignore.

    At Cromer, we're already committed to the BYDs. But if you need any more convincing, check out the warranties on every BYD purchase:

    • Lithium Iron Phosphate Battery: 10 year warranty. 100% Green, 100% Safe.
    • Charger/Motors: 5 year/10,000 hour warranty.
    • Lift Truck: 3 year/6000 hr warranty, complete.

    Don't forget, we're offering demos for you to try out a BYD forklift too. Contact your nearest Cromer facility and ask for one. As you see in the video, they're lots of fun to drive!

  • What the Electric Forklift Means for Long-Term Productivity

    By Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss | Mar 06, 2017

    BYD Makes a Great Case to Switch to Electrics & “Power Up” Your Operations

    “I only buy CAT.”
    “We’ve used Doosan for years.”

    I don’t know how many times I’ve heard lines like these. I understand them—changing your forklift brand is a tough choice! You probably don’t have time to find out if a new brand will keep up with your workday. If one brand worked for you in the past, you’d naturally want to stick with it.

    But when it comes to electric forklifts, change is absolutely worth it.

    Why? That’s what we’re talking about today. The newest electric forklifts, particularly from BYD, give us all a reason to say, “Change is good!”

    At Cromer, we’re putting a lot of our efforts behind promoting and servicing BYD electrics. I see a great future for the BYD forklift, and for every business that uses them.

    Let me explain.

    The “Power Up” Behind BYD – What You Gain By Switching

    Zero Explosion Risk. We all heard the news about Samsung phones blowing up. While the BYD batteries are essentially giant cellphone batteries, they don’t carry an explosion risk. I saw BYD’s testing procedure—they basically throw the batteries in a furnace!

    No Need to Replace the Batteries Yourself. The BYD battery is rated to last 10 years. Plus the company gives you a 10-year warranty. You can sell or trade in the forklift after 10 years, and never once need to swap out the battery!

    Company with a Solid Foundation. BYD is the #1 electric bus maker in the world. Berkshire Hathaway (Warren Buffet’s company) owns a 10% stake. They currently have $15B in revenue. The company will be around for a long time, supporting and improving their equipment.

    Environmentally-Friendly. Electric forklift batteries are efficient and long-lasting…but you couldn’t call too many “green.” They’re full of hazardous chemicals and potentially-toxic metals.

    Not BYD batteries though.  As I mentioned in “What’s So Great about the BYD Forklift Batteries?” they’re made of iron phosphate. No chemicals at all. Which means they need no special disposal procedure. These batteries are so environmentally friendly you can just toss a dead battery in a dumpster.

    Many Products to Spur Growth. Take a look at this:


    That’s a giant solar farm in Brussels, Belgium (currently in development). One of several BYD is working on all over the world. Huge, isn’t it?

    BYD has also built huge energy storage facilities in Chicago and West Virginia. All the innovation that goes into stuff like this, also ends up in every BYD forklift.

    Huge Battery Production. BYD made 10 gigawatt-hours’ worth of batteries in 2015. By 2020, they’re forecasting 34 gigawatt-hours. That’s the power equivalent of 17 Hoover Dams.

    Not bad for a company that started out making cellphone batteries, huh?

    BYD Forklift in Use
    This man is NOT wearing a hard hat. Where’s his supervisor?!

    The Forklift Future is Electric

    I talk about BYD a lot because I like what I see in their forklifts. It’s worth the time to check them out. Afterward, you might say, “Change is good!” too.

    If you want to see what I see, schedule a demo with your local Cromer facility. Try out a BYD electric for yourself.

    (If you do want a demo, please let us know as soon as possible. Our BYD demo truck is pretty popular!

    Until next month!

    Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss
    Cromer Material Handling Deal of the Month


    For our February Deal of the Month, we’re offering this 2008 Mitsubishi FG40K forklift. It’s an LPG truck, with an 8,000-lb capacity and three-stage mast.

    The tires are in great shape. Here’s the kicker: It only has 141 hours on it. (You read that right. 141.)

    With so few hours on it and such a high capacity, you might think it’s really expensive. Nope. We’re offering it for only $26,950.

    Interested? To pick up this Mitsubishi, call Cromer at 800-974-5438 and ask for the February Deal of the Month.

  • How to Maintain Dock and Door Safety

    By Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss | Feb 06, 2017

    Watch for the Warning Signs, and Schedule Preventative Maintenance to Avoid Accidents

    Are your warehouse’s docks and doors in good operational condition?

    Docks and doors are basically moving parts in your business’ engine. They protect product, facilitate loading, and help maintain your warehouse environment. It also means they wear out in time, just like hoses in a forklift.

    So this month, we’re talking docks and doors. What kinds of problems do they develop? What signs should you watch for? How do you keep them in good working order?

    4 Dock and Door Warning Signs to Watch Out For

    Since docks and doors are so big, it’s pretty easy to spot potential problems before they get bad.

    1. Dock Surface/Dock Lip Fatigue: Drooping spots in the dock lips, splits between the dock surface and the lips.
    2. Fractures: Cracks in the rubber, dents or tears in the doors’ slats.
    3. Broken Welds: Cracks on dock hinges, places where dock frames have come apart.
    4. Light Encroachment: Spots where the dock seals shrink or tear, leaking light into the warehouse.

    These are the four most common problems Cromer & Gray Lift safety inspectors see when on-site. Keep your eye out for them too. The earlier potential problems are spotted, the less likely they are to cause something more severe.

    What Can Happen if Docks and Doors are Not Maintained

    warehousedoorLike all equipment, docks and warehouse doors fail if not maintained properly. Some of the more common failures we’ve seen customers encounter were minor. Some were not. Below are four potential problems that come from poorly-maintained docks.

    Corrupted Warehouse Environment. If a dock’s not sealed, the air leak corrupts your warehouse’s climate control. Depending on your product (like food), it can spoil or rot in no time.

    Vermin. Nobody wants to see a mouse while on shift. Even one can get an entire warehouse shut down by OSHA!

    Stuck Doors. We’ve all had to deal with this at one point. The door’s either frozen up or slipped a roller. It’s stuck and it ain’t moving. Which effectively closes off one door to loading for hours. Or days.

    Operational Accidents. Too much light leaking in through a broken door can cause accidents. What if a forklift operator gets hit with a sudden light beam to the eye? They’ll flinch…and might collide with a rack.

    Collapse. Any part of a dock collapsing risks not just product, but workers! These are the accidents that make the evening news, and send employees to the hospital (or worse).

    Luckily, all of these problems are avoidable. All it takes is some preventative maintenance (PM).

    What Preventative Maintenance Does for Your Warehouse

    Preventative Maintenance accomplishes the same goal, whether it’s for a forklift or a dock. Inspections make sure no problems are developing. If so, maintenance professionals make the needed repairs.

    For instance, the issue of light encroachment. Say a Cromer safety inspector finds light leaking in through a dock. The Cromer maintenance team installs brushes and a fresh seal to keep the light out. No more risk of accidents.

    Cromer’s Preventative Maintenance team services hundreds of docks and doors all across California. For more details on what we do, we’ve posted our Dock and Door Service Agreements to the Cromer website. View them at the below links (in PDF):

    Dock Equipment Service Agreement (PDF) – Cromer-Gray Lift
    Industrial Door Service Agreement (PDF) – Cromer-Gray Lift

    Reminder: Put Dock and Door Preventative Maintenance on the Calendar

    Chances are you already have Dock and Door preventative maintenance on the 2017 calendar. If so, good! You’re in good shape.

    If not, take a moment to schedule it. How frequently you do PM depends on your warehouse’s activity level.

    • Does the company have one, two, or three shifts?
    • How often are doors and docks used in a time cycle?
    • How many loads do you ship per day?
    • How heavy are the forklift loads going over the docks?

    For moderate use, Cromer recommends preventative maintenance twice a year (semi-annually).
    For heavy use, Cromer recommends preventative maintenance four times a year (quarterly).

    Until next month!

    Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss
    Cromer Material Handling Deal of the Month


    We’re clearing out the Clarks!   Cromer has some new inventory coming in soon, so it’s time to make room. For our January Deal of the Month, all used Clark forklifts are on sale.

    Here are 4 of the Clark forklifts now available. Call your local Cromer facility right away to pick them up.

    5444-16c Clark 2013 C18C Forklifts (2 available). 3560 hours. 188T masts, side shift, 42” forks. ID# 5447-16, 5448-16.
    Sale Price: $12,500 each
    F196-15b Clark 2016 C25 Forklift. 3183 hours. LPG, solid tires, side shift, 5000-lb capacity. ID# F196-15.
    Sale Price: $18,963
    F042-12c Clark 2012 C25C Forklift. 4310 hours. LPG, solid tires, 5000-lb capacity. ID# F042-12.
    Sale Price: $12,900
    F184-14b Clark 2012 C25 Forklift. 1102 hours. LPG, side shift, 5000-lb capacity. Retail ready! ID# F183-12.
    Sale Price: $15,200

    To get your deal, call Cromer at 800-974-5438 and ask for the Used Clark sales.

  • Start 2017 off Right with These Material Handling Reminders

    By Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss | Jan 05, 2017

    Another year’s gone by. It’s been a big year for Cromer...doubling in size and reach, with more customers than ever.

    Now we’re taking stock, and planning for next year. That includes taking care of our rental fleet and current new/used forklift inventory. Things everyone should do regularly for best material handling performance.

    We wanted to close out 2016 with some reminders. Simple things you, our customers, can do to help 2017 start off on the best foot possible.

    Four Reminders for Starting 2017 off Right

    1. Schedule an electric forklift demo. Customers love seeing the new BYDs in action. They save on fuel and help the environment at the same time. We’re already taking 2017 appointments to demo the BYD trucks on-site. If you’re curious about BYD electrics, now’s the time to schedule a demo.

    2. Book your safety training. If you have workers whose safety training is up for renewal, a quick call is all you need. OSHA requires your forklift drivers receive safety training every two years. See our March 2016 newsletter for when and how to work safety training into your schedule.

    3. Check your maintenance books. Every forklift in your warehouse should start 2017 clean, maintained, and running in top shape. If one or more forklifts haven’t received maintenance in the past 3 (or 6) months, it’s time!

    4. Take a moment to thank your workers and your managers. It’s been a busy work year. We’ve seen customers put in loads of extra hours to make deadlines. Everyone deserves a thank you for their hard work.

    Let’s All Have a Great 2017. Take Care of Your Equipment, and It Will Keep You Safe & Productive.

    Start your 2017 off right. Take a little time now to schedule the things you need to, clean what needs cleaning, and prep your workforce for solid productivity.

    From the Forklift Boss and everyone here at Cromer Material Handling—Happy Holidays!

    Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss
    Cromer Material Handling Deal of the Month


    The Cromer End-of-Year Blowout continues! We still have a few forklifts that need clearing out.

    You only have a few days left to take advantage of Section 179 tax savings. Make good use of 179 with the sale prices at Cromer!

    The following equipment is still available. Call your local Cromer facility right away to pick them up.

    Clark 2013 C25L Forklifts (5 available).  Hours range from 2100 to 3900.  LPS rated, 188 triple masts, side shift.  ID# 5452-16, 5449-16, 5454-16, 5458-16, 5459-16.  Available in Fresno, Oakland, and Bakersfield.

    Sale Price: $15,500 each


    Komatsu 2008 FG25ST-16 Forklift.  3200 hours, 188 triple masts, side shift.  ID# F054-08.  Available in Fresno.

    Sale Price:  $9,800


    Mitsubishi 2009 FB18NT Forklift.  4000 hours, 188 triple masts, side shift.  ID# 4035-16.  Available in Fresno.

    Sale Price:  $14,000


    Komatsu 1996 FG25T-11 Forklift.  7386 hours, 188 triple masts, side shift.  ID# 5182-16.  Available in Bakersfied.

    Sale Price:  $5,500


    Clark 2012 C18C Forklift.  1730 hours, 188 triple masts, side shift.  ID# 5444-16.  Available in Bakersfield.

    Sale Price:  $14,200


    To get your end-of-year deal, call Cromer at 800-974-5438 and ask for the End-of-Year Blowout.

  • How Electric Forklifts Save Money on Fuel and Maintenance

    By Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss | Dec 06, 2016

    In our September newsletter, we talked about costs per hour in operating a forklift. But we didn’t talk about one cost in particular: fuel cost.

    Fuel, even more than maintenance, illustrates just how much of a cost savings the electric forklift gives you over LPG trucks. That’s what we’re talking about this month.

    For a visual example, let’s head back to an old friend – the EPRI Lift Truck Comparison Calculator.

    We’ve put in up-to-date energy rates for California. The calculator will use a 4,000-lb. forklift, operating for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week.

    These are the results we get:


    Look at the fuel difference. Over 5 years, an electric forklift needs about $10,000 in fuel/electricity. Propane needs over $30,000 in fuel. Diesel needs close to $40,000!

    Want to know how much you’d save with an electric forklift? Grab your PG&E bill and look up the cost per kilowatt. (At time of publication, it’s $0.136/hour in California.) Adjust the “Electricity Price $/kWh” slider to match. Move the “Propane Price” or “Diesel Price” sliders to match your current fuel price. You’ll see the difference right away.

    The other sliders factor in forklift usage, total operating time, and maintenance costs. Play with the sliders to see how the costs translate. You may find some justification to switch to electrics.

    Maintenance: No Need to Replace Parts that Aren’t There

    What happens if a forklift’s transmission begins to fail? The engine works harder to keep going. Burning excess fuel, causing more wear, and increasing the maintenance cost that’s coming up.

    What happens if an electric forklift’s electricity flow gets disrupted? The forklift will typically shut down and need a quick repair.

    This is just one example of the maintenance differences between forklift types. Differences which can add up to big cost savings.

    Consider one of the biggest parts of forklift maintenance: Parts replacement.

    An LPG forklift has an internal combustion engine. That means it has sparkplugs, plug wires, a distributor with a distributor cap, and oil. All of which need replacement over the life of the forklift.

    Electrics don’t have those parts. They have a battery and a drive motor. No radiator, no coolant hoses, and no fan belts either. Fewer parts to wear out.

    Fuel and Maintenance Add Up to High Cost over Time – or High Cost Savings, Depending on Your Forklifts

    An LPG pneumatic-tire forklift costs less up front than an electric lift truck. But the LPG pneumatic has a higher cost than an electric, over time. The differences in fuel costs and maintenance needed spell out a big savings for electrics.

    We hope this information helps you save on your next forklift purchase. Happy Thanksgiving!

    Until next month,
    Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss
    Cromer Material Handling

    Special Notice – Section 179 is Back! Huge Tax Savings on Material Handling Purchases

    Last December we told you about the tax savings of Section 179 – a tax deduction you can take on equipment purchased OR leased. If you make your purchase before the end of the year.

    blogtaximage3The Section 179 deduction is good again for this year, tax year 2016. Plus, the 50% bonus depreciation is valid through 2019.

    That means you have until December 31 to buy or lease equipment. All of the following qualifies for Section 179:

    • Computer hardware or software
    • Industrial Equipment (like our forklifts, rack & shelving)
    • Office furniture and office equipment
    • Vehicles used for business

    You can find more details out at

    If you want to take advantage of Section 179 tax savings, don’t want. Come out to any Cromer location for your end-of-year material handing purchases. We have everything ready to go. Deal of the Month


    2017 is coming up fast. It’s been an exciting year for Cromer—bringing the Gray Lift staff & facilities into the Cromer family, and working with BYD on their industry-changing forklifts.

    Now the year’s drawing to a close. It’s time for us to make room for new inventory.

    What’s the best way to do that? Have an end-of-year blowout!

    The following equipment is marked down for the 2016 Cromer End-of-Year Blowout. These sales will NOT last, so make sure to call us right away.

    Clark 2008 TMX17 Forklift.  9300 hours, 188 triple masts, side shift.  ID# 5118-16.  Available in Fresno.

    Sale Price:  $9,500


    Clark 2013 C25L Forklifts (5 available).  Hours range from 2100 to 3900.  LPS rated, 188 triple masts, side shift.  ID# 5452-16, 5449-16, 5454-16, 5458-16, 5459-16.  Available in Fresno, Oakland, and Bakersfield.

    Sale Price: $15,500 each


    Komatsu 2008 FG25ST-16 Forklift.  3200 hours, 188 triple masts, side shift.  ID# F054-08.  Available in Fresno.

    Sale Price:  $9,800


    Mitsubishi 2009 FB18NT Forklift.  4000 hours, 188 triple masts, side shift.  ID# 4035-16.  Available in Fresno.

    Sale Price:  $14,000


    Komatsu 1996 FG25T-11 Forklift.  7386 hours, 188 triple masts, side shift.  ID# 5182-16.  Available in Bakersfied.

    Sale Price:  $5,500


    Clark 2012 C18C Forklift.  1730 hours, 188 triple masts, side shift.  ID# 5444-16.  Available in Bakersfield.

    Sale Price:  $14,200


    Cat 1999 GP25 Forklift.  130 std masts, side shift.  ID# 5278-16.  Available in Oakland.

    Sale Price:  $6,550


    To get your end-of-year deal, call Cromer at 800-974-5438 and ask for the End-of-Year Blowout.