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
  • 25 Years of Material Handling Success: Where Cromer Started and Where We Are Now

    By Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss | Oct 07, 2014

    On October 17, 2014, Cromer Material Handling will reach 25 years of operation.

    It’s a time to look back, reflect on where we started and how far we’ve come. It’s also a time to thank you, our customers, for sticking with Cromer over the years.

    THEN: East Bay Clarklift
    NOW: Cromer Material Handling


    The day I bought East Bay Clarklift in Oakland was an ominous day. It was the day of the Loma Prieta Earthquake. I jumped on one of my forklifts and drove it to the site of the Nimitz Freeway collapse, hoping I could help. I won’t forget that day.

    My business started as a one man, one forklift brand shop. Then came “Cromer Equipment,” with additional forklift brands. And now “Cromer Material Handling.” Each name change came about because we expanded our offerings--adding more forklift brands, getting into material handling equipment, adding services like forklift training & service/repair, and opening new locations across Northern California.

    THEN: 1 Oakland facility.
    NOW: 3 main facilities and 2 satellite service centers.


    Sometimes I tell people we have a service facility in Santa Rosa and they’re surprised. Or I mention our Chico service center. All the way up in Chico? Well, I can’t provide full service throughout Northern California without a facility up north, can I?

    I want Cromer Material Handling to be the #1 material handling supplier in Northern California (maybe all of California one day). With these new facilities and even more expansion coming, we’re well within reach of that goal.

    THEN: 10 years’ industrial equipment experience
    NOW: The Forklift Boss


    When I started the business, I’d been in the forklift industry for 10 years. It was high-energy, had powerful machines, and important customers—right where I wanted to be.

    Now, 25 years later, people come to me for advice on everything from which forklifts to buy, to how to succeed on the Web. I’m invited to speak across North America on running my business and satisfying major customers like California vineyards. (Love doing this; it’s a great time.)
    ========

    One thing that hasn’t changed in 25 years are our values.

    1. Do the right and ethical thing in all situations.
    2. Find the right forklift for the customer’s job.
    3. Maintenance service is done promptly and thoroughly.
    4. Make 100% sure every piece of equipment sold meets the Cromer quality standard. If it doesn’t, it’s not sold.

    It’s very humbling to reach 25 years of success. I owe a great deal to the Cromer team for working hard through thick and thin, and to our customers for choosing our products & services.

    Thank you everyone. I hope you’ll stay with us for the next 25 years.

    Until next month!

    Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss
    Cromer Material Handling

    Cromer Deal of the Month

    25TH ANNIVERSARY SALE ON JUNGHEINRICH PALLET JACKS!

    In October we’ll celebrate 25 years of material handling success. For our 25th anniversary Deal of the Month, we’re having a one-time-only sale on our most popular pallet truck – the Jungheinrich EJE120.

    We have only 20 of these EJE120s in stock. You can take one (or more) for only $3,950. (That’s slashed down from their usual $4,650 – a savings of $700!)

    Call Cromer at 800-974-5438 and ask for the 25th Anniversary Pallet Truck. Hurry, because our stock will not last the month at this price!

  • Cromer Attends the 2014 Safety Road-e-O

    By Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss | Oct 05, 2014

    Earlier this month, the Northern California Refuse Recycling Council put on their annual Louie Pellegrini IV Memorial Safety "Road-e-O". It's held at the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton, and is in its 5th year running.

    This is a friendly competition and educational faire, intended to underscore safety for industry drivers & equipment operators. Kids are welcome to attend & learn about industrial equipment safety, too.

    The CRRC invites guest companies to participate in their safety competitions. We sent over a "Cromer Posse", who brought some of our best forklifts (including a "Pink Forklift") and had a lot of fun.

    Video slideshow of the event: http://youtu.be/xNQCrJQ6eOg

    Worker safety is and always will be of critical importance to Cromer Material Handling. That's why we're glad to participate in the Safety Road-e-O, and we hope it continues to set a good reminder of proper worker safety for many years to come.

    Photos from the event are at Pellegrini Photography. If you’re sharp-eyed you’ll see our Pink Forklift!

    To learn more about the Safety Road-e-O, visit http://www.crrcnorth.org.

  • How and When to Replace Electric Forklift Batteries

    By Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss | Sep 05, 2014

    The average battery life for an electric forklift is about 5 years. The good news is, they can be replaced for many more years of work with the forklift.

    However, replacing batteries is not the same as replacing tires. Batteries are much bigger and much heavier. In an electric forklift, the battery can account for up to 3,000 pounds of the unit’s entire weight!

    Since more & more customers are opting for electric forklifts, I wanted to talk about battery replacement. This month’s “News from the Forklift Boss” will tell you how to determine if a forklift battery is dying, and how we replace them for you.

    When to Replace an Electric Forklift’s Battery

    The “every 5 years” rule of thumb isn’t ironclad. If you take good care of an electric forklift, the battery can easily last beyond that.

    Sometimes though, the battery decides to give out early. This usually happens when the forklift is worked too hard and not given regular service.

    When the battery begins to die, it shows signs similar to a dying car battery. Here’s what to look out for:

    • Your battery’s charge degrades to only a few hours of operational use.
    • You have to charge the battery more than once a day to get a full shift’s work out of the forklift.
    • You see corrosion buildup on the battery case.
    • The battery emits a sulfurous “rotten eggs” smell.
    • The battery starts smoking while charging or in use. (This is very dangerous and can cause a fire. Replace the battery immediately if this happens!)

    A Cromer technician providing regular maintenance will alert you to any signs of battery problems. We do not recommend continuing to use a forklift whose battery shows these signs. Replace the battery first.

    How the Replacement Process Works

    As I mentioned, battery replacement is more involved than fixing tires. Order a new battery when your electric forklift begins showing signs (loss of charge is usually the first sign operators report). We can arrange for a loaner battery within a few days’ window, if you can’t afford any downtime while waiting for the new battery to arrive.

    Here’s how the replacement process goes.

    1. When the customer orders a replacement, the new battery is shipped directly to your place of business.
    2. Delivery takes approximately 5-7 working days from time of order.
    3. Once the battery arrives, a trained battery technician will install it in the forklift. No workers are permitted in the area where replacement occurs; we must use another forklift to (safely) lift the new battery into place.
    4. The old battery will be removed and disposed of at no cost to you. Cromer technicians will bring it to a smelter for recycling.

    Not much different from changing a forklift’s tire, right?

    SAFETY WARNING: If a forklift’s battery is losing charge, you may experience trouble handling the unit. Response time may slow down. There is a slight possibility of the forklift tipping over when rounding corners, if this occurs. If any operator finds their electric forklift is stalling out or feels sluggish, they should stop driving it immediately and notify a supervisor.

    We at Cromer like electric forklifts. They’re cleaner and more efficient (in most cases) than LPG trucks. Replacing their battery is not a small task…but it does extend the forklift’s operating life for a long time.

    See you next month!Sept 2014 Deals of the Month

    Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss
    Cromer Material Handling

    Cromer Deal of the Month

    3 FORKLIFTS ON SALE AT ONCE!

    For our August Deal of the Month, Cromer has THREE forklifts on sale and ready for your work site. Choose from any of these:

    #1 – A 2006 Combilift C8000 three-stage LPG forklift. 8,000lbs capacity. Off lease with only 3685 hours of use. $29,500.

    #2 – A 2006 Mitsubishi FG25N three-stage LPG forklift. 5,000lbs capacity. Nice lift—this unit only has 1601 hours on it. $15,900.

    #3 – A 2009 Bendi B30E three-stage electric forklift. 3,000lbs capacity. Like new, only 1400 hours on it. $38,000.

    Call Cromer at 800-974-5438 and ask for Vince Williams. He has these three forklifts ready to ship.

  • New Cromer Forklift Hauler Truck

    By Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss | Aug 18, 2014

    Cromer technicians deliver new forklifts to your work site. Sometimes we also pick up forklifts in need of repair, and return them once we've fixed them. Many of you have seen a Cromer hauler truck pulling up.

    Here's the newest hauler!

    This Volvo super-cab flatbed can haul pretty much any forklift in existence. We've tasked it to delivering forklifts (new purchases and rentals) to customer work sites. But if you have a forklift in need of serious repair - or if it's ready for retirement - you might see this hauler truck coming for it!

  • Forklift Lifting a Forklift? Do Not Try This at Work!

    By Chris Williams, The Forklift Boss | Aug 14, 2014
    Have you seen the video where a forklift forklifts a forklift? Sounds funny, but it's actually very dangerous and not recommended at all. Head to our "Creative" Handling Solutions page to see the video.
  • Electric or LPG - Which Forklift Type is More Cost-Effective?

    By Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss | Aug 07, 2014

    We’ve offered the Electric Lift Truck Cost Calculator on our site for a while now. Many of you have used it to determine if electric forklifts would be a better choice than LPG for your next purchase.

    Today we’re going to share some numbers on electric vs. LPG. 3 real-world scenarios where we quoted customers on new forklift purchases. Twice the numbers recommended electric lift trucks due to better maintenance & fuel costs. The third time, however, LPG actually won out.

    It turns out that, in some cases, buying an LPG forklift is more cost-effective over a 5-year period than electric.

    What could such a circumstance involve? Let’s find out.

    Electric Total Cost VS. LPG Total Cost: 3 Scenarios

    These calculations consider the following characteristics over a 5-year period:

    • How many hours a forklift is used per day
    • How many days per week a forklift is used
    • Forklift capacity
    • Energy prices/fuel costs
    • Maintenance costs per operating hour (estimated)

    All are factored into a total cost of ownership, with values compared between a diesel forklift, a propane forklift, and an electric forklift.

    Scenario 1. Quote estimate for 3 forklifts at 5,000 pound capacity, 5 days a week (8 hours per day), with an average operating time of 2,080 hours per year. Diesel forklifts would run $80,654 total cost over 5 years. Propane trucks would cost $83,058. Electric forklifts would cost $61,292.
    Most Cost-Effective – Electric. Savings of $21,766 over propane, $19,362 over diesel. Plus over 70,000 pounds of carbon dioxide and over 30,000 pounds of carbon monoxide saved!

    Scenario 2. Quote estimate for Cemco. (Featured in the December 2013 issue of News from the Forklift Boss.)
    8 forklifts at 6,000 pound capacity, 5 days a week (12 hours per day), with an average operating time of 3,120 hours per year. Diesel forklifts would run $130,741 total cost over 5 years. Propane trucks would cost $123,839. Electric forklifts would cost $70,715.
    Most Cost-Effective – Electric. Savings of $53,124 over propane, $60,027 over diesel. Plus over 150,000 pounds of carbon dioxide and over 60,000 pounds of carbon monoxide saved!

    Scenario 3. Quote estimate for 1 forklift. 5,000 pound capacity, 4 days a week (3 hours per day), with an average operating time of 576 hours per year. Diesel forklifts would run $44,465 total cost over 5 years. Propane trucks would cost $41,575. Electric forklifts would cost $41,844.
    Most Cost-Effective – LPG (Propane). Savings of $269 over electric.

    What happened here? LPG turns out to be the best choice for Scenario 3. It illustrates one key instance when LPG forklifts are more cost-effective than electric – when hours of usage shrink.

    If you use a forklift for half of (or less than) a full workday, the support costs go down. So do the fuel costs. When balanced against the up-front cost of buying the forklift, these lower costs fail to overcome the purchase price. The fewer hours you use it, the more costly electrics can become over time.

    I should note: Not many businesses have a situation like this! This is more of a one-truck company example. Something everyone should keep in mind, even if a 4-hour shift never shows up on your forklift usage register.

    Most of us will use forklifts all day, every day. With 8-hour days, maintenance & fuel costs do overcome the purchase price, and it often becomes more cost-effective to buy electric.

    Bonus: Cutting Out the Pollution

    Another factor to consider is the amount of pollution forklifts generate over time. In Scenario 1 and 2, each electric forklift purchased eliminated up to 125,000 pounds of pollution over 5 years.

    For those businesses who have to maintain CARB Compliance, this is a big deal. Cemco, when it bought those 8 new electric forklifts, brought both their Northern California AND Southern California locations into CARB compliance. They’ll stop over a million pounds of pollution from ever entering the atmosphere.

    (September 2013 Newsletter - Reminder: Keep All Your Forklifts Up to CARB Code)

    What’s the Most Cost-Effective Forklift for You?

    If it’s approaching time to invest in some new forklifts, take this into consideration. Buying electric or LPG depends on hours of usage, total costs, and CARB compliance. Cromer Material Handling is always happy to help you weigh the factors & find the right forklift for your job.

    See you next month!

    -Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss
    Cromer Material Handling


    Cromer Deal of the Month

    2007 JUNGHEINRICH 48-VOLT ELECTRIC - $15,000

    Our July Deal of the Month is a Junghenrich EKS314. These are 48volt three-stage electrics, rated at 3,000 pounds. Great running & operating unit. It's off of a full maintenance lease now. Only $15,000.

    Does the EPRI Calculator say you'd save with an electric forklift? Call Cromer at 800-974-5438 to catch this one on sale today!

    Go comment!
  • New Decals for the Cromer Service Vans

    By Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss | Jul 07, 2014

    The Cromer expansion continues, with new decals on our vans. These vans help us provide parts and on-site service to customers throughout Northern California.

    Our new van decals mean we're easy to spot on the road. Plus our customers know right away what forklift brands we carry, how to find us online...and they know that we're coming to help!

    If you need a Cromer van to drop by for service – maybe a forklift attachment or on-site maintenance – call us at 800-974-5438. We’ll dispatch a van from your nearest Cromer facility.

  • How and When to Replace Forklift Tires Safely

    By Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss | Jul 02, 2014

    Back in 2012 we discussed the types of forklift tires in use. (You can read it here: “Choosing the Right Forklift Tire”.) Let’s continue that discussion today.

    Because eventually, those tires need replacing.

    When to Replace a Forklift Tire

    Every forklift tire has a method of determining when it’s time for replacement.

    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.

    That’s when you NEED to replace the tires. Why? Because it means almost 100% of the shock they encounter from the road is transmitted up through the tire, through the truck, and into the driver!

    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. Since this is solid, you can get a little more operation time from these tires at this point. But it’s not recommended. The chances of slipping and tipping increase.

    Of course, with all forklift tires, if you see one with chunks missing or tears across the rubber? Replace that tire right away!

    How the Replacement Process Works

    Cromer Material Handling operates a mobile tire press. When you have worn forklift tires, you call Cromer and we send the tire truck out to your location.

    The replacement process is similar to replacing car tires. With one notable difference—the pressing/mounting of new tires. Here’s how it works.

    1. Our technician jacks up the lift truck with a properly-balanced jack. (NEVER use another forklift to do this!)
    2. Unscrew and remove the wheel.
    3. Unmount the old tire from the wheel.
    4. Attach the wheel to the tire press.
    5. (Cushion Tire) A new cushion tire is pressed onto the wheel.
      (Solid Pneumatic) A fresh pneumatic tire is mounted onto the wheel.
    6. Reattach the wheel to the forklift. Screw in and lower back to ground.
    7. Test the forklift’s balance and rolling.

    Pretty simple, right? Replacement can be done anywhere, so long as the forklift is parked on a solid surface. It takes less than 30 minutes too.

    Don’t Replace One at a Time

    There’s one warning we need to make clear when it comes to forklift tires: We won’t replace just one.

    If you call us out to replace a forklift tire on its right side, we have to do the left tire too. We won’t just replace one tire on an axle and leave the other one.

    Why not? Because it’s very unsafe. One new tire on the right, and one worn-down tire on the left? It creates an imbalance in the forklift. Which heightens the chance for tipping or skidding out when the forklift’s carrying loads. It’s a serious (and unnecessary) injury risk to your workers.  (We cover this in our Forklift Safety Training classes too.)

    Replacing forklift tires that “still work” is a hard sell. The tire hasn’t failed yet; why pay for a replacement? With the information here, you can make a good judgment call. If a tire has reached a certain level of wear, then it’s not a question of IF the tire will fail to support the forklift. It’s a question of WHEN.

    Compared to the cost of a shop floor accident, replacing a couple forklift tires is nothing! So keep an eye on those tires. When it’s time to replace them, we’ll come do the job quickly and safely.

    See you next month!

    Cromer Deal of the Month

    LIQUIDATION SALE ON USED LOCKERS & METAL SHELVING

    It’s time to liquidate! Cromer’s Deal of the Month is a sale on its stock of industrial shelving and lockers. We have hundreds of units available, in various heights and sizes.

    Boltless Shelving at 6'x4'x8', 4 levels, for only $150. Expanded Metal Lockers at 12"x18"x72", single tier, starting at $179. Lockers at 12"x12"x12", 4 tiers, starting at $149. And more.

    Is it time to get organized? Tidy up your warehouse with all the rack & lockers you’ll need. Call Cromer at 800-974-5438 and ask for the Sale on Shelving!

  • Local Forklift Distributor with a Global Reach

    By Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss | Jun 18, 2014

    Cromer ships our material handling equipment where it's needed. Doesn't matter if it's an electric forklift staying here in the Bay Area, or an order of industrial shelving down to Southern California.

    Our sales aren’t limited to California though. No, Cromer sells globally!

    Recently we sold 2 new forklifts to a Bogota, Colombia sugar plant. The manager came out to Cromer's Oakland headquarters to survey our inventory. He liked the Clark models, particularly the electrics.

    He decided on two Clark GEX30 80-volt indoor/outdoor electrics, plus a charger unit. Brand new and ready for work.

    Here's a couple photos of us loading the forklifts for international shipment.

    Clark GEX30 Electric

    Clark Electric Forklift Going Overseas

    Sending forklifts overseas is not a new experience for us. If that's where the customer needed his equipment…that's where we ship it. Delivering material handling equipment where it needs to go is what Cromer does.

    Interested? Take a look at our New & Used section. No matter where you need it, we have equipment for you.

  • What to Do with a Forklift at its End-of-Life

    By Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss | Jun 06, 2014

    Last month, we discussed how to tell if you have a forklift which has reached the end of the line. (If you missed it, see "Signs a Forklift is Ready for Retirement" below.)

    However, when it's time, there's another issue: HOW do you retire a forklift? You can't just park it next to the dumpster!

    A forklift is a huge, intricate piece of machinery. It contains parts potentially hazardous to the environment (lubricants, batteries). And there’s a lot of recyclable metal inside them.

    So what should you do with a forklift at its end-of-life? Easy. Recycle it!

    How to Recycle an Old Forklift

    Step 1: Call Cromer.
    Step 2: Done.

    It's that easy. Cromer takes care of end-of-life forklifts all the time. This is what we do with your old trucks:

    • A Cromer technician picks up the retired forklift. We do not charge for these pickups.
    • We bring the forklift back to our nearest facility. All the oils & hazardous materials are drained.
    • Extraneous parts are removed. So are the batteries, if it’s electric. The forklift is washed to clear out debris and any remaining fluids.
    • The forklift is then fully dismantled & converted into scrap metal. The metal is sent off for melting down.
    • 100% of the metal is recycled. All hazardous materials are either recycled or safely disposed of.

    This process actually costs us, both in time and fees. We perform the service because it’s necessary. You, our customers, need a safe & reliable place to send your retired forklifts. That’s why we do it.

    Why Recycling is the Best Option for End-of-Life Forklifts

    Why recycle forklifts at all? Several reasons.

    1. It's the responsible choice. Recycling ensures the components are not wasted. They’re either recycled into new steel or re-used in other material handling equipment.
    2. Environmentally Friendly: 100% of a forklift is recycled when Cromer processes old forklifts. All dangerous materials like battery acid & hydraulic oil are properly disposed of. That way we’re taking care not to dump anything harmful in the environment.
    3. Zero Liability: Cromer Material Handling does not recommend selling an old forklift if it’s ready for retirement. You could risk liability if the forklift causes property damage or injury to a worker—even if the forklift is no longer at your facility!

    Now you know how to tell if a forklift is ready for retirement, and what to do with it when that time comes. Cromer is happy to provide new replacement trucks…and to take care of the old one for you. Keep it in mind for those forklifts which keep needing maintenance over and over.


    Cromer Deal of the Month

    SUMMER SPECIAL: WHOLESALE PRICES ON USED FORKLIFT OR SHELVING

    To celebrate the (early) arrival of summer, Cromer Material Handling is offering a super deal on not one, but 2 items in our inventory.

    Item 1: A 2008 CAT 6,000lb Electric Forklift with Demo/new battery. TSU, side shifter, serviced and drive-away ready: Only $14,900.

    Item 2: Like-new Metal Shelving, ideal for warehouse or industrial storage: Only $85.

    There's only a very limited supply on these shelving units. We do have more electric forklifts - but only this one is our June 2014 Deal of the Month! So call Cromer today at 800-974-5438 to grab it before it's gone.

  • News from the Forklift Boss Gets an Upgrade

    By Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss | Jun 05, 2014

    Many of you have read our monthly newsletter, "News from the Forklift Boss" for a couple of years now. Thank you for your time & attention. As this is our 25th year in business, Cromer Material Handling introduced a new design for the newsletter with the May issue.

    If you missed it, here's what the new "News from the Forklift Boss" looks like:


    Not on the subscriber list? You're missing out on all of the following:

    • An original article on the material handling industry; how-to's, industry news, things to consider, & ways to say money.
    • Deal of the Month - Every month we offer a deal to Cromer newsletter subscribers. Sometimes it's a forklift on sale, or a deal on industrial rack & shelving, or a spceial rental rate. Every month is a new deal.
    • Reminders on our special rates for forklift maintenance, pallet jacks and more material handling inventory.

    Sign up today by clicking this "Subscribe" button and entering your email:

    Cromer Material Handling will never sell, rent or trade any emails we receive.

    Hope you enjoy "News from the Forklift Boss"! If you have a question you'd like answered in the newsletter, please send it to info@cromer.com.

  • Happy Cromer Customer: Blaisdell's Business Products

    By Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss | May 30, 2014

    Blaisdell's Business Products is an Oakland supplier of business products. You can order office supplies, ink or toner, furniture, janitorial equipment, coffee and more from their website, BlaisDells.com.

    Margee Witt from BlaisDells came to us for a new forklift. They move a lot of inventory each week; they need plenty of moving power to do it! We sold them a new CAT IC cushion-tire truck to get them around the warehouse nice & smooth.

    As you can see, Margee really likes it!

    Margee on her new CAT Forklift

    She & Michael Witt were kind enough to send us a thank-you note too:
    "Just wanted to thank you for the great deal on the forklift. We really appreciate all your help!"

    Head to www.blaisdells.com if you're in the Bay Area and need regular office supplies or other business products.


    Blaisdell's
    Go comment!
  • Signs a Forklift is Ready for Retirement

    By Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss | May 23, 2014

    Do you have a forklift ready for retirement? There are signs you should look out for. Before they turn into breakdowns that risk worker safety or interrupt operations.

    When a Forklift is Ready to Retire

    After a certain number of years, all forklifts develop issues. Repetitive use carrying heavy loads takes its toll on the equipment’s moving parts. Regular maintenance helps a lot, protecting those moving parts and the workers who use them…but nothing lasts forever.

    There’s a point where continuing to use an older forklift doesn’t make safety-related and financial sense. We call this point “end of life.” After this point, an older forklift has a higher-than-average risk for use. And they cost more to maintain.

    If you track a forklift’s age and maintenance schedule, it’s easy to estimate when a forklift is ready to retire.

    What? You didn’t do that for all your trucks? Uh oh.

    Luckily, a forklift will show signs it’s ready for retirement. All you have to do is spot them.

    Signs a Forklift is Reaching its End of Life

    These are some signs to watch out for:

    1. It’s been in operation for over 10,000 hours. All forklifts with 10,000 operating hours on them need a thorough systems check to make sure it’s still safe to use. It’s closer to 20,000 operating hours? It needs retiring very soon!

    2. The forklift’s maintenance cost doubled (or more) in the past year. Check your balances. Are you spending more on certain forklifts than others?

    3. The forklift is down more than it’s up. If a forklift has had more downtime than uptime, it’s a prime candidate for retirement.

    4. There are more than 4 work orders on the truck in the past year. Number of work orders, whether small fixes or major repairs, can indicate a forklift is on its last legs.

    5. Its safety features are out of date. If your newer forklifts are in use more often because they have better safety features, older forklifts can pose a safety risk not only to their drivers, but those around them.

    One thing to remember, as well: Electric forklifts generally last longer than IC trucks. Keep that in mind when checking for end-of-life signs.

    Dangers of a Failing Forklift

    The older and more worn-down a forklift is, the more likely it will fail while on the job. These failures can endanger the lift truck’s driver, and other workers nearby. Any of the following could happen:

    • Dropping loads
    • Jerking motions while driven
    • Sudden loss of power
    • Equipment freezing up
    • Fluid leaks

    That’s the sort of thing you just don’t want happening out on the floor.

    Next month I’ll explain what to do with a forklift which has reached its end of life. Don’t miss that email if you do have forklifts showing signs that they need to retire!

  • Harvest Season is Coming Soon: Reserve Your Rental Equipment Before It’s Too Late

    By Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss | Apr 02, 2014

    California’s drought has affected all of us. Like you, we conserve water wherever we can at the Cromer facilities.

    Even in drought though, Harvest Season approaches!

    From what our vineyard & produce customers tell us, the Harvest/Crush this year will be shorter than usual due to water availability. Which means the harvesting itself will go more quickly.

    And everyone will need equipment at the same time.

    So NOW is the time to think about what material handling equipment you’ll need to rent.

    Our current rental fleet stands at 200 forklifts (40 more than last year). Each Cromer facility has its own stock of rentals. There’s no minimum, and the average rental forklift’s age is only 2.5 years – the newest you’ll find for any Northern California rental.

    Cromer stocks its rental fleet with a variety of forklifts, accessories and carriers for harvest processing. The list includes:

    • Front Bin Dumpers
    • Rotators
    • Solid Pneumatic, Late Model
    • Cushion LPG & Electric
    • Golf Cart/Burden Carriers

    All this equipment comes from top-rated manufacturers in the material handling business, such as:

    BOLZONI (Clamps, Pallet Handlers)
    CASCADE - Clamps, Push/Pulls
    MALAVAK/LIFT MASTER - Gate Controls, Dumpers
    RIGHTLINE (Forks, Load Handlers)

    If you just need some extra attachments to equip your forklifts for harvest, we’ll drive them out to you. Cromer is able to meet any and all attachment needs for Harvest/Crush.

    How to Reserve a Rental Forklift or Handling Equipment for Harvest

    For Northern California (Sacramento and above) Rentals: Contact our Sacramento facility at 916-371-2004.

    For Central Valley Rentals: Contact the Cromer Manteca location at 209-465-8987.

    If you’re in the Bay Area, you have a special equipment need OR you need to reserve a large amount of equipment, contact Cromer’s Oakland Headquarters at 510-534-6566.

    Remember: Our rental fleet is always reserved well in advance of Harvest Season. Don’t wait until the last minute—or someone else will beat you to it!

    See you next month!

    Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss
    Cromer Material Handling

    Cromer Deal of the Month

    ZERO INTEREST ON JUNGHEINRICH WALKIE JACKS FOR 36 MONTHS

    Upgrade your pallet trucks! Thanks to a limited promotion from Jungheinrich, Cromer is offering electric pallet trucks, end riders and stackers at 0% interest off new.

    Call Cromer at 800-974-5438 for all the details. This offer is only good until June 30!

  • Continuing to Expand: Cromer Doubles its Sacramento Location's Size

    By Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss | Mar 03, 2014

    Last month we told you about moving our Stockton location to a new, much bigger facility in nearby Manteca.

    Now it's Sacramento's turn.

    On March 1, Cromer Material Handling moves its Sacramento location down the street. The new facility is double the size of the old one.

    It moves us from Sacramento to West Sacramento, though.

    It's on 3939 West Capitol Avenue, Suite A. Same area. Still close to 80. Very easy to find.

    Why another move so soon? We needed the space here too!

    Our Central Valley operations continue to grow. The busy season for rentals is coming up fast. Plus we just expanded our inventory with a mass purchase of industrial shelving.

    MORE FOR OUR CUSTOMERS - More Shelving & Electric Forklifts in Stock, Rentals and Repairs

    With the new Manteca facility and the expanded Sacramento facility, Cromer has plenty of additional room for more inventory! Here's a sampling of what's in stock at our new Central Valley facilities.

    RACK AND SHELVING:

    There's a lot of warehousing in the Central Valley. Which means an ever-present need for reliable, expandable rack & shelving. Cromer just acquired the following warehouse rack and industrial shelving, in order to fully stock the new locations.

    10' x 44" Uprights
    10 Foot Uprights for Industrial Shelving

    106" 6,000-lb Beams
    Shelving Beams

    New 42" x 46" Wire Deck

    Wire Decking for Commercial Storage

    Used Boltless Shelving (with wood):
    7' high, 48" x 36"

    Boltless Shelving for Warehouse or Commercial

    Heavy-duty Metal Shelving:
    7' high, 36" x 18"


    (Boltless Shelving also comes in:
    7' high, 36" x 36"
    7' high, 48" x 24")

    ELECTRIC FORKLIFTS:

    Have you tried an electric forklift out yet? These trucks are constantly surprising our customers. The last few times someone returned one of the electric Jungheinrich rentals, they didn't actually want to give it back!

    So we made sure both Sacramento and Manteca have 80-volt electrics in stock, for sale and rent. Hey, give the customers what they want, right?

    MAINTENANCE FACILITIES:

    More space means more room for forklift maintenance. We anticipate being able to handle 50% more in-house maintenance work in Sacramento and Manteca.

    Whether you need to rent forklifts near Stockton or buy a new set of rack in Sac, we have the inventory to make it happen. Not to mention up-to-date, comfortable offices to welcome you.

    Drop by after the 1st and have a look at the new space! Cromer Sacramento is now located at:

    3939 West Capitol Avenue, Suite A
    West Sacramento, California 95691

    See you next month!

    Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss
    Cromer Material Handling

    Have You Seen the New Cromer Video?

    We've posted a brand-new video about Cromer Material Handling on our home page for 2014.

    We wanted the video to provide an overview of Cromer's service and products, so people would know exactly who we are and what we do.

    Plus it was a fun way to kick off our 25th year of business!

    Visit www.cromer.com and click the Play button. Want to leave some feedback? Tweet it to me at @TheForkliftBoss.

    And be sure to send the video to your colleagues afterward!

    Cromer Deal of the Month

    SALES ON RACK AND SHELVING (New & Used)

    The industrial shelving I mentioned earlier? It's all on sale for your Deal of the Month.Shelving Beams

    10' x 44" Uprights - $65

    106" 6,000-lb Beams - $25 each

    New 42" x 46" Wire Deck - only $15.95 each

    Used Boltless Shelving (with wood): 7' high, 48 x 36" - $75

    • 7' high, 36 x 36" - $70
    • 7' high, 48 x 24" - $65

     Heavy-duty Metal Shelving: 7' high, 36" x 18" - $65

    Call Cromer at 800-974-5438 to ask about the shelving on sale. We'll have it ready at your nearest Cromer facility.

  • Cromer Expands from Stockton to Manteca: What We’re Bringing to the Valley

    By Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss | Feb 03, 2014

    In January of 2014, Cromer tripled our operations size in the Central Valley with a new Manteca location. Moving operations from Stockton to this new location, we've expanded into a new 12,000 square foot (1.2 acre!) facility.

    Back in June of 2011, Cromer Equipment bought the assets of Quality Lift Truck Inc. in Stockton. The acquisition moved us into the Valley, able to service customers from Modesto to the Oregon border.

    In less than 3 years, Cromer Material Handling expanded so much that we needed more space!

    The new Manteca location is right off the freeway, on Moffat Blvd. It will carry the full line of Cromer forklifts, warehousing supplies and related industrial equipment. As well as the new equipment and services we've picked up over the past year.

    For our customers in the Valley - and those new customers who'll come to us in 2014 - Below is a list of what you'll find at Cromer Manteca.

    Everything you found at the Stockton location, you'll find in Manteca. And more - we have additional electric forklifts for sale & rent.

    Drop by whenever you'd like for a look around! Cromer Manteca is located at:

    1813 Moffat Boulevard, Manteca, California 95336

    New Arrivals

    7-FOOT like-new Boltless shelving. 6 sections tall, 36" and 48". Starting at $60!

    Comes with 5/8 particle board. 150 units - 65% Off New

    Forklift Tires & Parts

    With the expanded Manteca facility, we're able to stock a larger inventory of forklift tires and parts.

    PORTABLE TIRE PRESS, ABLE TO COME TO YOUR FACILITY.

    Forklift Parts for All Makes & Models

     

    Forklift Rentals

    Forklift rentals up to 55,000lb Capacity available. Try renting electric and see the difference! (Indoor and Outdoor Electrics available.)

    If you need a specific model or weight class, and it's not at the Manteca location? We'll drive one out for you.The Pink Forklift

    30% OFF FIRST QUARTER RENTAL RATES. Just mention this newsletter!

    If you want the Pink Forklift, Cromer will donate 20% of the proceeds to a charity of your choice.

    Check out Marshall being interviewed on CBS "Good Day Sacramento" - on the Pink Forklift!

    Rack and Shelving

    Industrial shelving. Pallet and cantilever rack storage. Cromer Manteca will have extra rack & shelving inventory for our Central Valley warehouse customers.

    Uprights

    New heavy-duty racking from $80 per 42" X 12' Upright, and $49/pair for beams!

    (Oakland also has a large inventory of new and used rack and shelving.)

    Pallet Jacks

    Doosan Pallet Jacks: $249 All Day Long

    Clark Pallet Jacks: $299 All Day Long

     

     

    Our Jungheinrich electric pallet jacks fly out the door at every location. We expect Manteca will be no different, so you'll find plenty of pallet jacks there!

    Forklift Maintenance

    Need help with maintenance? Cromer Manteca has 5 journeyman road technicians on-site for forklift & material handling equipment service. Don't miss your regular maintenance checks!

    Cromer Deal of the Month: 2012 CAT 3-WHEEL ELECTRIC - $10,000 Off New Pricing2012 Cat Electric

    This 3,000lb capacity electric forklift only has 77 hours on it. 188tsu, SS, 48-volt. Comes with charger. Pick it up for only $18,950.

    That's $10,000 off its price new. Or lease it for $355/month for 60 months. Call Cromer at 800-974-5438 and ask for the 2012 Cat Electric!

  • Cromer's Pink Forklifts Featured on CBS Local Sacramento

    By Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss | Jan 27, 2014

    Cromer Manteca just opened its doors, and we already have the media banging on them! CBS' "Good Day Sacramento" came out to talk with us about our pink forklifts and supporting charities like the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

    Watch the broadcast here:
    Pink Forklifts for a Cause - CBS Local Sacramento

    Cromer picked up two of these pink forklifts, made by Clark as part of their "Raising Hope" campaign. They are available for sale or rental. For each one, we will donate 20% to either the Susan G. Komen Foundation, or to the charity of the customer's choice.

    Stop by our Manteca facility for a ride-around in one!

    Go comment!
  • Last Day to Buy Material Handling Equipment and Get a Tax Break!

    By Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss | Dec 31, 2013

    We mentioned Section 179 back in October. It’s a tax deduction that lets you “deduct the full purchase price of qualifying equipment and/or software purchased or financed during the tax year.”

    So if you’ve bought or leased material handling equipment from Cromer this year – right up until December 31st – you may qualify for the Section 179 tax break.

    That means you have today only! If you anticipate an equipment purchase, do so before the 1st! Go to Section179.org for more information, or contact Cromer at 800-974-5438.

  • EPRI Case Study: Cromer Helps a Building Products Manufacturer Go Electric

    By Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss | Dec 31, 2013

    People are planning for the holidays, and for what their business will do in 2014. If you have forklifts which need maintenance or replacement, here’s something you should read.

    It’s a case study published by EPRI, the Electric Power Research Institute, just 3 weeks ago:
    Electric Forklift Conversion Transforms Building Products Manufacturer - EPRI

    It shows the direct benefits of replacing LPG forklifts with electrics – more productivity, a smoother ride for workers, much lower fueling costs.

    And Cromer helped make it possible.

    A Case Study of CEMCO’s Conversion from LPG Lift Trucks to Electrics

    The case study is about a company named CEMCO. CEMCO manufactures building products like steel framing. Their Pittsburg, CA facility needed to replace 8 forklifts in the past 2 years.

    They initially wanted to buy new LPG models. But research on costs brought electrics under consideration. Caterpillar 80-volt electric trucks, specifically. That’s when we stepped in to help.

    Good Prices and a Guarantee: How Cromer Helped CEMCO Go Electric

    The biggest obstacle people have to buying electric forklifts is the upfront cost. It’s higher than most LPG models, which makes some hesitant.

    We believed the electrics would save them a lot of money (over $400,000 over 5 years of operation) and improve their facility’s productivity. We were so confident, we offered them a 90-day guarantee on the new electric forklifts:
    If they didn’t like the trucks, we would exchange for LPG models.

    As you’ll read in the case study…CEMCO never took advantage of our guarantee. Not only did they save on propane costs, they’ll reduce carbon emissions by 1.7 million pounds over 5 years.

    Once they realized the benefits and cost savings, they rushed to buy more forklifts!

    Lower Fuel Costs and Fewer Carbon Emissions: This Can Be Your Facility Too

    So if you’ve thought about using electric forklifts, this case study gives you a roadmap and plenty of good reasons. The new 80-volts give you two shifts per battery charge. Maintenance is cheaper, and they’re just as hard-working as the LPGs.

    Curious about how electric forklifts operate? The EPRI case study has a primer on electric charging technology for trucks. Download the PDF at the EPRI website.

    And if you’d like an estimate of your own cost savings, use the EPRI Electric Conversion Calculator on Cromer.com: Gas vs. Electric Cost Comparison Calculator

    We at Cromer Material Handling wish all of our readers a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Have a safe and happy holiday.

    Then join us back here for 2014!

    Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss
    Cromer Material Handling

    Cromer Deal of the Month

    Uprights

    12’ Uprights for Pallet Storage $89.60/Each

    We have a selection of brand-new pallet storage uprights in stock. Need more storage space in the warehouse for 2014? Pick up some of these uprights for only $89.60 each.

    We have a large number of these uprights…but since they’re our Deal of the Month, they’ll sell out fast. Call Cromer at 800-974-5438 and ask for the new pallet storage uprights if you want some!

  • Forklift Driver Engulfed in Flames - An Avoidable Accident

    By Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss | Dec 20, 2013

    Last month, Dailymail.co.uk posted an article about a forklift driver in Mentor, OH. He was transporting propane tanks using a forklift. One of the tanks fell off the forks...and he ran right over it.

    The entire truck burst into flames.

    Video from the surveillance cameras shows a sudden fireball engulfing the forklift. Fortunately, the driver is seen walking out of the flames to safety. He suffered only minor burns to his face and hands.

    A very lucky man. But the accident was entirely preventable.

    The article indicates that the propane tanks were not properly tied down. Improperly secured propane tanks - especially when full - are extremely dangerous!

    We at Cromer are glad the driver was okay. At the same time, let this serve as a lesson to all our readers and customers. Never transport fuel tanks, or any other potentially-explosive items without proper safety procedures.

    Read the article (includes the video of the accident) here: Man Escapes Propane Tank Explosion After Catching on Fire