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
  • BYD is Changing the Industry with Their New Electric Forklifts

    By Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss | Jul 05, 2016

    Change is coming to the way we charge and run our electric forklifts.

    The flat plate lead-acid battery has dominated the electric forklift power supply for over 60 years. Lead-acid battery technology hasn’t changed much in that time. Each battery still provides roughly 5 hours of run time, when paired with a conventional high-frequency charger.

    After over 37 years in the industry, and 27 years in business, I think we’ve come to an important intersection in the future of electric forklifts. It’s called BYD.

    The BYD team has built an electric forklift that can run 2-3 shifts at a time. It has a 10-year battery warranty and needs no battery maintenance. None! Zero!

    What is BYD?

    Build Your Dreams (BYD) started in 1995 as a manufacturer of cellphone batteries. Today it has grown to a 180,000-employee company. Its manufacturing has expanded into making electric buses, automobiles...and now forklifts.

    Modeled off European designs, BYD's line of forklifts cover the 3-wheel and 5,000-6,000 lb. 4-wheel electric markets. They use the same motors and controllers found in the industry’s top electric forklifts.

    But nobody else can match BYD on run time. Having cornered the market on iron phosphate, BYD is the first forklift manufacturer to use a built-in lithium iron phosphate battery.

    CHE30

    The BYD ROI – Zero-Maintenance Batteries

    By eliminating the need to water, provide ventilation, or change battery cells, the BYD forklift gives us an ROI unseen in the material handling industry. We’re talking zero maintenance.

    How? Electric forklift batteries are big heavy boxes full of harsh chemicals and harmful gases. They need special disposal procedures to drain off the acids and remove the heavy metals. Otherwise the batteries will contaminate the environment for centuries! Right?

    Not anymore.

    • BYD batteries are much smaller, and contain no corrosive acids.
    • No harmful gases are emitted at any time.
    • There are no heavy metals inside to poison plants & animals.
    • The batteries are so environmentally-friendly that you could just take one out and throw it in the dumpster!

    We at Cromer and Gray Lift would like to know: If we can provide an electric forklift that gives your business a better uptime/utility than any other forklift, AND is environmentally-friendly, is that enough to consider a look at BYD’s products?

    Curious? Schedule a Demo with Cromer

    Cromer is the ONLY dealer with BYD electrics in Northern and Central California. We spent years negotiating with BYD to finally bring these fantastic forklifts to all of you!

    Interested? We’ll provide you with information on BYD and arrange a demo. What we have is a forklift that will change how you look at electrics.

    To schedule a BYD demo or request information, please call Cromer Headquarters at (800) 974-5438.

    Until next month!

    Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss
    Cromer Material Handling

    ForkliftBoss.com Deal of the Month

    LEASE A NEW BYD FORKLIFT! STARTING AT ONLY $618/MONTH

    BC27Ready to try out an industry-changing BYD electric forklift? Here’s your chance.

    For our June Deal of the Month, we’re doing a lease option on two BYD forklifts: the ECB18 and the ECB27.

    The ECB18 is a three-wheeler, with a 3,500-lb. capacity. The ECB27 is a 6,000 lb. capacity, and carries the Food and Beverage spec. Both trucks are 80-volt with dual motors and a 5-year, 9,000-hour warranty.

    If you use a 6,000-lb. electric with single double, you’ll increase productivity 30-50%!

    Use them indoors or outdoors. Both models are rated IP54 – enclosed against dirt, dust, and splashing water.

    BYD will have 17 more models in the next two years. Try one out now and get ahead of the curve.

    Lease the ECB18 for $618/month with 2,500 hours a year. Lease the ECB27 for $792/month with 2,500 hours a year.

    To get your hands on one, call Cromer at 800-974-5438 and ask for the BYD Lease. We only have a couple of these, so don’t wait!

  • Cromer Doubles its Inventory and Service Area—We've Acquired Gray Lift in Central California!

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

    In case you haven’t heard the news – Cromer has acquired Gray Lift, Inc. in Central California. Cromer is now one of the largest material handling dealers in California.

    This adds 3 new Locations to the Cromer map: Fresno, Bakersfield, and Santa Maria.

    Huge deal, right? With this one move we’ve doubled our staff, our inventory, our locations, and our reach.3owners

    What does this mean for you, our customers?

    For Cromer Customers: More Services, More Mechanics, More Facilities

    You, our customers, made this move possible. We now have 6 sales & service facilities to serve you in Northern and Central California:

    • Oakland
    • Sacramento
    • Manteca
    • Fresno
    • Bakersfield
    • Santa Maria

    Our total staff has increased to over 140, including 80 mechanics and 12 parts pros. It’s amazing—we have 360 years' total experience in parts (any part, any model).

    Thanks to the Gray Lift pros, we can also offer new services like industrial doors service & repair across Northern California. Keep your doors & gates in working shape with Cromer service!

    What Prompted the Acquisition? Former Owners Wanted Someone to Build on Their Success

    Many of you know Jay and Richard Waugh, Gray Lift’s former owners. When they decided it was time to retire, they wanted to find a successor. Someone who’d keep up Gray Lift’s quality standard and build on their success.

    I brought them a plan to continue growing Gray Lift as part of the Cromer family. They thought it was a good idea, and we spent many weeks negotiating out a fair deal for everyone involved. Especially the Gray Lift employees. We wanted them to feel welcome and enjoy working with us.

    Thanks for joining us on this new journey. We look forward to serving you as the bigger, better Cromer Material Handling.

    Until next month!

    Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss
    Cromer Material Handling

    MEMORIAL DAY SPECIAL – JUNGHEINRICH EJE 120 FOR ONLY $3,995 EACH

    Our May Deal of the Month is a special deal on the Jungheinrich EJE 120 electric walkie pallet truck.eje120white

    The EJE 120 has a 4,500 lb. capacity. Ideal for loading and unloading trailers as well as transporting loads over short distances. It maneuvers easily around racks. Its built-in charger makes charging fast & simple.

    We already sent out a special Memorial Day Sale email—buy an EJE 120 for only $3,995 until May 31. But for you, our newsletter readers, we’re extending the deadline.

    Call Cromer at 800-974-5438 and ask for the “EJE Extended” offer. This code will get you a Jungheinrich EJE 120 for $3,995 until June 10!

    We do have several EJE 120s in stock. But when they’re gone, so is this deal!

    1 Comment
  • 11 Ideas to Improve Warehouse Productivity, Minimize Downtime, and Keep Workers Safe

    By Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss | May 03, 2016

    In our industry, time and money are precious commodities. We need all the time we can get, just like we need to save as much as we can (without sacrificing safety of course!).

    Every now and then it pays to stop, take a breath, and look at what you’re doing day to day. What’s the best use of my time this week? How about spending 10 minutes on a maintenance check, so you don’t have to do an expensive equipment repair next month?

    Here are 11 ways to save money (and time!) in your warehouse. Why 11? Because this comes to you from the Forklift Boss. We give you more than the usual 10!

    1. Get your forklifts serviced according to their recommended service intervals. It keeps the forklift running smoothly, and that saves fuel and major repairs.
    2. Do your daily checks. Oils, water, tires, seat belts, mirrors, rating plate. It only takes a few minutes. Don’t forget the emergency disconnect for electrics too!
    3. Raise those forks. If your operators drag forks on the ground, you’re wearing those forks down AND burning up fuel. Totally avoidable if you raise the forks up, even a little. We covered fork wear and what to watch for in our March 2015 newsletter.
    4. Call in problems right when you see them. Don’t leave it for the next shift, or you could have an expensive and maybe dangerous failure during that shift. Make sure everyone knows—if you see a problem, report it now. warehouse-cromerapr2016
    5. Keep an eye on hydraulic hoses for wear. Watch for splitting, cracks or weeping. If you see any of these, replace the hoses. It saves you the cost of equipment failure later.
    6. Forklifts are giant vacuum cleaners. Once a week, use compressed air to clear the truck out. Especially the radiator. You don’t want dust or debris to block your radiator—or you’ve got an overheated, out-of-commission forklift.
    7. Make sure all your forklift operators are properly trained. This can cost you more than you might think. What if they don’t know how to follow the Stability Triangle? Do they know each forklift’s capacity? If not, you can quickly have overloading issues, damaged racks or product, even injuries.
    8. Check your tire wear. If a forklift operates in the same direction all the time, turning the same corners over and over, it will cause premature tire wear on one side. Everything in a forklift (including the operator) rides on those tires. Get the maximum use out of them by rotating forklifts throughout the warehouse. Twice a month is good, once a week is better.
    9. Use the WOW Principle to keep electric forklift batteries running longer. WOW = “Water On Wednesdays.” Fill the battery after charging. And charge them on a schedule—don’t let operators “top up” the charge at random points throughout the day. That can reduce battery life & force costly replacements.
    10. How much natural light comes into the warehouse? Could you add a window or skylight to bring in more? Even a little more natural light saves on energy. If you do add a window, paint the walls around it white to improve light levels all around.
    11. Inspect your warehouse for water leaks quarterly. This might seem silly in a drought, but we’re industrial pros. We know the damage even a little water can do.

    You might have some of these already on the weekly schedule. If so, good! You’re in a good spot.

    If not, it doesn’t take much to add them. You can save quite a bit of money, and even some time, along the way.

    Until next month!

    Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss
    Cromer Material Handling

    ForkliftBoss.com Deal of the Month

    IMG_3761TWO CAT 2C5000 LPG FORKLIFTs – ONLY $22,965 EACH (OR LEASE FOR $276/MONTH)

    Our April Deal of the Month is not one, but two CAT LPG forklifts!

    The 2C5000 is a 5,000-pound capacity truck with non-marking cushion tires and aluminum tanks. They’re a breeze to ride, and take corners nice & tight.

    These trucks also have clamp holds to keep loads on. And a fire extinguisher, just in case!

    Both forklifts are brand new. They’re checked over and ready for the warehouse.

    Buy a Cat 2C5000 for only $22,965. OR lease one for $276/month (1,000 annual hours).

    To order, visit ForkliftBoss.com, or call Cromer at 800-974-5438. We do have two of these forklifts, but once they’re gone, they’re gone.

  • Spring Service Special – Protect Your Forklifts from Weather Damage

    By Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss | Apr 04, 2016

    Northern California’s rainy winter has been great for the drought, but all the rain and moisture can take its toll on your forklifts.

    To help you protect your forklifts against the weather, we’re offering a Spring Service Special.

    Spring Service Details – Brake Checks, Oil & Filter Change, Operational Tests and Tuning

    Our Spring Service is simple. We pick up your forklift, hold it for 3 days, and perform a major interval D-service on it.

    The service includes:Cromer Spring Service Special

    • Over 100 check points, from mast to electrical
    • Steam cleaning
    • Ignition tuning
    • Operational tests
    • Oil & filter change
    • New brake seals
    • Cooling system flush

    For full details, please read our Major Interval D-Service Flyer (PDF)

    Your workers don’t need to be left stranded, though. We can offer you a loaner forklift for those 3 days. It’s a perfect chance to try out a new electric forklift, if you haven’t done so yet.

    Cromer customers get the Spring Service Special for $1,399 per forklift, plus $110/day if you need a loaner.

    Spring is here! Get your forklifts serviced and ready for the summer ahead.

    Until next month!

    Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss
    Cromer Material Handling

    ForkliftBoss.com Deal of the Month

    1998 CLARK CGP30 LPG FORKLIFT – ONLY $9,500Clark CGP30 LPG Forklift

    Our March Deal of the Month is a Clark CGP30 LPG forklift. We only have one, and it’s a steal, so don’t wait!

    6,000-pound capacity, with a three-stage mast and a new solid drive. It’s an older model, but it’s still in great shape, with 3,125 hours on it.

    What can you get this truck for? Only $9,500.
    You read that right.

    To order, visit the link above, or call Cromer at 800-974-5438. Like we said, there’s only one of these, so call before another reader does!

  • How to Make Forklift Safety Training Painless

    By Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss | Mar 03, 2016

    First off! The winner of Cromer’s Scavenger Hunt is:
    Mark Colbert from Leslie’s Organics in Petaluma!

    Congratulations Mark and thanks for playing! Your $250 Visa gift card is on its way.

    For the rest of our readers – It’s time for a Forklift Safety Training reminder!

    Our forklift training classes are going gangbusters, which is typically the case early in the year. Are your workers due for renewing their training, too?

    OSHA requires employers to confirm that their forklift operators are trained & evaluated every 3 years. Many companies train more frequently, by our experience, and that keeps more workers safe—and we definitely want to see that!

    How Quickly a Lapse in Safety Training Can Hurt You

    Last March we went through the benefits of regular forklift safety training. It’s important to revisit this topic. Not only is it easy to forget, but forgetting can open your business to real danger.

    safetytrainingFeb16_1Let’s illustrate the dangers with an example. Meet Mike.

    Mike is a site manager, with 1 warehouse and 6 forklifts. He has 18 workers, 6 to a shift. All 18 workers were trained in 2013 and are due for a refresher this year.

    Mike tries to find a time when he can send everyone out for training. Schedules conflict. He gets distracted by orders. No one gets their safety refresher.

    One day a forklift driver takes a turn in the warehouse at an excessive speed and runs into a rack, causing his pallet to fall onto the foot of a nearby worker, breaking it.

    Now Mike has a workplace accident. An injured worker, an insurance claim, and he faces an OSHA fine of up to $70,000.

    Don’t let this happen to you. Keep everyone up to date on their safety training.

    3 Ways to Get Your Workers Trained

    Stagger groups of workers for training. Cromer provides forklift safety training at its Oakland facility from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. one Friday each month. Send a few of your workers out each month to get their training and they’ll come back with a Safety Training Certificate good for another three years. Cost is $115 per forklift operator.

    Bring a Cromer Trainer onsite for safety training. If you have five or more forklift operators to be trained, schedule a Cromer trainer to come onsite to your facility. It reduces downtime for your workers and shows them the safety pitfalls that exist where they work every day.

    Train your Trainer. If you want to have an in-house Trainer, then send one of your staff to our Train the Trainer workshop. We offer this 8-hour class one day every two months at our Oakland facility. The cost is $795 and includes training materials and lunch.

    Time to Book Some Training

    Forklift Safety Training is a Federal and State requirement—we all know it. Everyone does have to get their training in. So, let’s all do what we can to make it happen!

    Our next forklift operator training dates are March 18, April 22 and May 20. Signup details are on our Safety Training page.

    Our next Train the Trainer workshop dates are March 10 and May 5. Signup details at our Train the Trainer page.

    Don’t put off signup. As I said, the classes are filling up like crazy. And the last thing you want is to fall out of OSHA compliance!

    Until next month!

    Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss
    Cromer Material Handling

    ForkliftBoss.com Deal of the Month

    2009 MITSUBISHI ELECTRIC FORKLIFT WITH NEW BATTERY – ONLY $14,000

    Mitsubishi FB18NT ElectricLooking for a stalwart electric truck? Take a look at this Mitsubishi FB18NT forklift. It’s an electric sit-down with 3,500-pound capacity and a three-stage mast.

    It has a new battery and only 4,000 hours on it. Ready to go the moment it arrives at your work-site.

    Price on this Mitsubishi truck is only $14,000. To order, visit the link above, or call Cromer at 800-974-5438.

  • Cromer’s Scavenger Hunt: Win a Visa Gift Card or Safety Equipment!

    By Chris Williams, The Forklift Boss | Feb 16, 2016

    Welcome to 2016! It’s a new year, and we at Cromer wanted to start off on the right foot. What could we do to make 2016 great? Hmmm, it should be something different…something fun.

    Guess what we came up with? We’re running a Scavenger Hunt!

    No, nobody has to go driving around Northern California. (We don’t want anyone to miss the Super Bowl.) This scavenger hunt is online. It’s easy, and you can win one of 4 prizes. Here’s how you play.

    What You Do – Visit Cromer Sites, Find the Codes

    1. Visit www.cromer.com and www.forkliftboss.com. SCAVENGERHUNT
    2. Look through the products and pages. You’re looking for this:
      There are 3 of these images hidden on both websites. 1 on Cromer.com, 2 on ForkliftBoss.com. Next to each image is a code word.
    3. Find & collect all 3 code words.
    4. Email the 3 code words to ecommerce@cromer.com. Include your full name, address and phone for shipping.

    What You Win

    The first person to send in all 3 code words wins a $250 Visa Gift Card!

    The second person gets a Cromer seat cover. The third gets an orange safety vest, and the fourth gets a green safety vest.

    The sooner you find & send in those code words, the better the prize you can win!

    Important Note: The Scavenger Hunt ends on February 14th, Valentine’s Day. You must find & send in the code words before then. Winners will be notified after the Scavenger Hunt ends.

    Have a Question for the Forklift Boss? Send It In!

    We’re always looking for questions to answer in our 2016 issues of “News from the Forklift Boss”. If you have a question about forklift maintenance, warehouse management, forklift parts or other material handling equipment, please send it to info@cromer.com.

    Good luck on the Scavenger Hunt! See you next month.

    Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss
    Cromer Material Handling

    ForkliftBoss.com Deal of the Month

    BENDI SWING REACH TURRET ELECTRIC FORKLIFT WITH NEW BATTERY – ONLY $23,500Bendi B30E

    Our first 2016 Deal of the Month is this 2008 Bendi B30E electric forklift. It’s a three stage, man down swing reach turret with a 3,000lb capacity. It makes short work of stacking warehouse shelves.

    Used with 1275 hours on it. Tested and ready to go right now. Includes a 48-volt charger.

    For the January Deal, we’ll put in a NEW forklift battery. You get this forklift plus a new battery for only $23,500.

    Call Cromer at 800-974-5438 to order this Bendi forklift plus battery today. Or visit ForkliftBoss.com to order it online!

  • Holiday Gift for All Businesses: The Section 179 Tax Deduction Just Got a Huge Boost

    By Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss | Dec 22, 2015

    Merry Christmas from the Forklift Boss! I have a gift to share with everyone today.

    Last month we talked about the amount reductions for Section 179 in 2015. As of this week, those reductions are gone!

    Section 179 Now Permanent at $500,000, not $25,000, for All 2015

    Congress has enhanced and extended Section 179. The deduction limit is now permanently set at $500,000—far higher than the $25,000 we had before.

    The Section 179 tax deduction will be retroactive to ALL equipment purchased or leased in 2015.

    From now on, the amount will be indexed to inflation in $10,000 increments, as well.

    Tax Savings with 179!This translates to a huge tax savings for everyone. If you bought any of the following this year, you can use the Section 179 deduction:

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

    Click here for the Deduction Calculator to see how much you’ve already saved.

    You have almost 2 weeks left in the year (as of this post) to buy more equipment, if you need it!

    Plus, the 50% bonus depreciation is extended through 2019. Though the amount allowed goes down to 40% in 2018, and 30% in 2019.

    Taking a Moment to Appreciate

    2015 has been quite a year for us at Cromer. We’re glad to have the opportunity to help so many of our customers build their businesses.

    In 2015 we launched our ForkliftBoss.com ecommerce store, and expanded our territory farther across Northern California. In 2016 we plan to continue these expansions, with more partner deals and new products.

    Since you’re reading this newsletter, you’re already in the front seat. You’ll know what deals we have coming before anyone else.

    If you’re feeling generous, please forward this newsletter to a colleague who isn’t subscribed yet. Subscription is free and easy on Cromer.com (and ForkliftBoss.com).

    Make sure to notify your CPA about the Section 179 tax changes. (Hopefully they already know, but just in case.)

    We at Cromer hope you have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. See you in 2016!

    Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss
    Cromer Material Handling

    ForkliftBoss.com Deal of the Month

    2015 DOOSAN 5,000lb FORKLIFT – ONLY $20,900

    Doosan GC25E LPG Forklift For 2015’s last Deal of the Month, we have not one, but four brand-new Doosan GC25E-5LP LPG forklifts.

    This is a three-stage truck with great lift, disc brakes and a 5,000-pound capacity. Operating one of these, you’re ready to haul everything the warehouse can throw at you.

    We’re selling 4 of these forklifts for $20,900 each. You also get a FREE extended warranty for 5 years/10,000 powertrain hours!

    Ready to use that 179 deduction on a new Doosan? Call Cromer at 800-974-5438 to order today.

  • Reminder: Section 179 Tax Deduction Still Available (at a Reduced Amount)

    By Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss | Dec 03, 2015

    We're all thinking of the holidays these days. Shopping, seeing relatives, lots of cooking...

    Before that, let the Forklift Boss give you a quick business reminder. There’s one month left in the year. One month left to use the Section 179 tax deduction for buying/leasing equipment.

    Section 179 changed for 2015. There are important differences you should know. That’s what we’re covering right here.

    What It Is

    First, a quick refresher. IRS Tax Code Section 179 is a special deduction on buying new & used business equipment. It allows a business to deduct the full price of purchased (or leased) equipment in the year it was purchased and put into service.

    We described it last year as, "putting 5-7 years’ worth of tax benefits into your pocket in one tax year."

    You’ll find the ins and outs on 179 at the Section 179 FAQs page. What’s important now is what’s different for this year.

    What's Different This Year

    Congress lowered the 2015 deduction limit back down to $25,000. There’s also no bonus depreciation this year (it used to be a 50% one-time depreciation).

    However, this still brings a lot of tax savings. Let’s walk through an example.

    Section179.org includes a Deduction Calculator to show you how much you can save. There’s an electric forklift on ForkliftBoss.com right now for $32,500. We plug that number into the calculator, and we get:

    Example Section 179 Deduction

    The total equipment cost goes from $32,500 to $23,225. After using the 179 deduction, you save almost $10,000!

    What This Means for Cromer Customers

    Section 179 still benefits you. You’ll see a tax savings on almost all Cromer products. I had a customer come in just last week & pick up a stack of warehouse rack. He told me he did it now instead of in January because of 179. It helped him justify the up-front cost.

    If you still have purchases in mind for 2015, now’s the time to get them in. And to use the Section 179 tax deduction.

    See you next month!

    Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss
    Cromer Material Handling

    ForkliftBoss.com Deal of the Month

    BUY A FORKLIFT, GET A FREE PALLET JACK

    doosanpalletjack For the November deal of the month, we’d like to continue last month’s giveaway. But this time we’re upping the stakes.

    Now, if you buy a new OR used forklift from Cromer, you get a manual pallet jack. Free.

    We have Clark and Doosan manual pallet jacks in stock and ready to roll. You’re looking at carrying capacities of up to 5,500lb—plenty to move full pallets where they need to go in the warehouse.

    This Deal of the Month applies for ALL new & used forklifts in the Cromer inventory—including the forklifts on ForkliftBoss.com.

    But it only lasts until Christmas! So order your forklifts before it’s too late.

    Click the link to visit ForkliftBoss.com or call Cromer at 800-974-5438. Make sure to mention the Pallet Jack Deal!

  • Forklift Safety Accessories: What's Out There, and How it Helps

    By Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss | Nov 02, 2015

    Just this month a forklift operator in the UK died when his forklift fell and crushed him. He could have survived if he’d worn his seat belt that day.

    In 2014 a forklift operator runs over a warehouse worker who was looking to the right and didn’t see or hear the forklift coming.

    As much as we try to prevent terrible workplace accidents like these, they do happen. That doesn’t mean we should stop trying to prevent them though.

    I spoke with a new customer the other day about accidents like these. Then I found out he didn’t know what a blue light was.

    I suggested he subscribe to this newsletter, which he did. For his sake, and the sake of any subscribers who could use a reminder, let’s look at the safety accessories available in our industry.

    Forklift Safety Accessories & Their Uses

    BLUELIGHT_Blue Light. We did a whole newsletter on these. Blue Lights attach to forklifts, and cast a blue light on the ground before or behind the forklift as it moves.

    safetyvest-orange_Safety Vests. Highway repair workers wear safety vests all the time. Those neon orange & yellow vests you can see a mile away? That’s why. They make you just as visible in a warehouse environment too.

    strobelight1_Strobe Lights. While a blue light points down, a strobe light is positioned around eye-level. When it activates, all workers immediately see the flash. Right away they know large equipment is coming, or someone’s had an accident. The worker in the YouTube video above would have seen a strobe light & avoided injury.

    lpgtank_Lightweight Propane Tanks. The new Doosan composite tanks we mentioned in September actually improve safety too. A much lighter LPG tank saves your back (since it’s only 7 pounds), and reduces injuries from dropping (it will just bounce off your shoe).

    SeatCaddy-Back_Seat Caddy. Caddies fit over the forklift seat, with pockets on the back side. They hold tools, water, phones and other small items. Which keeps these items out of the operator’s hands and lap, so he can focus on the important thing—driving!

    BackupAlarm_Backup Alarms. We’ve all heard these. Beep! Beep! Forklift backing up! Get out of the way and you don’t get run over.

    ledroadflarelights_LED Road Flare. These are big flat LED lights with a magnetic back. Push a button & it lights up. Put one on a forklift and you have an instant warning system. If the operator lights up the LED Road Flare, then something’s wrong with the forklift. You could also put them on doorways, racks, gates…anywhere you want to let people know there’s a problem.

    How & Where to Use Safety Accessories in Your Facility

    Here’s my idea for a fully safety-conscious workplace.

    1. Each forklift is equipped with seat belts, blue lights, backup alarms, a composite LPG tank and a seat caddy.
    2. Electric Pallet Jacks are also equipped with a blue light and backup alarm.
    3. LED Road Flares stand attached to every row of shelving in the warehouse, every forklift, and at both entry & exit gates.
    4. Workers assigned safety vests, gloves & hard hats (as needed), with extras available at midway points in the warehouse/facility.
    5. Safety Training for all workers, renewed annually (at least), to make sure everyone knows what to watch out for, and what to do in the event of an accident.

    Seems pretty simple when you read it. It’s always more complicated in practice, I know. But it does work. It does keep our workers safer.

    You’ll find all of these products on Cromer’s ecommerce site ForkliftBoss.com:

    Seat Caddy
    Blue Light
    Strobe Light
    Backup Alarm
    Safety Vest (Green)
    Safety Vest (Orange)
    Composite LPG Tank from Doosan

    See you next month!

    Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss
    Cromer Material Handling

    ForkliftBoss.com Deal of the Month

    FREE SAFETY VEST AND SEAT CADDY WITH EVERY FORKLIFT

    oct2015_dealYour workers’ safety is paramount. That’s why we’re offering some of our newest Cromer products for the October Deal of the Month:
    Buy a forklift, get a free safety vest & seat caddy.

    Cromer Safety Vests come in green (pictured) and orange. They include pockets for your phone, pens, notepads, and more.

    Cromer Seat Caddies drape on your forklift’s seat. They have pockets on the back for pens, tools, water, etc. Everything you’ll need for the shift.

    This Deal of the Month applies for ALL new & used forklifts on ForkliftBoss.com.

    But it only lasts until Thanksgiving Day – so order now!

    Click the link to visit ForkliftBoss.com or call Cromer at 800-974-5438. Don’t forget to tell us what color safety vest you want!

  • How to Use the ForkliftBoss.com Ecommerce Store

    By Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss | Oct 06, 2015

    We’ve had some questions on how to use ForkliftBoss.com. A few customers asked for help with their orders, or wanted reassurance on order security.

    For our September newsletter, we’re giving you a full tutorial on how to use ForkliftBoss.com. These instructions will help you do everything from set up an account to arrange equipment delivery to your office. We hope they help answer any remaining questions!

    How to Set Up an Account

    To order from ForkliftBoss.com, you’ll need an account. Just like Amazon or eBay. To set one up, look in the footer for the “Register” link ( https://www.forkliftboss.com/register.asp ).

    Clicking brings you to the New Account page. Under the “Create a new account” section, enter the following:

    • Your email address
    • Your email address (again)
    • A password you’ll remember – make sure it’s complex too, something like Fork@lift2015!
    • Re-enter the password
    • Your name, address, & phone number
    • Your Federal Tax ID number

    Click the “Submit Registration” button when you’re done. You’ll see the Login page next. Login is accessible in the footer as well ( https://www.forkliftboss.com/login.asp ).

    Enter your email address and password, and click Login. You’ll see a “My Account” page. From here you can change your contact information, password, and payment settings.

    Most importantly, now you’re ready to start ordering!

    How to Place an Order

    1. Navigate through the site using the menu bars along the top.
    2. Use the left-side menu to choose specific product categories you want.
    3. When you find a product you want, click it.
    4. Enter the quantity you want, and click “Add to Cart”.
      • You’ll see a small popup window with a “View Cart” button. You can ignore this and keep shopping, or click “View Cart” to view your shopping cart. (The shopping cart is always accessible by clicking the yellow cart icon at the top right.)
    5. In the Cart, click the “Get Shipping Options” button to see what options are available to you. (See the next section for more details on these.)
    6. Select the option you want, and click “Proceed to Checkout”.
    7. You’ll see the Checkout page. Click the “My Saved Billing Addresses” menu and you should see your default address. Click it and the Billing Information boxes will auto-fill.
    8. Select the Shipping Option you wanted, and the payment option you prefer. Current payment options are by credit card and wire transfer.
      • (If you’d prefer paying a different way, please call Cromer at 800-974-5438 and ask for Sales.)
      • Payment details are saved in your account to speed up future orders.
    9. On the right you’ll see estimated totals for your order. If you have a special handling request, please enter it in the Order Comments box.
    10. Click Place Order.
    11. If you selected Wire Transfer, you’ll see the wire transfer information. If you selected Credit Card, you’ll be prompted to fill in your credit card details.
    12. Done!

    Delivery Options Available

    Since we want customers throughout Northern California to order and receive quality material handling equipment, we added several delivery options to ForkliftBoss.com.

    Currently, customers can choose from the following delivery options.

    1. In-Store Pick-up at your nearest Cromer location (Oakland, Sacramento, Manteca).
    2. UPS Ground Shipping.
    3. Local Delivery from your nearest Cromer location (Oakland, Sacramento, Manteca). Delivery is limited to 50 miles from the Cromer facility, and requires a $50 fee.
    4. If you’re outside of this 50-mile radius, there’s an option to call for special delivery rates.

    Our Guarantees

    All Transactions are Secured. Ordering online saves time, but payment details need protection. We set up ForkliftBoss.com to employ the same level of security Amazon uses.

    It’s Right or Your Money Back. If you order a rack, you will receive the exact rack you ordered. If you don’t receive the products we said you would, you get your money back. Guaranteed.

    Please save this tutorial for your future reference. We hope it continues to help our customers, present and future.

    If you have any suggestions on making ForkliftBoss.com easier to use, please send them in to sales@cromer.com.

    See you next month!

    Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss
    Cromer Material Handling

    ForkliftBoss.com Deal of the Month

    FORKLIFT FORKS, FORKS AND MORE FORKS!

    Is it time to replace your forklift’s forks? For our September Deal of the Month, we have 3 sets of forks on sale!Forklift Fork Set from Cascade

    Forks Set #1: A 2” x 7” x 48” from Cascade. Meant for lumber carriage, these are heavy-duty forks made for long hard work. On sale at ForkliftBoss.com for $690.00.

    Forks Set #2: A 1.75” x 4” x 48” set from Cascade. Standard forks for the day-to-day warehouse jobs. On sale at ForkliftBoss.com for $231.54.

    Forks Set #3: Another Cascade set, 1.75” x 5” x 48”. Little bit wider than the previous set. On sale at ForkliftBoss.com for $311.10.

    Click the links above to visit ForkliftBoss.com and order the forks you need. Questions before buying? Call Cromer at 800-974-5438 and ask about the September ForkliftBoss deals.

  • Cromer's 2015 Forklift Safety Checkpoints

    By Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss | Sep 08, 2015

    We’ve addressed worker safety many times in our newsletter.  Just as often as maintenance (maybe more).  Everyone wants to avoid workplace accidents…and if we put in a little regular effort, we can spot workplace dangers before they become accidents.

    Like last month’s newsletter, we’ve gathered up those safety articles in one place.  You’ll find guidelines for spotting wear & tear on forklift parts, good practices for keeping the workplace accident-free, and which forklifts work fine outdoors.

    Save this email for informing your safety inspections.

    • Inspect Your Forks & Chains - What to Look Out For, and Why it Matters to Worker Safety
      Like tires and batteries, a forklift’s forks and chains wear out eventually.  This article is a complete how-to on testing your forks for safe use, what to look for when you inspect chains, and what to do with these parts when they need replacing.
       
    • Forklift Safety Training: Do I Have to Keep Taking it?
      OSHA requires all employers to keep their forklift operators continually trained on safety.  So does the State of California.  Luckily, you can take one safety training course and satisfy both of them.  Plus you’ll learn new safety procedures, and avoid potential fines.
       
    • Is it Safe to Use an Electric Forklift in the Rain?
      There are forklifts which are safe to use in the rain.  European manufacturers such as Jungheinrich worked to create a standard for equipment protection against water, solid particles and impacts.  Jungheinrich forklifts are in fact completely waterproof—even their electrics!
       
    • How and When to Replace Forklift Tires Safely
      Forklift tires incorporate a method for determining when it’s time to replace them.  Use this article to find out when that is, depending on what type of forklift you use.  We’ve also listed out the process for doing tire replacements (which can be done on-site).
       
    • Forklift Driver Engulfed in Flames - An Avoidable Accident
      In 2013, Dailymail.co.uk posted a video showing a serious forklift accident.  An improperly-secured propane tank fell off a moving forklift – and the forklift burst into flames.  The very lucky driver was able to get away with only minor burns.  But the entire accident was avoidable with proper tie-downs.  Don’t make this same mistake.
       
    • Forklift Lifting a Forklift? Do Not Try This at Work!
      Using a forklift to lift a forklift – for ANY period of time – is very unsafe and never recommended.  Yet that’s exactly what two workers did in this video, posted to YouTube in August 2014.  Share it around; it’s a great way to show everyone what NOT to do when they need to lift some pallets.
       
    • Use Blue Lights on Your Forklifts to Keep Workers Safe
      Our first safety article.  One blue light on a forklift tells everyone where it’s going.  It’s a cheap and powerful way to prevent accidents.  So powerful that we mention them in our safety training courses.  If your forklifts don’t have blue lights installed on them, call us & order some right away!
       
    • Doosan LPG Tank One final safety recommendation:  When it’s time to replace LPG tanks, pick up Doosan composite LPG tanks.  They work just like your regular LPG tanks, but they’re made of fiberglass composite.  Which makes them much stronger, and much lighter.  These tanks don’t explode in a fire.  And they only weigh 7 pounds—much lighter than the 25 pounds a standard steel/aluminum tank weighs.

    Oh, and they’re DOT-rated safe—even safer than regular tanks.  Worth checking out.  We have some of these new Doosan LPG tanks on ForkliftBoss.com for $229.

    Safety is a year-round concern.  This is a topic we return to over & over, because we want to keep safety in the back of everyone’s mind.  Our customers have great safety records – we at Cromer see it as part of our job to make sure they stay that way.

    See you next month!

    Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss
    Cromer Material Handling

     

    ForkliftBoss.com Deal of the Monthpalletrack_botlessshelving

    For our August Deal of the Month, we have another double sale!

    First up, a 12-foot pallet rack with 3 levels.  Good and sturdy, for holding up plenty of pallets.  Normally priced at $540 – on sale now for $390.
    ForkliftBoss.com – Pallet Rack 12 Starter $390

    Next up, a 48” x 24” 7-foot boltless shelving unit, with 4 shelves.  Ideal for back rooms and warehouse corners.  Normally priced at $130 – on sale now for $85.
    ForkliftBoss.com – Boltless Shelving 48”x24” $85

    Visit ForkliftBoss.com to order.  Questions before buying?  Call Cromer at 800-974-5438 and ask about the August ForkliftBoss deals.

  • Cromer's 2015 Forklift Maintenance Guide

    By Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss | Aug 03, 2015

    When’s the best time to do maintenance? Right before something breaks down. But, since nobody knows exactly when that will happen, it’s best to do maintenance on a regular schedule.

    We’ve written many articles on forklift maintenance over the past couple years. To save you time, I’ve gathered them all up into a quick “maintenance guide.” Everything from knowing when to replace your forklifts’ tires, to when to replace the forklift!

    Save this email, and you’ll have a free maintenance guide when you need it.

    • How and When to Replace Forklift Tires Safely
    • Forklift tires incorporate a method for telling you when it’s time to replace them. This article explains those methods for both cushion tires and solid pneumatics. We also list out the replacement process, so you’ll know exactly what needs to happen for a safe tire replacement. 
    • How and When to Replace Electric Forklift Batteries 
    • Are your forklifts’ batteries dying? Use the reference list in this article to make the call. When it’s time to replace them, we have a process (fully documented) to make it quick and easy. We even do the replacements on-site!
    • Signs a Forklift is Ready for Retirement
    • Like any piece of machinery, forklifts eventually reach the end of their usable life. Watch out for these 5 signs – downtime and work orders, for example. We also give some reminders on the dangers of pushing a dying forklift too hard.
    • What to Do with a Forklift at its End-of-Life
    • When you’ve determined that a forklift is a danger to keep using, it’s time to retire it. You may not know—but you can recycle a forklift! In this article we show how we recycle end-of-life forklifts, and some good reasons for the recycling.
    • Why Won't My Forklift Start? - Common Causes of Forklift Failure
    • A forklift can fail for many reasons. We list the 4 most common in this article, such as hydraulic leaks. How do you avoid failures? Check your trucks! We wrote out several quick checks you can make to help prevent forklift failures.
    • Choosing the Right Forklift Tire
    • One of our first newsletter articles! What are the differences between a cushion tire and a pneumatic tire? What are the two types of compound tire? When should you use a smooth tread tire (even if the manufacturer ships with a traction tread)? The answers are all here.
    • Reminder: Keep All Your Forklifts Up to CARB Code
    • CARB established air quality standards for California. Your trucks must meet CARB emissions standards while operating. Here’s how to tell if your trucks are up to CARB Code…and what happens when they aren’t.
    • Facts About Propane
    • The important details on propane – different fuel varieties, how to tell if a propane tank is leaking, what an OPD is, where to safely store propane tanks, and more.
    • Get Tuned Up for the Year
    • All forklifts need maintenance. Without it you risk your daily operations and equipment (not to mention worker safety!). This is a reminder on what’s involved in regular forklift maintenance, and what our technicians will service when you bring forklifts to Cromer.

    Summer’s winding down soon. For some of us, the coming months will be the busiest time of the year. Now’s the time to get your forklifts and industrial equipment serviced. If you don’t have it on the schedule yet, give us a call and we’ll get it done!

    See you next month!

    Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss
    Cromer Material Handling

    Cromer FUTURE of the Month

    NEW BYD 80-VOLT ELECTRIC FORKLIFT

    The future is here! Our July Deal of the Month is a brand-new BYD 80-volt electric forklift.IMG_2764a

    • It takes only 2 hours to charge. Two shifts per charge.
    • It has a 6000lb or 8000lb capacity. The production is the same as (or better than) an LPG truck.
    • The lithium battery has a 10-year warranty. Plus, you don't have to recycle the batteries - they're perfectly safe to throw away!

    This IS the future of forklifts. Get it for your warehouse today. Call Cromer at 800-974-5438 and ask for "the BYD Forklift".

  • Buy Rack, Shelving, Pallet Jacks, Even a Forklift at the New ForkliftBoss.com Online Store

    By Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss | Jul 10, 2015

    Introducing an all-new way to buy material handling equipment – online!

    Cromer has launched its new online store at www.ForkliftBoss.com.

    It’s an ecommerce website for ordering the material handling equipment you need. From your phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop.

    What Can You Buy at ForkliftBoss.com?

    • Warehouse Rack
    • Industrial Shelving
    • New Forklifts
    • Used Forklifts
    • Forklift Parts like Blue Lights, LPG Tanks, etc.
    • Forklift Attachments like Fork Clamps and Rotators

    Why Should I Go Online to Buy a Forklift?

    Material handling equipment may not seem like something you’d want to buy online. Forklifts don’t fit in a box, after all!

    There are several benefits to buying at ForkliftBoss.com though. For example, you can:

    1. See visuals of the equipment right away.
    2. Get details on the item’s condition, 24/7.
    3. Choose when & how you want the item delivered – We have direct delivery within most of Northern California, as well as shipping options.
    4. Get the price – we have THE best prices you’ll find in Northern California, online or offline.
    5. Select a payment option – Right now you can pay through Credit Card, PayPal, Wire Transfer…or just pick up the phone and finalize your order.

    How Do I Use the Online Store?

    If you’ve ever bought a book or office supplies online, you already know how to use our online store. Here’s the rundown.ForkliftBoss.com Ecommerce Site

    • Go to: www.ForkliftBoss.com.
    • Click any of the 5 categories to navigate:
      • Storage & Material Handling
      • New Forklifts
      • Used Forklifts
      • Forklift Parts & Accessories
      • Forklift Attachments
    • Browse around until you find a product you want.
    • Click the “Add to Cart” button for it.
    • Click the Cart icon (top right) to complete checkout, just like you would at Amazon or eBay.
    • Done!

    Easy right? That’s the whole point. We built ForkliftBoss.com to make ordering material handling equipment fast and easy.

    We’ll still happily work with you by phone or email, of course. This new online store is one more way we help you get the right product for the right job.

    What do you think? We’d appreciate your feedback. Call us at 800-974-5438, or email your thoughts to sales@cromer.com.

    Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss
    Cromer Material Handling

    Cromer Deal of the Month

    DISCOUNT ON YOUR FIRST FORKLIFTBOSS.COM ORDER

    Need another reason to try out ForkliftBoss.com? How about a coupon?

    Use this code at checkout: FORKLIFTBOSS1
    And get 10% off your first order!

    That’s all. Every rack, shelving unit, even forklifts…10% off. Just for using ForkliftBoss.com.

    (One use per customer. Minimum order 3 products.)

    Questions about how to use the online store? Call Cromer at 800-974-5438 and ask for “Ecommerce Help.”

  • It's Time to Reorganize the Warehouse

    By Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss | Jun 09, 2015

    We’re noticing a trend in our Allied division. A lot of pallet rack orders. Same with small-parts storage shelving.

    Why now?

    Now’s a great time for organizing the garage & the warehouse, actually. It makes sense for several reasons.

    1. Tax Season is over. Money held over to cover taxes is now freed up (hopefully!).
    2. The next fiscal quarter starts July 1. Active budgets either need to finish up, or businesses have new budgets going forward.
    3. Here in California, we’re right at Harvest Season. Successful growers may need extra space.
    4. Summer’s coming fast. The heat often means more automotive & industrial repair work.

    All this explains why two customer types are organizing/reorganizing the most: warehouse storage and automotive garages.

    The warehouses are redoing their layouts to increase capacity. Automotive dealers want to stock more parts for better turnaround times in their service departments.Applied-Drawer1

    Getting Ready for Allied Orders

    We at Cromer decided to help out our customers with all this reorganization. We’ve brought in extra stock of Cromer Allied products, from industrial shelving to warehouse rack.

    All at the best price you’ll find anywhere in Northern California.

    Need Help Reorganizing the Garage? We Do That Too.

    Not only do we stock rack & shelving products, we’ll help you design your garage/warehouse layout.

    One of the most frequent calls we’ve had this spring was, “Can you help me reorganize the garage?” Often it’s automotive dealers who call. Their mechanics work hard—but get into a rush, and end up piling parts & tools everywhere.

    Solution? Call a Cromer technician for small-parts shelving and a storage layout design. Much cheaper than hunting for a warehouse to rent (more efficient too). More details are on our Warehouse Design page.

    Better Organization Means Better Efficiency, Before the Rush Hits

    Now is the best time to build out your storage capacity. Prices are lower, there’s time to design an optimized space, and you’ll have everything in place before the summer – and well before the holidays too!

    See you next month!

    Cromer Deal of the Month

    NEW BOLTLESS SHELVING – 48x24 FOR $75boltless-june15

    Here’s a sale price on some shelving, only for newsletter readers. Our popular boltless shelving at 24” x 48” is the May Deal of the Month. Only $75 per unit.

    Every shelving unit is gray steel, with four particleboard shelves. Each shelf has a 500-pound capacity, for holding up the heavy boxes. Since they’re boltless, setup only takes a few minutes.

    We’ve got plenty of these, so order as many as you need! Call Cromer at 800-974-5438 and ask for Chuck Davies, our VP of Allied. Or email Chuck at chuckdavies@sbcglobal.net.

  • Now’s the Time to Reserve Your Forklift Rentals for Harvest Season

    By Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss | May 04, 2015

    The drought continues to affect everyone living & working in California. We’re all doing what we can to conserve and use water wisely. Now, with Harvest Season approaching, it’s time for our farmers & vineyards to reap the results of their hard work.

    Which means it’s time to start thinking about renting the necessary equipment.

    Earlier this month we took our first rental reservation – 25 forklifts for cherry harvesting. That’s 25 fewer forklifts available, right out of the gate.

    We continue to expand our rental fleet, of course. But there are only so many trucks available. We encourage all of you—if you do need extra material handling equipment for this year’s Harvest/Crush, call us right away to reserve it!

    Harvest Rental Inventory & Our Recommendations

    Our current rental fleet stands at over 200 forklifts. LPGs and electrics. Indoor, outdoor and indoor/outdoor. The average rental forklift’s age is only 2.5 years (the newest you’ll find for any Northern California rental, by the way).

    This year, we recommend customers consider renting 80-volt indoor/outdoor electric forklifts. Why?

    1. Longevity. We’ve mentioned before that an electric forklift runs for 2 shifts on 1 battery charge. You save money on fuel, and get more productive time out of each truck.
    2. Clean. Since they’re electrics, they don’t burn fuel. No smoke hovering over your already drought-stricken fields.
    3. The Right Tires. These forklifts use tires which grip well on dry soil. Keeps your operators safe.

    Not to worry, we have plenty of LPG forklifts in our rental fleet too. As well as attachments like rotators (with hold-downs), bin dumpers, specialty forks & load handlers. Attachments come from these manufacturers:

    bolzoni126 BOLZONI - Clamps, Pallet Handlers
    cascade125 CASCADE - Clamps, Push/Pulls
    liftmaster124 MALAVAK/LIFT MASTER - Gate Controls, Dumpers
    rightline128 RIGHTLINE - Forks, Load Handlers

    How to Reserve a Rental Forklift or Handling Equipment for Harvest

    For all of Northern California: Please call Kathy in our Oakland headquarters at 800-974-5438 (or 510-534-6566 locally). She will help you reserve what you need.

    Each Cromer facility has its own stock of rentals. However, we coordinate rentals through Oakland so we can deliver the right forklift to the right job site. No matter where it’s stored.

    Due to the high demand, we prefer a 3-month minimum rental period.

    Remember: Our rental fleet is always reserved well before Harvest Season start. Now is the time to make your reservations.

    See you next month!

    Cromer Deal of the Month

    4 JUNGHEINRICH EJE120 ELECTRIC WALKIE JACKS – $2,950 EACH

    We have four Jungheinrich EJE120 electric walkie pallet trucks coming off the rental fleet. They have been inspected, tuned up & are ready for warehouse work.

    Each walkie jack has a 4,500lb capacity. They’re easy to move and have great stability. The EJE120s are especially good at loading/unloading inventory from trailers.

    Need one? Call Cromer at 800-974-5438 and ask for the EJE120s on sale. They won’t last long at this price!

  • Inspect Your Forks & Chains - What to Look Out For, and Why it Matters to Worker Safety

    By Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss | Mar 31, 2015

    Today, let’s talk about 2 parts of the forklift we haven’t yet – the forks and chains.

    Forks are solid hunks of metal. They have to be, to lift all those pallets! Treated properly, they’ll last you a long time.

    But forks have a lifespan too.

    After a while, they’re no longer safe to use. If you do, you risk a fork snapping, dropping its load or flinging sharp debris across the warehouse!

    How Fork Wear & Damage Happens

    The usual causes of fork damage & wear include:

    • Normal wear from use over time
    • Improper chain adjustments
    • Tire wear/damage (disrupts forklift stability, can cause the forks to scrape or tilt)
    • Accidents (tip-over, running into racks & walls)
    • Loaded beyond their rated load capacity

    One thing I’ve found about fork safety is that, if you make sure to include forks in your inspections, you’ll catch problems long before any forks break.fork-tips

    For standard (single-shift) operations, inspect your forks every 12 months. Or whenever a defect is spotted (e.g., operator reports a fork is scratched).

    When inspecting, look for:

    • Surface cracks
    • Straightness of the blade, and the shank
    • Improper angle on the heel (beyond 90 degrees)
    • Are the fork tips at the same level?
    • Signs of wear on the fork surface, tips or hook
    • Thickness of the fork (see the next section)

    If you see any material defects, remove the fork from service immediately.

    Got Fork Calipers? Fork Thickness Matters Too

    Over time, the metal on a fork wears down from repeated use & load weight. It’s a slow process, but it adds up eventually.

    The Industrial Truck Standards Development Foundation (ITSDF)’s safety regulations state that if a fork has lost 10% of its original thickness, either on the blade or the heel, then that fork must be removed from service.

    You find out how much wear your forks have with a fork caliper. Fork calipers measure how thick a fork blade, heel & hook are. It’s a quick-use tool, showing you right away whether your forks are thick enough to continue using safely. Or whether it’s time to retire them.

    Chain Safety

    If a fork can wear out, the chain can too. Forklift chains typically last for 6,000 hours or 3 years of use, with proper lubrication.

    Chains are more susceptible to environmental factors though. Moisture, high/low temperatures, corrosive atmosphere, abrasives (sand/gravel) and overloading will all shorten a chain’s lifespan.

    Inspect chains every 6 months, at least. Look for issues like:

    • Wear on link plate edges
    • Protruding pins
    • Elongation of the chain (total)
    • Cracks
    • Tight joints
    • Corrosion

    Tight joints can be re-lubricated. If there are no other issues, you can resume using the chain. Otherwise, replace the chain at once.

    What to Do with Retired Forks

    The best thing to do with damaged forks is to send them to salvage. You'll get a little money for them that way.

    If you want to repair the forks, do not do the repairs yourself! You can accidentally weaken the forks further. Send forks to their manufacturer for repair instead.

    If a fork or chain is damaged during shift, stop use of that forklift immediately.

    (Forks and chains are available in our Parts Inventory. If you do send damaged parts off to salvage, call us for a quick replacement.)

    Make Sure You Watch the Forks and Chains

    If you're already inspecting your lift trucks’ forks and chains, great! Keep it up. If not, time to start.

    Want some more information on taking care of your forks & chains? Use these resources:

    1. Cascade has a Fork Inspection Kit with a caliper, guidebook and safety poster.
    2. Cascade also offers an up-to-date guide called “2015 Forks Fork Facts” (PDF). It has charts for fork types, capacity, vocabulary, and safety procedures. Plus it’s free.

    If you don't have time to check forks and chains for your fleet, Cromer inspects them as part of our Major Interval Service and Fleet Planned Maintenance. Regular maintenance plans like these mean you don’t need to spend the time—but your workers are kept safe.

    Until next month!

    Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss
    Cromer Material Handling

    Career Opportunities at Cromer

    Come work for the Forklift Boss! We have the following job openings available:

    • Territory Sales Representative
    • Service Technicians
    • Dispatch/Administrative Assistant

    We’re looking for can-do people with the skills and drive to make things happen. Visit our Careers page on Cromer.com to view the job listings and apply.

    If someone you know – who’s not currently working for your employer – would be interested in these positions, please forward this email to them. boltlessshelving-Mar15

    Cromer Deal of the Month

    BOLTLESS SHELVING WITH 4 SHELVES – ONLY $100

    Install shelving fast with these Boltless Shelving units. Suitable for warehouse or office storage. 48” by 36” means you’ll have plenty of space for storing boxes, parts, and everything else.

    One 48”x36” unit, with 4 shelves included, is only $100. We run through stock fast on these, so if you need shelving, don’t hesitate!

    To order some, call Cromer at 800-974-5438 and ask for the Boltless Shelving Pack.

  • Forklift Safety Training: Do I Have to Keep Taking it?

    By Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss | Mar 02, 2015

    Yes you do. Who says? OSHA and the State of California.

    OSHA: "Every employer using industrial trucks must comply with safety requirements..."

    OSHA mandates that all employers meet their safety standards. Industries which use material handling equipment (warehouses, heavy industry, etc.) must follow OSHA guidelines for operating and maintaining industrial equipment.

    That includes certifying your operators are “competent to operate a powered industrial truck safely, as demonstrated by successful completion of the training and evaluation specified in the OSHA standard.”

    Two of OSHA’s training requirements are as follows:

    1. “It is the employer’s responsibility to train, test, evaluate and authorize every one of their forklift operators.”
    2. “From a liability standpoint, we recommend that the employer takes two hours every year to re-certify their forklift operators by providing classroom instruction and driving evaluations.”

    California: "Plus these extra standards too."

    Not only that, but California State Law requires you to re-take safety training at least once every 3 years. Their State Plan not only follows OSHA rules, but they added unique standards for:

    • Toxic Chemical Handling and Exposure Safety Training Says NO!
    • Agriculture
    • Repetitive Motion Injuries
    • Child Labor
    • Heat Exposure
    • Noise Exposure

    California State Plan (Details) – Occupational Safety & Health Administration

    So either way, you have a standard to meet.

    Luckily, you can meet both OSHA’s and California’s standards with the same training. Think of it this way: It’s just one morning a year per operator. And then – provided your workplace is up to code – you’re all set.

    Are There Benefits to Safety Training? Yes, and You Avoid Dangers Too!

    There's more than one reason for your operators to attend regular training. 4 reasons in fact: 2 benefits to regular training, and 2 dangers you can avoid by taking the class.

    BENEFITS

    1. Learn new safety procedures. Forklift technology still evolves. New models may work a bit differently. When that happens, safety procedures must evolve too. Where do you find those out? In a safety training class.

    2. Spot forklift problems before they escalate. Part of the training class covers inspecting forklift components like batteries, load stability and parking. Another part addresses load maximums and keeping loads secure during transport.

      It’s a refresher for the mind. When you head back to the job site, you’ll keep a sharper eye out for anything wrong.

    DANGERS

    1. Forklift Accidents. In December 2013 we blogged about an “Avoidable Accident” where a forklift burst into flames. The propane tanks were not properly tied down. The driver was lucky and avoided serious injury.

      In December 2012 we blogged about a tragic forklift accident where an Oakland worker used one forklift to lift up a second…and was killed. Most forklift accidents are due to dangerous practices like these.

    2. OSHA Fines/Penalties. Skipping safety training can hurt your bottom line. If OSHA determines that your operators have missed training, they can impose fines of $7,000 to $70,000 *PER* violation! What if you have 20 drivers who forgot to attend last year? You’ll hear about it...from your accountant.

    Since all of our forklift customers must remain OSHA-compliant, it’s important to us that you & your operators all stay current.

    I don’t want to see anyone dealing with a serious fine. Or worse, a serious accident!

    Here’s our Safety Training page if you need to join a class. Stay safe, everyone.

    Until next month!

    Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss
    Cromer Material Handling


    DEAL OF THE MONTH

    2008 DIESEL DOOSAN TRUCK - $15,400

    Diesel 2008 Doosan TruckUp for the February Deal of the Month is this used 2008 Doosan forklift. Diesel-powered with pneumatic tires and a 6,000-pound capacity. It only has 2,408 hours of use—these Doosans will keep going and going!

    Ready for retail work with its 42” forks. Great deal. On Sale for $15,400.

    If this is your next forklift, call Cromer at 800-974-5438 and ask for the Diesel Doosan.

  • Announcement: California Storage Systems is Now Part of Cromer Material Handling

    By Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss | Feb 06, 2015

    To start the New Year, the Forklift Boss has an announcement!

    As of January 1, California Storage Systems is merging with Cromer Material Handling.

    We’ve worked with Cal Storage for a few years now (joint ventured since 2010). Chuck Davies has a long-standing reputation for finding solid material handling products in Northern California—more than 25 years’ experience!

    It’s been a good working relationship. The time was right. So we made the move.

    The New Arrangement

    Cromer now fully owns the California Storage operation and inventory. Both are being folded into Cromer’s product base and our facilities’ available inventory.

    With the merger, Chuck joins Cromer as our Vice President in Charge of Allied Material Handling. Chuck’s still doing what he does best – finding and delivering the highest-quality material handling products. Like these:

    • Warehouse Rack
    • Shelving (All Types, e.g. boltless, heavy-duty metal shelves)
    • Hoists
    • Lockers, Benches, Partitions
    • Cabinets and Drawers
    • And many more.

    Now that Chuck is working with us, we have better control of our accessible inventory. Forklifts, accessories, pallet jacks and allied material handling products, all processed in one spot by Cromer’s distribution team.

    How the Merger Benefits You, Our Customer

    This is the sort of merger which provides direct benefits to our customers. For 2015 and beyond, you can expect:

    1. Larger Inventory – Now that Chuck is in charge of all our allied material handling, we can expand our stock. You’ll have additional choices in vendors and order volumes.
    2. More Products at Your Local Cromer Facility – Each Cromer facility will carry a larger amount of material handling products for immediate purchase (or rental). For instance, our Manteca/Stockton facility is getting big shipments of industrial shelving in already.
    3. Faster Sourcing and Delivery – You’re now able to access Chuck’s expertise by coming to Cromer. He’ll source the parts needed, and our delivery drivers will be on their way to you. Not sure which products best suit your worksite? Chuck will take care of finding the right one.

    This isn’t our only change planned for 2015 though. No, not at all...

    Keep an eye on upcoming issues of this newsletter. Our subscribers will be the first to hear about the changes in the works.

    (While you’re at it, please share “News from the Forklift Boss” with your colleagues! They’ll benefit from the new information coming your way in 2015. The sharing buttons are at the top right. We appreciate all referrals.)

    Until next month!

    Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss
    Cromer Material Handling

    Career Opportunities at Cromer

    Come work for the Forklift Boss! We have the following job openings available:

    • Territory Sales Representative
    • Service Technicians
    • Dispatch/Administrative Assistant

    We're looking for can-do people with the skills and drive to make things happen. Visit our new Careers page on Cromer.com to view the job listings and apply.

    If someone you know – who’s not currently working for your employer – would be interested in these positions, please forward this email to them.

    Cromer Deal of the Month

    FLEX LEASE ON CAT LIFT TRUCKS CONTINUES - $266/MONTH

    CAT is still running a special lease deal on selected new lift trucks. You pay only $266 a month for a 40-month lease. If you want to extend the lease, the rate gets even cheaper.

    Details in this flyer: Cromer CAT Special Flex Lease (PDF)

    We only have 4 trucks left! They WILL NOT last. So call Cromer Headquarters at 510-534-6566 to take advantage of the Cat Flex Lease.

  • The Section 179 Tax Deduction is Still Available - Save on Your Equipment Purchases Before January 1

    By Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss | Dec 04, 2014

    Two years back, we talked about the Section 179 tax deduction. Last year it was extended. I’m happy to say that it’s still available, and you can still use it to save on industrial equipment purchases.

    Forklifts, of course, but also pallet jacks, rack & shelving, and so on. Best of all, the equipment can be new or used. Letting you save even more.

    If you’re planning purchases before the end of 2014, make sure you take advantage of Section 179.

    What is Section 179?

    IRS Tax Code Section 179 is a special deduction on buying new & used equipment.

    Normally, a business would depreciate its newly-purchased forklift over its expected life (average 5-7 years). That means the tax benefits of purchasing a new unit are spread out over those tax years.

    The 2008 Stimulus Act changed that by introducing Section 179. It allows a business to deduct the full price of purchased equipment in the year it was purchased and put into service.

    You can deduct any equipment purchased up to $25,000, if the total amount of equipment you buy doesn’t exceed $200,000. If it does, the deduction is phased out gradually until you hit $225,000. After which point Section 179 is not available.

    Here’s an example of how Section 179 breaks down, if you spent $20,000 on equipment.

    Essentially, Section 179 can put 5-7 years’ worth of tax benefits into your pocket in one tax year.

    Crest Capital has a live calculator for determining how much you’d save with Section 179. Visit the CrestCapital.com Tax Deduction Calculator page to try it out.

    Can You Use Section 179 When Buying Material Handling Equipment?

    Yes. In fact, most of our inventory falls under Section 179 Qualifying Purchases, as Machinery and Business Equipment. The Section179.org website lists property that qualifies for the deduction.

    Your company can also lease equipment and still take the Section 179 deduction. (Check our Deal of the Month for a great lease option – which you can then deduct!)

    How Do I Take Advantage of Section 179?

    1. Buy/lease equipment you need for the coming year (such as forklifts, new or used) before December 31.
    2. Total your equipment purchases. Remember the $200,000 threshold.
    3. Consult your CPA or tax advisor on writing off your tax savings as per Section 179.

    If you have more questions about using Section 179 on your material handling purchases, please talk to your tax professional. Then come by Cromer Material Handling and let us help you find the right equipment for 2015.

    Until next month!

    Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss
    Cromer Material Handling

    Cromer Deal of the Month

    FLEX LEASE ON CAT LIFT TRUCKS - $266/MONTH

    Cat has a special lease deal on selected new lift trucks. You pay only $266 a month for a 40-month lease. If you want to extend the lease, the rate gets even cheaper.

    Details in this flyer: Cromer CAT Special Flex Lease (PDF)

    We only have 5 trucks at this price. They WILL NOT last! Call Cromer Headquarters at 510-534-6566 to take advantage of this Flex Lease. Before they’re gone!

  • Is it Safe to Use an Electric Forklift in the Rain?

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

    Until recently, many businesses with electric forklifts were reluctant to use them outdoors. They were afraid that if any water got into the workings, the forklift’s electronics would short out. Then you’d have a forklift billowing smoke and not working anymore.

    Lucky for all of us, this is no longer the case.

    Years ago, Europe tackled this problem. 50% of their forklifts operate outdoors. You can imagine how important protecting against water is there!

    Their efforts resulted in the “IP Code” or “International Protection Marking”. The IP Code is a series of numerical codes which identify what a piece of equipment is protected against. There are two scales, each represented by a number: Ingress of solid objects (dirt), Ingress of liquids (water).

    These numbers are then combined to a two-digit number which represents the total rating. For instance, IP00 would mean no protection against dirt or water at all. IP22 would mean protection from solid objects the size of your hand, and against dripping water.

    The IP Code Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IP_Code

    How does IP Code Rating Relate to Electric Forklifts?

    Jungheinrich equipment has been rated IP54 for years. It’s a German brand, so it had to have a suitable IP Code Rating to meet European standards.

    IP54 means their forklifts’ components are fully protected from “dust, debris and liquid.” Both dirt and water.

    In other words, these forklifts are rated completely waterproof and safe for outdoor use. I even watched Jungheinrich drive a forklift through a trough full of water to demonstrate!

    Here’s an article with more details on the IP54 Rating: IP65 and IP54 - Protecting Your Electrical Equipment From Dust, Debris and Liquid

    Forklifts Rated IP54 are Waterproof. Use Them Outdoors.

    It’s perfectly safe to use electric forklifts outdoors—provided they’re IP54 rated. Jungheinrichs are. Other electric models should be as well; if you’re not sure, we’ll check their IP Code Rating for you.

    If you’re keeping any electrics inside the warehouse for fear of environmental damage—take them out for a drive!

    Until next month!

    Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss
    Cromer Material Handling


    Cromer Deal of the Month

    25TH ANNIVERSARY SALE - $700 OFF THE JUNGHEINRICH ELECTRIC PALLET JACK

    Using an electric pallet jack speeds up load times and saves your workers’ backs. These Jungheinrichs use a specialized 3-phase AC motor for easy use and low maintenance.

    They’re the natural choice for our 25th Anniversary Sale.

    We have less than 20 of these EJE120s in stock. For our Deal of the Month, you can bring one to the warehouse for $700 off the regular price.

    25th ANNIVERSARY SALE PRICE: $3950!

    Call Cromer at 800-974-5438 and ask for the 25th Anniversary Pallet Jack. Hurry, because this sale price will only last while supplies last!