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
  • What the Electric Forklift Means for Long-Term Productivity

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Let me explain.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

    The Forklift Future is Electric

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

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

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

    Until next month!

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


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

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

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

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

  • How to Maintain Dock and Door Safety

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

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

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

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

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

    4 Dock and Door Warning Signs to Watch Out For

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

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

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

    What Can Happen if Docks and Doors are Not Maintained

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    What Preventative Maintenance Does for Your Warehouse

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

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

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

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

    Reminder: Put Dock and Door Preventative Maintenance on the Calendar

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

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

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

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

    Until next month!

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


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

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

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

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

  • Start 2017 off Right with These Material Handling Reminders

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

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

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

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

    Four Reminders for Starting 2017 off Right

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

    Sale Price: $15,500 each


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

    Sale Price:  $9,800


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

    Sale Price:  $14,000


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

    Sale Price:  $5,500


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

    Sale Price:  $14,200


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

  • How Electric Forklifts Save Money on Fuel and Maintenance

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

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

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

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

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

    These are the results we get:


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    You can find more details out at

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


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

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

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

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

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

    Sale Price:  $9,500


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

    Sale Price: $15,500 each


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

    Sale Price:  $9,800


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

    Sale Price:  $14,000


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

    Sale Price:  $5,500


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

    Sale Price:  $14,200


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

    Sale Price:  $6,550


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

  • How to Buy a Forklift

    By Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss | Nov 07, 2016

    Buying forklifts is a process. Prepare properly, and the process works for you.

    I’ve worked in this industry for 37 years. In that time I’ve bought and sold a lot of forklifts. I learned all the things to consider when you buy a forklift. Things you should consider too.

    If you know these 7 elements, you’ll walk into a forklift dealer well prepared to buy a forklift. The buying process will go smooth and simple. Let’s get started.

    Element 1: How Big & How Heavy are Your Typical Loads?

    Most of the time, pallet loads fall within the same size & weight. 90% of the material handling industry uses GMA (Grocery Manufacturers Association) standard pallets (48” long x 40” wide). 95% of pallet loads don’t exceed 2000lbs.

    If you want to double-stack in trailers, then you’ll want a 5000lb capacity forklift. 65% of forklifts are 5000lb cushion type (LPG or Electric), pneumatic type or cushion/pneumatic electric. Forklifts are designed at a 24” load center, which means it can handle a 4 foot load at its rated capacity.

    Element 2: How High Do You Need to Lift the Loads?

    90% of all forklifts are 188” lift height. That also allows a down height of 83-85”. This common lift height hasn’t changed for 50 years.

    The 188” triple stage came about with 3-high stacking, with 60” between the load beams on racks and 90” trailer openings. Do you have tall ceilings in your warehouse? Use them! Price per pallet position will drop.

    Element 3: Will You Use the Forklift Indoors, Outdoors, or Both?

    If you plan to use your forklift on any type of non-smooth cement surface, then you should buy a pneumatic. However, a 5000lb pneumatic type forklift costs more, and alters your turning radius to 14-foot aisles. (Cushion type LPGs and Electrics have a 12-foot radius.)oct2016-main

    Element 4: How Much Room Do You Have to Maneuver?

    If you want to maximize the number of pallets your warehouse can hold, you may opt for narrow aisles (less than 12 foot). With narrow aisles, you’ll need to look at a 3-wheel electric type forklift (indoor/outdoor), or stand-up trucks. You can get even narrower (80 inch) if you look at Aislemaster electric lifts.

    Remember though: Set your warehouse up based on your input/output of goods. Determine your aisle requirements by the most efficient pallet positions. Then determine your forklift requirements based on the aisle requirements.

    Element 5: How Many Hours Per Day Will Your Team Use the Forklift?

    A good rule of thumb: If you plan to use the forklift more than 4 hours a day, buy or lease a new forklift. If your need isn’t that great, used forklifts should fit the bill. Once you establish the hours needed, you can set a budget.

    (We talked about Forklift Cost per Hour last issue. It can help you estimate how many hours you want to use the forklift daily, balanced against lifetime value.)

    Prefer used anyway? You’ve got a huge selection to choose from. But remember the old adage—you get what you pay for.

    Element 6: What’s Your Budget?

    Think of a forklift purchase as Silver, Gold, or Platinum.

    • A “silver” purchase is a 5-year-old forklift with less than 6000 hours on it, at 60% of new price. Remember pricing for a new 5000lb forklift is approaching $25,000. Your budget is thus $15,000.
    • A “gold” purchase is a 3-year-old forklift with around 3000 hours on it, at 75% of new price. Look into 5-year financing for a low monthly payment.
    • A “platinum” purchase is a new forklift. No hours on it, full price. You’ll have the longest lifetime usage, but also the highest budget needs.

    If you’re looking at electric forklifts, your #1 requirement is getting a new or 80% reconditioned battery. New batteries average $5,500. Also, get a good warranty in writing, and a high-frequency charger (25% better efficiency than the standard electric chargers).

    Element 7: The Forklift Dealer

    The final element to consider is the Forklift Seller/Dealer themselves. For the most part, you will have a good buying experience with most dealers. But, it always pays to do your homework. Look at 2-3 good forklift dealers and make your decisions from there.

    With a dealer, check to see if they do their own maintenance. They should. Forklifts do break, but with preventative maintenance, you cut down on breakdowns. Ask the dealers about maintenance programs for the life of the forklift.

    Look at the maintenance leases carefully. Make sure there are no hidden costs. If someone comes in with low labor rates, it’s usually for a reason. Avoid them.

    Always remember the safety features that go with a forklift. I would urge you to require back-up alarms, strobe lights, headlights, and seatbelts on your trucks.

    Knowing What Kind of Forklift to Buy Makes for Long-Term Satisfaction

    When buying a forklift, you’re also choosing a forklift dealer that has the assets to support you. The dealer will provide the service and support to keep your lifts running smoothly, so it is important that you find one who is reputable, stable, and can provide top-notch service.

    I hope this information helps you prepare for your next forklift purchase. We at Cromer want all our customers to have confidence in every forklift they buy, right from the start.

    A good forklift dealer will understand what you’re looking for, if you use these elements to prepare.

    (P.S. – Cromer Material Handling has 6 branches, 80 technicians, 12 parts personnel and over $15,000,000 in assets. We will do a great job on your next forklift purchase. and

    Everybody have a safe and happy Halloween!

    Until next month,

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

    5,000lb DOOSAN DIESEL FORKLIFT – ONLY $15,900

    oct2016-dealOur October Deal of the Month is a spooky good deal! One 2009 Doosan diesel truck, with a 5,000lb capacity.

    These Doosans just keep going and going. They also have excellent brakes, so they’ll stop right where you need them to.

    This forklift has solid pneumatics, triple stage, and side shifter. It has 1,850 hours on it and was fully serviced by the Cromer maintenance team.

    Pick up this Doosan diesel for only $15,900. To buy it, call Cromer at 800-974-5438 and ask for the Doosan Deal of the Month.

  • What Does Your Forklift Cost Per Hour?

    By Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss | Oct 07, 2016

    If I asked you how much your forklifts cost you per hour, could you tell me?  Could you figure it out in 5 minutes?

    If not, you may be losing money.

    We’ve talked about forklifts needing maintenance in the newsletter before.  It’s a necessary procedure, and can actually save you money over the life of the forklift.

    Cost per Hour is a way to collect all of your fleet’s maintenance costs into one easy-to-read value.  It helps fleet managers determine how healthy their forklifts are, and which forklifts are approaching end-of-life.

    Factors Involved in Estimating Cost per Hour

    Typical operation time for a forklift is 1,500 hours per year.  Throughout the year, each forklift requires maintenance.  All of the relevant maintenance tasks are factors when calculating Cost per Hour.

    Maintenance Factors:Cromer Spring Service Special

    • Forklift Type
    • How long you want to keep it in service
    • Number of hours used per year (1,500 average)
    • Regular Planned Maintenance
    • Repairs/Replacement Parts
    • Labor involved in service & repair

    So what’s a reasonable Cost per Hour?  $1/hour?  $2?

    How to Calculate Cost per Hour

    When you get a brand-new forklift, Cost per Hour is almost $0 for those first few months (excluding fuel, of course).  Then you have planned maintenance, eventually a little labor, and so on.  The costs add up fast.

    To see how fast, let’s do some basic calculations.  These will use a new LPG forklift as example.

    YEAR 1

    Cromer recommends Minor Planned Maintenance every 150-200 hours of use.  The service costs $89.99 (not including part replacements).  If average use per year is 1,500 hours, the first year’s Cost per Hour would work out like this:

    $89.99 x 7.5 (Done every 200 hours) = $674.92

    Divided by 1,500 hours = $0.45/hour

    YEAR 2

    Year 2 will need a Major Interval Service, which come up every 2000 hours of use and cost $1399.  You might see wear-and-tear on your tires, but we’ll leave that off for now.

    $629.93 (7 Minor Planned Maintenance services) + $1399 = $2,028.93

    Divided by 1,500 hours = $1.35/hour

    YEAR 3

    Year 3 will see another Major Interval Service, another round of Minor Planned Maintenance services, and a new set of forklift tires.  Let’s also assume you have to replace the forks, since at this point they’re worn out.

    $2,028.93 + $800 (Tires) + $400 (Forks) = $3,228.93

    Divided by 1,500 hours = $2.15/hour

    See how fast it’s going up?  (We didn’t even account for fuel.  More on that in a future “News from the Forklift Boss.”)

    In 3 years, one forklift can rise in cost from under $1/hour to approaching $2.50/hour.  You might think that’s just a small expense…not really worth tracking.  But such a rise actually means your cost for that forklift went from $1,500/year to almost $3,500/year. 

    PER forklift!

    Cromer recommends that when maintenance Cost per Hour passes $4/hour, it’s time to retire the truck and replace it.

    The Solution:  Track Your Costs and Know When to Replace Forklifts

    If you’re monitoring Cost per Hour, you’ll see when it starts to rise too high, damaging cost efficiency.  If you’re not monitoring it, you may wind up sinking lots of money into maintaining an aged forklift fleet.  Only to lose hundreds of productive hours and thousands of dollars. 

    It actually takes very little time to monitor forklift Cost per Hour.  All you really need are these two steps.

    1. Designate someone to track your maintenance costs.  They should keep track of all the factors noted above.To a large degree, your Accounting Department already does this.You can start out by simply asking for reports from them on the forklift costs.
    2. Evaluate your trucks yearly.  Recalculate Cost per Hour each year, using the past year’s maintenance numbers.When the costs to maintain a forklift are greater than the value it provides, it’s time for a replacement. (We do take care of recycling end-of-life forklifts.)

    Forklifts Age Too.  Knowing Cost per Hour Helps You Retire Them Safely.

    Cost per Hour will naturally rise over the life of the forklift.  It’s an inescapable part of aging forklifts.  Good maintenance and proper use will keep Cost per Hour low for a long time.

    Just be careful not to push your fleet too far.  We’ve encountered customers with forklifts at a Cost of $5/hour!  These forklifts rattled and jerked all day long, hurting their drivers and endangering co-workers.  They were working way past retirement.

    Don’t make that mistake.  Track your forklifts’ Cost per Hour.

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

  Deal of the Month

    Sept 2016 Deal of the Month on RackSTART YOUR 2017 BUILD-OUT WITH CROMER RACK ON SALE

    The 4th quarter is almost here.  It’s time to prepare for the holidays, and for 2017’s space demands.  Start the process with some warehouse rack from Cromer.

    Industrial Rack is on sale for $75 (normally $85) out of our Oakland and Fresno facilities.

    96” industrial beams are on sale for $17.50 each, or $35.00/pair (normally $22 each).

    Don’t forget, Cromer facilities also stock pallet rack beams, T-Bolt beams, cantilever arms and much more.

    To order, call Cromer at 800-974-5438 and ask for the Rack Deal of the Month.  Here’s a link to if you’d prefer ordering online: 
    Storage & Material Handling –

    We have your price on rack and shelving.

  • What’s So Great about the BYD Forklift Batteries?

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

    In June we talked about the BYD forklifts. Since then we’ve had several customers look at the BYD trucks. More of our staff have taken turns operating them.

    By far the most questions we get are about the forklift’s battery. So we’re answering them in this month’s newsletter. Let’s dive in.

    The Big Deal about the BYD Battery: Huge Power Potential and Fast Recharging

    Previously, we claimed that BYD forklifts will go for 2-3 shifts before needing a recharge.

    Want some evidence to back it up? Take a look at this photo:


    The photo shows a BYD forklift’s console. Its battery life is at 48%. Hours worked already: 9.

    Normal 36- or 48-volt batteries only last 6-8 hours. The BYD battery’s still got plenty of charge after 9 hours’ work!

    During a demo, a Cromer customer went over to a BYD forklift as the battery was charging. He felt it for heat, and smelled it for gas. He found no heat and no gassing.

    It’s the iron phosphate. Essentially, the BYD batteries are giant cellphone batteries. They don’t heat up or off-gas.

    The customer also found out just how fast the BYD batteries recharge. Normally a “wet cell” battery will take 6-9 hours to recharge, whether it’s 36-volt, 48-volt, or 80-volt. BYD batteries go from 0 to Full in 60-90 minutes!

    I don’t need to explain just how big of a help that is in the material handling world.

    How Much Time Does a BYD Battery Save Your Workers?

    Think about this. You’ve got 30 electric forklifts running in your warehouse. At the end of their shift, the batteries are almost dead. Another shift’s starting soon. You have two options.

    1. Swap out a new battery, or
    2. Do a “fast charge” on the existing batteries.

    If you swap out new batteries, you need to buy 30 more batteries at $8-12,000 a pop. Plus it’ll take a lot of time to perform the swap.

    How much? Let’s say it takes 15 minutes per forklift.

    15 minutes X 1-2 workers doing the swap X 30 trucks X 5 days =
    7.5 man-hours to 15 man-hours per week

    That’s how much.

    The “fast charge” will save you lots of man-hours. But those chargers end up cooking your forklift batteries. You’ll only get 3 years or so out of them before they burn out.

    Meanwhile, BYD gives you a 10-year warranty on every battery. And you don’t need to swap or “fast charge” them.

    How Much Productivity Could You Gain with BYD Trucks?

    We have several customers demoing BYD trucks right now. Each are looking at 30-40 trucks per order. BYD got their attention.

    What really makes these so revolutionary is the new battery. If BYDs had a regular lead-acid battery, it would be just another forklift. Handling is very similar to a typical electric. BYD trucks have the same type of full-suspension seat as a Jungheinrich. (They do have lumbar support included standard though. That’s normally an optional extra with other brands.)

    This is arguably the biggest advance in material handling in the past 20 years. We’ve had some nice trucks, and small improvements in battery life or handling made since the 90s. But BYD’s changing the whole game.

    Until next month!

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


    eje120whiteFor September’s Deal of the Month, we’re going back to one of our old friends: the Jungheinrich EJE 120.

    This electric pallet jack is great for loading & unloading trailers. The 3-phase AC motor makes hauling pallets around fast & easy.

    I really like the regenerative braking feature. Our customers report that it increases the daily use time on this jack, which makes work go smoothly.

    We normally sell the EJE 120 for $4,650. But this month, we’re dropping the price to only $4,250. You won’t find an electric pallet jack for a better price.

    To order a Jungheinrich EJE 120, call Cromer at 800-974-5438 and ask for the September Deal of the Month. We do have several in stock, but they’ll sell fast!

  • How to Prepare for Workplace Accidents

    By Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss | Aug 08, 2016

    The sad truth is, accidents do happen. It’s always best to prevent accidents instead of respond to them. But sometimes life just gets in the way.

    When an accident happens, you’ll have to respond. How? What should you do? That’s what we’re talking about in this issue.

    Plan Ahead to Prepare for Accidents

    We’re not talking about preventing accidents this month. We’ve done that before – go here for past issues:

    1. 11 Ideas to Improve Warehouse Productivity, Minimize Downtime, and Keep Workers Safe
    2. Forklift Safety Accessories: What's Out There, and How it Helps
    3. Cromer's 2015 Forklift Safety Checkpoints

    Today we’re talking about preparations to make BEFORE an accident occurs.

    Making preparations like these can help you decrease an accident’s severity. Help everyone get back to work. Even avoid some accidents altogether.

    We’ve gathered preparations you can make below. They’re in 3 parts: policies to put in place, changes to the workplace environment, and day-to-day worker protections.

    Preparation: Policies

    july-mainSetting policies on what to do in case of accident means that everyone has a reference. No matter who’s on shift, if they have an accident, you can check the policy and follow its instructions.

    The first policy to create is an accident response policy. Document what you (the company) will do in the event of an accident, and what you’ve done to prevent them. Consult with your lawyer to cover liability issues.

    (Include Workers Comp regulations too. If an injury occurs, the injured person must see an approved Workers Comp doctor. Make sure everyone knows who to call!)

    Next, define evacuation strategies in case of fire, earthquake, or flood (yes, even flood).

    Make and keep an equipment inspection policy.  List the aspects each inspector must check on your equipment. Include what you’d classify as a “warning sign” to look out for.

    Finally, include training in first aid, CPR, and AED in your policies. Train enough people that at least one person is available per shift. Two is better.

    Preparation: Workplace Environment

    Most workplace safety precautions count as preparation for accidents. Just in case, let’s list them:

    • Check the first aid kits regularly.
    • Place emergency response kits in easy-to-reach locations (and keep all employees aware of them).
    • Clearly mark all exits.
    • Keep floors and docks clean of dust, debris, and spills.
    • Don’t allow aisle clutter. If boxes or trash are in the way, workers should clear them as soon as possible.
    • Mark forklift paths using floor tape and rack signs.
    • Mark loading dock spaces and borders clearly—you don’t want anyone to drive off one!
    • And of course, service your forklifts regularly.

    Preparation: Worker Protections

    When it comes to protecting workers, preparations are obvious. But you might miss some of them if someone’s not careful.

    First off, make sure workers are readily supplied with protective equipment such as gloves, helmets, and safety vests.

    Next, keep workers’ communications systems (phones, emergency buttons, schedules) in good working order.

    Here’s one you might not expect though. Avoid the notion of, “Production must go faster! Faster!” Too much speed causes people to rush. People rushing can topple trucks and cause collisions.

    Prepare for Accidents, and You Minimize the Chance of Them Happening

    You may have some of these in place already. If so, you’re in good shape to minimize the impact of a workplace accident.

    If not, and you’d like help preparing, call Cromer! Our team is happy to help you keep everyone safer.

    Until next month!

    Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss Cromer Material Handling



    BC27We're extending our June Deal of the Month for July! You get another chance to try out the industry-changing BYD electric forklift. Models ECB18 and ECB27 are up for lease.

    The ECB18 has a 4,000-lb. carrying capacity. The ECB27 will carry up to 6,000 lbs. Both trucks are pneumatic tire, and suited for indoor/outdoor use.

    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. Don't wait!

  • 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.


    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 Deal of the 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


    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!

  • 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 Deal of the 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, 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 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 Deal of the Month


    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 and 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, 2 on Next to each image is a code word.
    3. Find & collect all 3 code words.
    4. Email the 3 code words to 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

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

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


    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 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 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 (and

    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 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. includes a Deduction Calculator to show you how much you can save. There’s an electric forklift on 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 Deal of the Month


    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

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

    Click the link to visit 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

    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 Deal of the Month


    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

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

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

  • How to Use the Ecommerce Store

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

    We’ve had some questions on how to use 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 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, you’ll need an account. Just like Amazon or eBay. To set one up, look in the footer for the “Register” link ( ).

    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 ( ).

    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

    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 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 easier to use, please send them in to

    See you next month!

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


    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 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 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 for $311.10.

    Click the links above to visit 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, 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 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

  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. – 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. – Boltless Shelving 48”x24” $85

    Visit 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


    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".