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
  • Get Tuned Up for the Year

    By Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss | Jan 28, 2013
    It's January. The start of a new year. Ideal time for making sure your forklifts are in good working order.

    All forklift types require maintenance to function safely & at peak performance. Fuel system, brakes, lift operation…when was the last time you had those checked?

    Cromer Material Handling has a Major Internal Service Special going on right now. We run a series of checks (over 100), tune-ups, and (if necessary) repairs.

    Reasons to Conduct Annual Maintenance

    What does your forklift get out of maintenance?
    • Improved Performance
    • Meeting Safety Regulations
    • Reliable Brakes (good thing to have)
    • A longer lifespan for doing its work
    Just like your car, a forklift works better when you maintain it.

    Not only are there benefits to regular maintenance, there are risks if you DON’T have it done:
    • Un-maintained forklifts overheat & fail.
    • Un-maintained forklifts have sluggish performance.
    • Un-maintained forklifts are susceptible to wheel slippage.
    • Un-maintained forklifts are at risk of failing safety inspections.
    Every single Cromer forklift goes through our maintenance, so we can avoid all of these problems!

    What’s Involved in Our Maintenance Service

    Our Major Internal Service Special inspects over 100 check points on both IC and electric forklifts. Some of those points include:

    IC Forklifts: Lubrication, Gas Lines, Tires, Cooling System, Brakes, Hydraulic Oil, Mast Chain & Fork, Ignition System

    Electric Forklifts: Electrical System, Brakes, Cooling System, Tires, Wiring, Mast Chain & Fork

    When Was Your Last Forklift Maintenance Done?

    If you aren’t sure, it’s definitely maintenance time.

    Our Maintenance Special is only $1399.99, and INCLUDES a 2-day IC forklift rental – FREE! Yes, we give you a loaner while your forklift is tuned up.

    Or, if you want to try out new 80-volt electrics…we’ll rent you an electric forklift at the discount rate of $50/day!

    Call us at 800-974-5438 to schedule your maintenance appointment.
  • Schedule Your Safety Training for 2013

    By Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss | Dec 03, 2012
    Now is the time to sign your crew up for their 2013 safety training classes!

    All businesses using forklifts must have their workers trained for forklift safety. And they must renew this safety training regularly.

    This is training you don’t want to forget. It’s critical for regulatory compliance, licensing, and the #1 priority of any site foreman: Your workers’ safety on the job.

    Our area saw a tragic forklift accident occur just last month.
    Worker at Oakland plastics company killed in forklift accident – KTVU.com

    From the article:
    “(The worker) was using one forklift to lift up and service a second forklift”

    This is an extremely dangerous procedure, and should NEVER be allowed!


    Cromer Material Handling extends our deepest sympathies to the worker’s family, and his employer.

    This is just one reason why safety training is so crucial for all heavy industries. Don’t put yours off.

    Cromer will host forklift safety training on the following 2013 dates:
    • January 18
    • February 15
    • March 15
    • April 19
    • May 17
    • June 21
    • July 19
    • August 16
    • September 20
    • October 18
    • November 22
    • December 13
    Please visit our Safety Training and Train the Trainer pages for signup information. Joy Virnig is our training coordinator; you can email her directly at nsteel@cromer.com.
  • Choosing the Right Forklift Tire

    By Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss | Nov 27, 2012

    Tire selection is vital to lift truck operation. Demanding applications require the proper tire for a forklift's reliable performance. How do you choose the right tire? What tread and compound do you need? 

    Let me share some information about 2 types of forklift tires: Cushion Type and Pneumatic/Solid Type.

    CUSHION TYPE TIRES

    Cushion Tread 

    The rule of thumb is: 

    Steer Tires - Always use a smooth tread. 

    Drive Tires - Use smooth tread when possible.

    Smooth tire tread is the choice for most applications because smooth treads: 

    • Contain more rubber, for a longer service life  
    • Have a flat profile for greater stability  
    • Give a larger footprint for better traction  
    • Provide more effective cushioning, making a safer ride 
    • Resists cutting and chunking

    If that's true, why do new lift trucks ship with traction tread? 

    Traction tread tires are installed by most manufacturers because they: 

    • Cost less to OEMs 
    • Are perceived to provide better traction  
    • Look rugged and dependable

    Cushion Compound 

    Cushion tires are not just "black and round". Physical properties may be published by manufacturers. If they aren't published, a tire manufacturer can use lower cost rubber and additives for a cheaper and inconsistent product. Only MITL publishes specific physical properties.  

    There are two types of compound: 

    1. Universal Compound 

    • Designed for basic forklift cushion tires  
    • Formulated with standard quality rubber and additives  
    • Priced competitively 
    • Few problems in low- to medium-use applications  
    • Resists abrasion 

    2. Electric Compound (The best cushion tire to buy!) 

    • Lower rolling resistance o Formulated with high quality rubber and additives 
    • Runs cooler  
    • Resists tearing and chunking due to higher elongation  
    • Constructed of a softer material, protecting the equipment, operator, and load

    PNEUMATIC/SOLID TYPE TIRES

    With pneumatic tires, you have 3 choices on which type to use.

    1. Softuff Solid Pneumatic 

    • Long wearing, scuff-resistant tread
    • Cushion-rubber center reduces load damage  
    • Steel reinforced base provides absolute rim adherence 
    • Greater ground clearance 
    • Diameter meets/exceeds global size and safety standards 
    • Zero-maintenance solid tire 
    • Concave sidewalls increase deflection, reducing equipment and driver fatigue

    2. Softstandard 

    • Long wear, greater ground clearance and increased stability 
    • Constructed with a 70/30 rubber-to-friction stock ratio 
    • Precision interference fit helps eliminate spinning 
    • Rugged tread design provides maximum traction on all surfaces 
    • Concave sidewall improves shock absorption

    3. MPC Type - Black and Round 

    Very popular because of its price

    • European-type size which has less tread 
    • Soft riding center compound increases shock absorption 
    • Provides an economical solution for good tires

    Ask Cromer what tire works best for your application.  We're happy to help!

  • Choose the Right Forklift

    By Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss | Sep 13, 2012

    It's important to select the proper forklift for the job. If you aren't sure what type is best, watch this video to help you determine what type of forklift would best match your needs and budget.