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
  • New CAT and Jungheinrich Forklifts will be "Made in America"

    By Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss | Jun 05, 2013

    At the end of February, I attended an MCFA dealer meeting in Houston, Texas. The meeting was a whirlwind. Got back in touch with some old friends, got some new business going. Great time.

    But the highlight was watching the groundbreaking of a new 200,000sq. ft. Houston manufacturing facility for CAT and Jungheinrich forklifts, some of our favorite brands. This new facility will bring 300 manufacturing jobs back to the U.S. from overseas. By the end of 2013, CAT will bring all of its forklift manufacturing to U.S. facilities like this one.

    A photo of the groundbreaking. Unfortunately, they didn't let me join them!

    Cromer Material Handling proudly supports all efforts to promote a strong manufacturing base in the U.S. We have dozens of customers who rely on their CAT and Jungheinrich forklifts day in, day out, all across Northern California (and beyond).

    The more we support our neighbors, the better our businesses ALL become.

    Press Release for the MCFA Groundbreaking: Mitsubishi Caterpillar Forklift America inc. (MCFA) Breaks Ground on Expanded Houston Manufacturing Facilities

  • HARVEST RENTALS 2013: Reserve By May 30 and Take 15% Off!

    By Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss | Mar 29, 2013

    Harvest Season is on the horizon!  Is your material handling equipment ready to meet the demand?

    We would like to welcome everyone to the 2013 season. As Harvest/Crush approaches, and you start to think about renting forklifts and accessories, we’d like you to keep us in mind.

    For Harvest Season, we’re offering 15% off your monthly rental rate if you reserve before May 30.  And better yet, no minimum rental is required.

    The value Cromer adds to Forklift Rentals includes:

    1. Average fleet age - 2.5 years old (newest in Northern California)
    2. Service coverage for the Greater Bay Area and North Central Valley
    3. 24/7 Emergency Service Calls
    4. 24/7 Emergency Calls
    5. No rental minimum
    6. Over 160 Units in the Rental Fleet, including:
    • Front Bin Dumpers
    • Rotators
    • Solid Pneumatic, Late Model
    • Cushion LPG & Electric
    • Golf Cart/Burden Carriers

    Cromer Material Handling is the Preferred Vendor for:

    Gate Controls, Dumpers

    Clamps, Push/Pulls

    Clamps, Pallet Handlers

    Forks, Load Handlers

    If you just need some extra attachments to equip your forklifts for harvest, we’ll get them out to you.  Cromer is able to handle any and every attachment application in the industry.

    To reserve a forklift rental for Harvest Season, please contact our Oakland headquarters at: 510-534-6566

    P.S. - If you’re considering buying a new bin dumper or rotator, NOW is the time to do it.  Current lead time is 4-5 weeks.  In June/July, lead time will be 6-8 weeks+!


    For Harvest/Crush, Cromer is discounting all rentals on forklifts and forklift attachments.  Reservations must be made by May 30.

    Cromer email subscribers are the first to know – but everyone else will soon! So call us at 800-974-5438 to make your rental reservation.

  • Crane Trying to Lift a Bulldozer - Not a Good Idea!

    By Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss | Mar 29, 2013
    How's this for "creative" material handling? This is a short video of a crane lowering a bulldozer down into a gulley, off a bridge. NOT SMART! As you'll see from what happens. Things don't quite go according to plan...

  • Want High Value from Your Lift Trucks? Try a Doosan

    By Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss | Mar 06, 2013

    Cromer sells a wide variety of forklifts – CAT, Clark and others. Like Doosan.

    You won’t buy (or rent) a forklift from us unless we think it’s a high value truck. Doosan, a $20-billion company, has proven themselves a reliable forklift manufacturer.

    This month I wanted to go over one major value point for Doosan trucks – braking.

    What Kind of Brakes are on Your Forklift?

    Forklift braking is critical – not only to avoid accidents, but to keep the forklift from braking too suddenly & spilling its contents everywhere. If you’ve already watched the “Top 10 Forklift Accidents” video, you know exactly how bad forklift spills can turn out!

    Doosan went further than their competitors when it came to braking. They equipped all their forklift models with oil-cooled disc brakes (OCDBs).

    OCDBs Reduce Operation Cost by Saving You Money on Maintenance Work

    Oil-Cooled Disc Brakes operate inside of an enclosed and sealed system. This keeps out moisture & foreign materials (dust, sand), so they don’t cause lockups or degrade the brakes.

    OCDBs have superior stopping power too. The discs are run in oil, limiting their wear from friction. Plus they use 3-5 discs per wheel, compared to the standard 2 discs.

    Sealing the brake system up lowers maintenance costs as well. For an average 2,000 hours a year of operation, you can save roughly $4,920 over 5 years.

    That’s like never having to do a brake job for your car.

    Finally, Doosan warranties their brakes. A 5-year, 10,000-hour brake lining warranty on every truck.

    Want a look? This promotional video will show you the Pro5 and GX Range of Doosan forklifts.
    Doosan Forklifts Pro5 and GX Range - YouTube

    Doosan trucks are a great value. We’re glad to represent them at Cromer. If you’re interested in trying one out, here's an offer for you to try...


    If you’d like you to try out a Doosan forklift, we have brand new ones available at Cromer. Lease a fully-loaded 5,000-pound Pneumatic Doosan Forklift for $349/month.

    Call us at 800-974-5438 to reserve a Doosan. Mention the “Deal of the Month” for this special offer!

  • I've posted a list of my competitors - on MY website!

    By Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss | Mar 05, 2013

    I don't call myself "The Forklift Boss" for nothing. At Cromer, we're so confident in our forklift selection...this is how I'll prove it.

    I've just posted a list of our competitors' names and phone numbers. Right here, on That’s how confident I am our company has the best products, forklift parts, service and rentals in Northern California.

    You can see the new "Competitors Page" here:'s-Competitors

    If you're looking for a low-end forklift, call any of the people on the list. Tell them Marshall sent you.

    Please, call around.
    You'll be back.

  • 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 –

    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
  • 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 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


    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.