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
  • Signs a Forklift is Ready for Retirement

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

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

    When a Forklift is Ready to Retire

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

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

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

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

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

    Signs a Forklift is Reaching its End of Life

    These are some signs to watch out for:

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

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

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

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

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 Its safety features are out of date.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

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

    Dangers of a Failing Forklift

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Even in drought though, Harvest Season approaches!

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

    And everyone will need equipment at the same time.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    How to Reserve a Rental Forklift or Handling Equipment for Harvest

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

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

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

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

    See you next month!

    Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss
    Cromer Material Handling

    Cromer Deal of the Month


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

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

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

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

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

    Now it's Sacramento's turn.

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

    It moves us from Sacramento to West Sacramento, though.

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

    106" 6,000-lb Beams
    Shelving Beams

    New 42" x 46" Wire Deck

    Wire Decking for Commercial Storage

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

    Boltless Shelving for Warehouse or Commercial

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

    See you next month!

    Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss
    Cromer Material Handling

    Have You Seen the New Cromer Video?

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

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

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

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

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

    Cromer Deal of the Month


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

    10' x 44" Uprights - $65

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    1813 Moffat Boulevard, Manteca, California 95336

    New Arrivals

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

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

    Forklift Tires & Parts

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


    Forklift Parts for All Makes & Models


    Forklift Rentals

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

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

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

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

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

    Rack and Shelving

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


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

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

    Pallet Jacks

    Doosan Pallet Jacks: $249 All Day Long

    Clark Pallet Jacks: $299 All Day Long



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

    Forklift Maintenance

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

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

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

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

  • Cromer's Pink Forklifts Featured on CBS Local Sacramento

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

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

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

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

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

    1 Comment
  • Last Day to Buy Material Handling Equipment and Get a Tax Break!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    And Cromer helped make it possible.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Then join us back here for 2014!

    Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss
    Cromer Material Handling

    Cromer Deal of the Month


    12’ Uprights for Pallet Storage $89.60/Each

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

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

  • Forklift Driver Engulfed in Flames - An Avoidable Accident

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

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

    The entire truck burst into flames.

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

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

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

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

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

  • Why Won't My Forklift Start? - Common Causes of Forklift Failure

    By Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss | Nov 27, 2013

    The holiday season is upon us all. We’re rushing about in the warehouses, getting loads moved and shipped. More coming in. It’s the holidays—we can’t stop until January!

    In fact, all this rushing is usually what causes forklift failures. Operators are in such a hurry that they neglect to check certain things on their trucks. Those things get worse and worse, until one day—boom. The forklift just quits working.

    Our maintenance technicians see it happen all the time. Oh, we know how to repair the trucks and get them back to you fast. But I’m sure you’d rather keep those forklifts running smoothly. Every day!

    We asked our maintenance technicians about the most common problems our service customers have. And what operators should do instead, to minimize any chance their forklifts will stop working. This is what we heard back.

    What Happens: 4 Common Failures

    According to Cromer technicians, these 4 causes are responsible for most of the forklift failures they see.

    1. No start – Did someone leave the lights on? Or the key turned in the ignition?
    2. Debris build-up – If there’s dust or plastic wrapping on the warehouse floor, it can get sucked up into the forklift. Airflow gets clogged, fans can’t spin properly...and the forklift overheats.
    3. Overheating – Without sufficient coolant, your forklift’s converter can freeze up. Rapid overheating follows.
    4. Hydraulic leaks – Many things can cause a hydraulic leak. Impacts, a blown hose, even over-lifting the forklift’s capacity. If the hydraulic cylinders leak, your forklift is useless until repaired.

    How to Prevent Forklift Failures: Check Your Trucks!

    The good news – all of the above problems are preventable! All your operators need to do is take a few moments to maintain the forklift. This is what Cromer recommends for good operator care:

    All Forklift Types – Do a quick check each morning, to make sure your forklift is in good working order. Things you should check include:

    • Check the tires, safety harnesses, and the brakes (including e-brake).
    • Check all fluids (oil, transmission, coolant, fuel). Don’t forget the hydraulics!
    • Lift the forks. Tilt forward and back.
    • Check the lights and the steering. Beep the horn.
    • Look under the forklift. Make sure there’s no debris underneath, and no leaks are visible.

    LPG/Diesel Forklifts – Check your fuel level. Running out of fuel on LP systems can harm the trim valves. For Diesels, it can damage the injector pump. Either way, the forklift needs replacement parts.

    Electric Forklifts – Check your battery’s water level. If the battery goes dry, it’ll die fast. And it’ll blow out components on the way out. Improperly-maintained batteries are the #1 cause of electric forklift failure.

    If you have forklifts which are sluggish or not working right, do some maintenance before the holidays hit their peak. Call us for on-site maintenance help.

    If you’re short on trucks this holiday season, Cromer still has rentals available!

    Take a little time and check your equipment on the way out. Just a few minutes can prolong your forklift’s life (not to mention avoid any holiday headaches).

    We’ll see you back here in December!

    Announcing: New Manteca Location

    By the end of the year, Cromer Material Handling will have a new location to serve our Central Valley customers.

    The new location is:

    1813 Moffat Boulevard, Manteca, California 95336

    We’re in the process of fitting the Manteca location with new electrical and service equipment. Work is expected to complete in December.

    When it opens, our Manteca facility will provide preventative maintenance, parts and tires, regular interval service, warehousing supplies, a rental fleet…and plenty of top-of-the-line forklifts for your 2014 work.

    If you’re in the Central Valley, stop on by!

    Cromer Deal of the Month: The Pink Forklift: Brand New LPG from Clark - $23,900

    Yes, it's PINK! Cromer is participating in the Susan G. Komen Foundation’s campaign, “Raising Hope for Breast Cancer.” This is a Clark LPG forklift, brand new, with solid pneumatics, triple stage and side shift.The Pink Forklift from Clark

    At $23,900, we’ll make a $500 donation to the Susan G. Komen Foundation too. Want to lease it? $329/month. This truck gives a company great added publicity – you’re supporting breast cancer research, and getting a great price!

    Call Cromer at 800-974-5438 and ask for the “Pink Forklift.”

  • Life-Sized Forklift Boss Placard

    By Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss | Oct 28, 2013

    Marshall Cromer here. I'm at a management group meeting in St. Louis right now. The boys here surprised me with this.

    The Real Forklift Boss

    Life-sized Forklift Boss placard. Any doubt who's the Forklift Boss now?

    This bad boy's going on the main building. You'll see it from the freeway in a few days.

    To the guys in my Management Group: Thanks! This is a hell of a gift.

    Now, to turn this image into a bobblehead. Customers will love a Forklift Boss bobble in the office.

  • Use Blue Lights on Your Forklifts to Keep Workers Safe

    By Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss | Oct 01, 2013

    On October 17, Cromer Material Handling will celebrate 25 years in business! We are thankful to our many loyal customers for that success. We look forward to 25 more years supplying Northern California with its material handling equipment.

    This month, we're talking about one thing you can do to improve forklift safety. One simple thing that makes the entire warehouse safer.

    It's called a "Blue Light."

    What's a Blue Light Do?

    A Blue Light is an LED spotlight that mounts on a forklift. It shines a light on the floor a few feet in front of, or behind your forklift as it moves.

    This big blue spot on the floor acts as a warning: "Blue Light! Forklift Approaching!"

    When workers are heads down, they can see the blue light moving on the floor and know a forklift's coming. They can stop and safely let the forklift pass.

    Want to see a blue light in operation? Take a look at this video (only 39 seconds long):
    Blue LED Safety Spotlight for Forklifts

    How Blue Lights Keep Workers Safe

    This kind of light helps keep everyone aware of their surroundings. You can see them before you could ever see a forklift - between warehouse racks, out of loading trucks, and around corners.

    Better awareness leads to fewer bumps, fewer feet run over, and fewer crashes.

    Do your forklifts carry blue safety lights? If not, we have some. Cromer now carries blue safety lights as an add-on for all forklifts we sell. The lights are low-power, and will plug into any forklift model.

    Let's all avoid injuries and crashes. I want to keep you as my customer for the next 25 years!

    Watch your email for special offers from the Forklift Boss to celebrate Cromer's 25 years in business!

    3 Cromer Safety Training Sessions Left in 2013 - Are You Signed Up?

    We mention safety lights and similar procedures in our Safety Training courses.

    If you're attending a training session, ask us about installing Blue Lights.

    The remaining 2013 sessions are on October 18, November 22 and December 13. Call 510-534-6566 x239 to sign your crews up.

    Cromer Deal of the Month: CATERPILLAR 3-WHEEL ELECTRIC WITH ONLY 4100 HOURS - $10,950

    Our September Deal of the Month is a used Caterpillar 3-wheel electric forklift. This truck was made in 2000, and has only 4100 hours on it.

    We've replaced the battery with a brand new one, and it comes with a charger. Sale price is only $10,950. Call us at 800-974-5438!

  • Reminder: Keep All Your Forklifts Up to CARB Code

    By Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss | Sep 04, 2013

    Fall is coming fast. Soon some of us will begin the holiday shipping and distribution rush. Time will get away from us. Schedules will fill up with big orders.

    So NOW is the time to make sure your forklift fleets are in compliance with California's Air Resource Board (CARB) Code. That way you won't have to take up valuable time later...or worse, pay expensive fines if you're out of compliance when an inspector drops by.

    What is CARB?

    The California Air Resource Board (CARB) is a division of the California Environmental Protection Agency. CARB's goal is to maintain California's clean air. You can find their website at

    CARB has established air quality standards, which all businesses using 3 or more lift trucks must follow. You are responsible for keeping your trucks well-maintained, so they will stay within state emissions standards while operating.

    For all industries using forklifts and other material handling equipment, CARB regulations are a very big consideration. Cromer is aware of the regulations, and we know how to help you stay in compliance.

    What happens if your forklifts aren't up to code?

    Failure to meet CARB code may result in fines. If CARB inspectors stop by and find your business in violation, they can levy fines of up to $500 per day until you're in compliance.

    Severe violations may even prevent you from operating your business, requiring you to pay a settlement first. These settlements & fines can be very high!

    For example:

    1. Foster Enterprises was fined $300,000 in December 2012 for excessive diesel exhaust emissions.
    2. JLV Transport, LLC paid a $17,100 settlement in July 2013. They made changes to their refrigerated fleet, but failed to update the operator report within 30 days. Plus they didn't properly self-inspect their diesel trucks to meet state smoke emission standards.
    3. The San Joaquin Regional Transit District received a $35,000 fine for failing to comply with State air emissions requirements for its buses.
    4. Fines from $10,000 to $120,000 for failure to supply complete emissions information by the appropriate deadlines, against 9 energy & construction companies in late 2012.

    How to determine your forklifts' code compliance
    (And what to do if they aren't!)

    A quick way to tell if your forklifts are operating within CARB code (or if they're not) is to use a CARB Calculator.

    This free CARB Calculator spreadsheet will show you an estimate of your forklift fleet's emissions level. If your compliance is at risk, it will show you.

    CARB Calculator (Downloadable file, Excel Spreadsheet)

    If your emissions results indicate that you're not up to CARB Code (or are in danger of failing compliance), call us for help!

    Most of the time returning a forklift to CARB compliance is easy, with some light maintenance. Emissions Diagnostics are part of our Major Interval Service and Fleet Maintenance Service.

    Cromer is also happy to provide you with rental forklifts in the meantime.

    If a forklift is too worn down for maintenance to be cost-effective, we'll help you replace it with a clean electric lift truck. Zero emissions - instant CARB compliance!

    Cromer Material Handling does not want to see ANY of our customers facing CARB fines. Let's all stay up to code with a little preventative work.

    Deal of the Month: Clark C25 LPG "Pink" Forklift – Buy for 23,950 or lease for $341.90/month

    Cromer is participating in the Clark “Raising Hope Program” for 2013. We have 2 of these pink LPG forklifts in stock. Buy one and we’ll donate $500 to the Susan G. Komen Foundation for Breast Cancer.

    Sale price is only $23,950. Or lease one for $341.90/month.

  • Harvest Season is Coming - Did You Reserve the Equipment You'll Need?

    By Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss | Aug 07, 2013

    Harvest will be upon us before we know it. It's not too late to reserve your rental forklift and a bin dumper!

    Every year, Cromer receives many equipment rental requests for harvest season. We stock an extra-large inventory of rentals & attachments for exactly this reason. Everything is California ARB compliant and in perfect working order (or we won't rent it out!).

    We've expanded our forklift fleet for 2013. All rental trucks are the newest in Northern California. We stock LPG and outdoor 80-volt electrics. Our new electrics even deliver more productivity than LPG trucks - and they'll do 2 propane tanks worth of work on one charge.

    --Marshall Cromer, the Forklift Boss


    We still have forklifts, rotators and bin dumpers available to rent. When you rent from Cromer, you will receive a forklift that is like new and free from breakdowns.

    Some of you have already called in to rent forklifts, bin dumpers and clamps for Harvest Season. For those of you who haven't, you still have time to reserve equipment before it's all spoken for!

    If you want to reserve a rental truck or attachment (or you still have questions about equipment you'll need for Harvest) please call Vince Williams at 800-974-5438 for help. His email is

    We'll help you make the arrangements necessary for a 100% successful Harvest.


    Cromer has an extensive inventory of Used Forklifts to help fit your budget. All brands, varying capacities and uses. Our used models are reconditioned.

    See prices along with our featured Used Inventory here.

    2008 5,000lb MITSUBISHI LPG FORKLIFT FOR SALE OR LEASEThe Last Mitsubishi Truck for July 2013

    For July's Deal of the Month, we're offering this 2008 Mitsubishi LPG forklift. It has 188 triple stage with side shift. This is the last one we have!

    Buy it for only $12,850. Or lease it for as low as $296/mo. Call us at 800-974-5438 and ask for "the last Mitsubishi truck."

  • Jungheinrichs are Workhorses: A Video Testimonial from Mid Valley Foods

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

    Junghreinrich electrics are workhorses. They run long, they carry heavy loads, they keep operators safe and they require very little maintenance.

    But don't just take my word for it. Here's a video of Jungheinrich pallet jacks in action.

    Mid Valley Foods is a large wholesale food distributor in California's Central Valley. When they moved into a state-of-the-art facility in Oakdale, CA, the owner Cheri Casey called CAT for material handling equipment.

    They chose a fleet of Jungheinrich EJE pallet trucks to carry product around the warehouse, onto trucks and into customer locations. They loved the pallet trucks so much, they doubled the fleet!

    And they were kind enough to record a video testimonial about their experience. Watch this video for their story.

    Some of the things you'll hear Mid Valley Foods say about Jungheinrich:

    • A workhorse of a brand
    • Very low maintenance on all the trucks
    • 100% uptime in the field

    Cromer Material Handling is grateful to Mid Valley Foods for doing the testimonial.  We like hearing about happy customers using products we sell.

    If you want to try out a Jungheinrich workhorse in Northern California, call us at 800-974-5438!

  • Are Forklifts "Made in America" Better?

    By Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss | Jul 10, 2013

    Happy Independence Day! This week we celebrate the founding of our nation, and what it means to be an American.

    "Made in America" used to mean the highest quality product. You knew you had the best, because it was made right here.

    Does this still hold true today?

    We at Cromer think so. Many of our products do come from overseas manufacturing (and we wouldn't carry them if they weren't high quality), but much of our forklift inventory is made right here in the U.S.

    These are the top 6 forklift brands Cromer carries. Where do they make the forklifts you rely on? You might be surprised.


    In 1994, Mitsubishi and Capterillar formed a joint venture to manufacture their forklifts in Houston, Texas. In 2010, the MCFA joint ventured with Jungheinrich, to distribute their product in the US. They've recently announced an expansion of 200,000 square feet to manufacture MCFA and Jungheinrich electrics in Houston: Mitsubishi Caterpillar Forklift America Inc. (MCFA) Breaks Ground on Expanded Houston Manufacturing Facilities


    Manufactures forklifts in Korea, but they have reshored some manufacturing & parts distribution to Lexington, Kentucky. Clark Material Handling Co. Resumes Manufacturing Lift Trucks in Lexington, KY


    Manufactures all of its forklifts at its plant in Southwest Denver, CO. Donkey


    Manufactures worldwide depending on product type. Doosan is the largest U.S. Skid-steer manufacturer in the world. They produce the Bobcat line in the U.S., and are North Dakota's largest manufacturer. Doosan Industrial Vehicles - Worldwide Locations


    The #1 electric forklift in the world, based in Germany. Four production plants there, in Norderstedt, Lüneburg, Moosburg and Landsb. One production plant in Qingpu, China. One Manufacturing Facility in Houston, Texas (participating in the new MCFA facility), expected to begin operation by 2014. Facts and Figures about Jungheinrich (PDF)


    Operates facilities in China, Finland, the USA, the Netherlands and Malaysia. Kalmar has its U.S. forklift manufacturing facility in Ottawa, Kansas. Facts and Figures about Kalmar North America (PDF)

    The question is: How do the American manufacturing facilities benefit these forklifts?

    • High quality. I've toured the U.S. facilities of numerous forklift manufacturers, including the new MCFA Houston site, and am always impressed with the quality. It's no wonder US-made forklifts last so long.
    • Local jobs & strong communities. More production is returning to our shores (a practice called "reshoring"), spurring local growth with new jobs and income within communities.
    • Shorter supply chain, faster turnaround. Manufacturing something as complex as a forklift takes a lot of time & effort. If you do so in the same country as your prime customers, you shorten the time it takes for them to receive your finished product. This can also lower costs.

    Quality labor. Reasonable costs. Faster delivery. These are all advantages to making forklifts in America, for American industries. Otherwise manufacturers like CAT wouldn't bring their operations back into the U.S. (or have never left, like Donkey).

    Cromer does carry some material handling equipment made overseas. But only if it matches up to the quality standard set by our forklifts "Made in America."

    --Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss

    CAT EKS20 4,000lb STAND-UP FORKLIFT FOR ONLY $15,800

    June's Deal (steal?) of the Month is a Cat EKS20 stand-up forklift. 4,000lb capacity, with end control. Only 1800 hours use. We've tuned up and reconditioned the battery.

    You get a sweet, fast-responding machine for only $15,800. That's a monthly payment of only $362.35 a month.

    Call Cromer at 800-974-5438 if you're interested. Don't put it off; this one will go fast!

  • Facts About Propane

    By Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss | Jun 07, 2013

    Everyone knows propane. We use it to power everything from barbecues to fleets of forklifts. There’s a lot more to propane than a tank and a hose, though.

    Do you know how to tell if a propane tank is leaking? What’s an Overfilling Prevention Device (OPD) for? The answers to these and more questions are right here, straight from the Forklift Boss. Strap in—it’s a long list!

    What is propane?

    Propane is a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), used for cooking, heating, manufacturing, agriculture, propellants…and powering LPG forklifts. It’s a clean-burning fuel, made from crude oil or natural gas. Almost 87% of the propane used in the U.S. is made here. Most forklift manufacturers make forklifts that run on propane, including our Caterpillar, Doosan and Clark forklift trucks.

    Is all propane the same?

    No. Propane fuel quality does vary. There are several degrees of blends for Liquefied Petroleum Gas. The most common blends are commercial grade propane, commercial grade butane, HD5 and HD10 grade of propane, and butane/propane blends.

    Cromer uses HD10 specification or better for our LPG forklifts, because it’s the industry’s recognized standard for motor fuel. There are many propane service companies that will deliver propane tanks to your company.

    Why does propane smell so bad?

    Propane in its natural state is odorless. After it’s processed, an odorant (ethyl mercaptan) is added to the fuel. This way you can detect a leak by smell, before gas concentrations reach hazardous levels.

    How can you tell if a propane tank is leaking?

    If you think a propane tank or cylinder is leaking, check the following:

    • Smell. If you can smell the odor, there could be a leak or open fitting. (That’s why we add the odorant!)
    • Oily film around the valve or fitting connections. Small leaks often leave an oily residue at the leak point.
    • Sound. A severe leak will sometimes emit a sound, from a low “psssss” to a high-pitched squeal.
    • If you’re running out of propane fast, it’s possible that a leak exists on the container or its lines. Park the forklift and call for assistance.
    • Check for a frosting or freezing spot on the container surface.

    What do you do if you have a leaking propane tank?

    Get it outside and away from any source of ignition, right away! If the tank is attached to a forklift, DO NOT continue to drive the forklift. If the leak is on the fuel line (vapor or liquid), shut off the flow of fuel by closing the service valve. Once you’ve found the leak (or even if you suspect one), call your propane supplier (or us!) for help.

    Why does the forklift tank freeze up or sweat while on the forklift?

    A propane tank/cylinder will sweat or freeze if the forklift is drawing fuel from the vapor space of the forklift container. This can happen if:

    • The tank/cylinder is placed on the forklift incorrectly. (On a DOT cylinder, the two holes on the neck ring need to be on the bottom, so when the tank is in the horizontal position, the bracket peg will fit in one of the holes.)
    • The liquid tube is broken inside the container.
    • You are low enough on fuel that the liquid level is below the liquid withdraw tube opening.
    • A vapor withdraw tank/cylinder is being used on a liquid withdraw system.

    Where should I store propane tanks?

    Small cylinders up to 420 lbs. (100-gallons) should be outside and at least 15 feet from a building opening (windows, doors, vents). Most small multiple cylinders/tanks must be stored outside in a rack or secured area. A larger tank, 100-499 gallons, must be 10 feet away from the building or property line. Tanks from 500 – 2000 gallons are set 25 feet away from a building or property line. 2000+ gallon tanks are 50 feet away from a building or property line.

    Protective barriers or concrete foundations may be needed. Local fire departments and city regulators may be involved in the installation process. If you’re in a city with a Cromer facility, call us and we’ll advise you.

    Do we have to certify our propane tanks?

    Yes. If you have a DOT cylinder propane container, it must be recertified 12 years from the manufacturing date. Then it must be recertified again either 5, 7, or 12 years after (depending on your certifying method). The cylinder will be tested to confirm that it’s still safe to use.

    If you have an ASME tank, it does not get recertified. Instead, you should replace the relief valve every 10 years, per Dept. of Transportation standards.

    Cromer forklifts are sold with certified propane tanks only. Our repair technicians will verify tank safety in Planned Maintenance checks.

    What is an OPD?

    OPD stands for Overfilling Prevention Device. It’s a safety device incorporated into the filling valve of a propane cylinder. The OPD shuts off the flow of gas to a cylinder after 80% capacity has been reached. This limits the potential for release of gas when the cylinder heats, averting a fire or possible injury.

    Industrial trucks have 10% valves that are the gauge in filling up a Horizontal Propane tank. This valve is opened during filling. When gas escapes, the tank is full.

    If you use propane in your material handling equipment, now’s a good time to do a quick check of your tanks. If it’s a Cromer tank, it’s probably fine. But make sure!

    --Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss


    These are some nice new machines. For a limited time, lease a new Clark 3,000lb IC forklift with 188 triple stage & side shifter for only $298 a month.

    Call Cromer at 800-974-5438 to reserve yours.

  • 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!