Mark Andres

Mark Andres
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CARB Forklift Regulations: Know Before You Buy

Across the U.S., approximately 60% of material handling operations use electric forklifts. But in California, it could soon be 100%.

Proposed regulations from The California Air Resources Board (CARB) will eventually phase out internal combustion (IC) forklifts. Operations will gradually retire any IC forklifts in their fleet, and the sale and purchase of used Spark-Ignited forklifts in California would be prohibited starting January 1, 2026.

Read on to learn about:

  • Pending regulations from CARB
  • Incentives for using electric equipment
  • When to choose a gas or propane forklift vs. electric

Garage of Champions Part III

Ever heard of a forklift that's old enough to vote or order a drink at a bar?  No, Toyota hasn't invented sentient forklifts, but, some of our customers have forklifts that are 18, 21, even 40+ years old and still going strong.

When you buy a Toyota forklift, you're making a smart investment in equipment that can last for years, and even decades if well-maintained. It's true, you'll pay more for a Toyota upfront, but you'll quickly lose that savings (and more) when that "cheaper" forklift needs to be repaired or replaced after just a few years.

Below are stories from two Toyota forklift owners in the Bay Area and Central Valley. You can read more stories by checking out our
Garage of Champions series. 

Do you have a Toyota forklift that's 25 years old - or older?  We'd love to share your story, drop us a line.

When To Use a Reach Truck vs. a Forklift

When businesses need to maximize space and speed, Toyota reach trucks deliver. Reach trucks are commonplace in medium to large warehouse and distribution centers across the Bay Area, greater Sacramento and Fresno. They’re also widely used in food and beverage distribution. 

If your business has narrow aisles (or plans to convert to narrow aisles), a reach truck can do the same job as a forklift, but in a narrower space. With a reach truck, operators can now easily position pallets into racks 37 feet high thanks to Toyota’s most recent product release. 

As an added bonus: businesses in California can get paid to charge electric equipment. Use the quarterly payment to help pay for new electric equipment or invest in other opportunities. 

AGV vs. AMR: Which Robot Suits Your Warehouse Operations Best?

Have you ever wondered if those mobile robots would work in your warehouse? Technology innovations are pushing warehouse operations towards better efficiency and more effortless scalability. Warehouse automation strategies help improve process throughput, reduce operational costs, and offer a solution to the labor shortage.

Yet, every warehouse is unique in its layout, the number of employees, number of shifts, and material movement workflow. So how do you choose the best technology for your warehouse automation needs?

To help you pick the best mobile robots for warehouse automation, we had to analyze both options - Automated Guided Vehicle (AGV) & Autonomous Mobile Robot (AMR). Below you will find everything you need to know about these two solutions. It will help you make an intelligent decision when choosing between AMR and AGV robotics for your warehouse.

Automated Warehouse Systems: What is ASRS and How Can It Help?

Moving pallets and packages around your warehouse is not always easy. We know that managing a warehouse has many challenges for distribution center managers like you. Some of these challenges include high labor costs, low productivity and efficiency, and high safety risks for employees. 

To overcome these challenges, our clients have success with automated storage and retrieval systems or ASRS. Currently, more than 10% of warehouses in the US use automated warehousing equipment. What about yours?

But does your warehouse really need an automated warehouse system? How can they help your warehouse optimization efforts? Well, let’s learn what ASRS is, its use cases, its benefits, and more.

Charge Up, Get Paid and Help Clean Our Air: The Easy Way To Cash in on CARB LCFS Credits

Electric Forklift Incentives

If you own an electric forklift or other battery-powered material handling equipment, you could be earning cash back every time you charge it up. Businesses need to reduce their carbon emissions, so the California Air Resource Board (CARB) created a financial incentive program to:

  • Help businesses offset charging and maintenance costs
  • and fund the purchase of new, zero-emission equipment.

Whether you already own electric material handling equipment, or you’re thinking about investing in something new, read on to find out how easy it is to get paid for charging your equipment. Or request a free estimate and find out how much you could be earning each month.

Questions to Ask Before Buying Your Next Forklift

There will come a point when your existing forklifts have reached the end of their economic life and need to be replaced. Besides some of the obvious questions there are a few that could save you hundred, thousands, or tens of thousands of dollars.


Should You Buy an LP Forklift or an Electric Forklift?

 Both liquified petroleum (LP) forklifts and electric forklifts offer a cleaner, quieter alternative to gas or diesel-powered lift trucks. So which is better?

- Some applications, like food, pharmaceutical or underground facilities are required to use electric forklifts. Electric forklifts also have a lower cost of ownership in the long term.
- On the other hand, propane forklifts can be used indoors or outdoors, and changing tanks is easier than changing a forklift battery.

Read on to read a complete list of the major pros and cons of electric vs. propane forklifts.

Short-Term Forklift Rentals During the COVID-19 Outbreak

The COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for the American way of life and doing business. We know firsthand how difficult these times are and we stand with our customers.

Forklift Battery Do's and Don'ts

On average, a forklift battery will last a single-shift operation five years. Proper care and maintenance can extend battery life up to ten years. Prolong the life of your forklift battery by following these easy Do’s and Don’ts when charging, operating and handling forklift batteries.

Top Forklift Mechanics of 2019

We believe in recognizing team members for a job well-done, but sometimes “thank you,” just isn’t enough. That’s why we created the TMHNC Top Tech program with a $1000 cash award for the top forklift technician at each of our locations (East Bay-Livermore, Fresno, West Sacramento and Salinas).

The award is based on a point system that rewards safety, effective communication, and other core values. Please help us recognize the Top Forklift Techs of 2019 from each TMHNC branch.

Toyota Forklifts - Made in the USA

Did you know: the world’s number one forklift is made in the USA? Toyota forklifts have been
ranked #1 in the world for 15+ years in a row, and they’re made in America’s heartland.

At Toyota’s forklift manufacturing plant in Columbus, Indiana, hundreds of associates assemble 30,000+ forklifts every year. More than 500,000 forklifts have been produced in Columbus since 1990, and they’re hard at work in 13+ countries around the world.

Read on to meet some of the people who work at the Toyota forklift factory and learn more about Toyota’s commitment to its workers and the environment. If you are based in Northern or Central California and would like to visit the plant, let us know. We can help arrange a tour.

Forklifts and Cold Storage - What You Need to Know

Every material handling operation has its difficulties, but cold storage and perishable logistics applications are especially challenging.  Opportunities for catastrophic product loss happen every moment of every day.

Temperature variations can cause unwanted discoloration, microbial growth, and spoiled product. But goods can’t stay in climate-controlled cold storage indefinitely. At some point, the product must be transferred quickly to or from a refrigerated vehicle for transport. Finding tough, reliable material handling equipment that can withstand constant temperature changes is a common problem in cold storage applications.

Success in the perishable goods industry requires both expertise and an eye for innovation. Businesses need to gain a competitive edge, but choosing the wrong cold storage warehouse equipment can be a million dollar mistake.

Kirk Hamre - Moving to SoCal

Kirk Hamre, account manager for Alameda County has announced he and his wife are moving to Southern California in the new year. “After long consideration, my wife and I have decided to move to Orange County. My wife is from the area, and she has wanted to move back for many years. Recently, her job was restructured in a way that will allow us to make this move,” Kirk said.

Kirk’s last day with Toyota Material Handling Northern California (TMH) is Monday, December 31st. Kirk joined TMH in 2013 and has been a valued and well-respected member of our team ever since.

Kirk’s family has lived in the area for generations and he has a remarkable material handling lineage….

Top 5 Forklift Tricks

Here are a few of our favorite videos that showcase drivers with amazing forklift skills.  We've got the classic forklift-picks-up-a-quarter video, and a few new surprises. Also, if you like amazing basketball tricks, there's a forklift assist video that's not to be missed.

Gift Ideas for Forklift Drivers

December is a time to celebrate the year that was, and a great time to show appreciation for your hardworking forklift operators and the dedicated members of your material handling team. Below are some gift ideas for forklift drivers and outstanding employees.

Loading Dock Safety - 3 Essential Tips

Loading docks are a hub of activity. Forklift accidents can happen anywhere, but weather, moving trucks and other factors make loading docks one of the more hazardous areas for forklifts.

Common forklift accidents on loading docks include:

The lift truck falling off the edge of the dock
Employees being struck by a forklift
Skidding or slipping due to wet or icy conditions
Trailer separation (the truck pulls away with a forklift still inside)

Forklift Pricing - What You Need to Know

Buying a forklift, even a small forklift, is a big investment. Since it’s our goal to help customers find the right forklift for the right price, we wanted to share some insights about forklift pricing. Here are a few factors to keep in mind when estimating what you might pay for your next lift truck.

Different Types of Forklifts

Fleet managers have more choices than ever when it comes to material handling equipment. There are electric forklifts, internal combustion (ICE) forklifts, aerial lifts, order pickers, pallet jacks, reach trucks, scissor lifts...not to mention a  huge variety of
forklift attachments.

This article explains the different types of powered industrial trucks (Class I - Class VII) using the classifications recognized by OSHA. We’ll identify the advantages of each forklift type and the best applications for each one.

How to Buy a Forklift

Choosing a forklift can be overwhelming. It’s a big investment and there are a lot of options. Below are some questions, developed by our staff, to help buyers choose the best forklift at the best price that will meet their operational needs for many years.

Questions to Answer Before You Buy a Forklift

  • What’s the average load weight the forklift will transport?
  • What's the maximum weight the forklift will transport?
  • What size pallets do you normally use / what are the dimensions of your loads?
    Forklift capacities are based on a standard pallet with a 24″ load center. If you don’t use pallets, or if the load is longer than 48″, this affects which forklift is best for your operation.
  • How high will the load be lifted? You'll need to know the specific height in inches.
  • How many loads will be handled during an eight-hour shift?
  • How many shifts will the forklift operate per day? Per week?
  • How far will the load be transported and across what types of surfaces?

Buying a Forklift Which is Better: Lowest Cost of Ownership or The Lowest Price?

Some things are just worth paying more for - a decent set of tools, the family vehicle, the shoes you wear to work. A Toyota forklift may cost more upfront, but in the long run, it’s money well spent. Toyota lift trucks are durable and reliable with a low cost of ownership compared to other brands. That’s not just our opinion...

Last year Toyota was ranked the world’s #1 forklift brand for the 14th year in a row. You may have heard these “#1” claims before and wondered where this data comes from. So today we’re going to dig into some of the data and some reasons why Toyota has such a loyal following.

Review: Toyota Core IC Pneumatic Forklift

Product Name: Core IC Pneumatic Forklift
Manufacturer: Toyota
Lift Capacity: 3,000 - 6,500lbs
Notable feature(s): 20% improved fuel-efficiency (versus the previous model)
Price Range:
$19,000 - $40,000  
Value for the money:
Gasoline, LPG, Diesel or CNG* 
*Limited availability

Best for: asphalt and concrete surfaces. The Toyota IC is made for outdoor applications (lumber yards, construction sites, brick block and pipe, and also general warehouse). 
Not recommended for: indoor applications. Although the Toyota IC Pneumatic can operate indoors with relative ease, we recommend units in this model family be used primarily for outdoor applications. For an electric version of this outdoor pneumatic forklift, please see Toyota's 80-volt electric pneumatic family of products. For primarily indoor applications, we recommend the Core IC Cushion, or Core Electric family of product from Toyota.

View current inventory:
In-stock availability for a new Toyota Core IC Pneumatic.
Check availability for a used Toyota Core IC Pneumatic.

Forklift Battery Replacement, Watering and other FAQs

Why do forklift batteries need water? How long will my battery list? Should I recondition my old forklift battery?

We answer these and other frequently asked questions about forklift batteries in today’s post.

Service Contracts for Your Forklift, Pallet Jack or Scissor Lift

Service agreements, also known as planned maintenance (PM) contracts are designed to:

  • Increase the life of equipment / maximize trade-in value
  • Decrease downtime and avoid unexpected repair costs
  • Streamline and set monthly operational expenses
  • Keep the operator and products safe from injury and damage
  • Maintain OSHA compliance

The cost of a maintenance plan for your forklift, sweeper-scrubber, aerial lift or pallet jack depends on how many hours the equipment operates each quarter. Over time, service plans can easily pay for themselves

At TMHNC we offer three full maintenance plans to accommodate all fleets and budgets. These plans include the needed services and parts and labor for repairs on normal wear and tear items. The silver and platinum are more inclusive to help take the customer out of the forklift repair business.

New TMHNC Location: Livermore

Goodbye Hayward, Hello Livermore!

Over the past three years, TMHNC has outgrown our Hayward location. After expanding the rental fleet, adding service technicians, and increasing inventory to support customer needs - we ran out of space! Every morning the warehouse team moved equipment from the warehouse into the yard to make room for the day-to-day operation. At night, all the equipment had to get moved back inside again. Something had to be done…

Finally, we found a 64,000 square foot facility in the East Bay on four acres. It’s just minutes off Highway 580 in Livermore and about 40% bigger than the Hayward location.

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