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    Forklift Battery Safety & Savings

    By: Jane Wu

     

     

    Your forklift battery is the powerhouse of your electric forklift. On average, with proper care and maintenance, a forklift battery lasts about 5 to 7 years. To safely get the most out of your forklift battery, check out the 8 recommendations below.

    1. Dress appropriately for handling batteries  

    Because forklift batteries are made from corrosive chemicals that can burn your eyes and skin, make sure to be dressed appropriately when handling batteries. Make sure to wear safety googles, rubber gloves, steel-toed boots, and an apron. Do not wear metallic jewelry.

    2. Use the right handling equipment for moving batteries.

    Forklift batteries are heavy. Smaller batteries can weigh 100-200lbs, but larger ones can weigh as much as 3,000lb. So, always use the appropriate handling equipment such as a battery lifting beam when lifting or moving batteries. Also, always make sure that the battery is properly secured before lifting or moving.

    3. Handle and charge batteries in a designated area.

    Having a designated area for handling and charging batteries is an OSHA-recommended best practice. When you charge your forklift battery, potentially flammable gases may be emitted. Having a designated, well-ventilated area prevents gas build-up. This designated area should also have eyewash and shower stations in the event of acid splashes and exposure.

    4. Perform battery inspections and maintenance.

    Batteries need to be inspected as a part of your daily OSHA-required forklift inspections. When inspecting your forklift battery, be sure to check your fluid levels. Make sure that the charging cables are intact, insulated, and connected. Look for cracks in the battery casing and for crystallization and corrosion. The battery’s contact posts should be clean.

    5. Charge your batteries properly.

    Properly charging your forklift battery is the best way to extend the life of your battery. A battery has a limited number of charge cycles in it, usually about 1,500 charges. Take care not to opportunity charge your battery. Flooded batteries should have 8 hours of run time, 8 hours of charge time, and 8 hours of cool-down time. If your operations require opportunity charging, see your battery supplier for the appropriate battery and charger combination for this type of charging capability.

    To properly charge your battery, follow the below tips:

      • Make sure that your battery and your battery charger are compatible.
      • Be sure that the charger is off before connecting or disconnecting your battery.
      • Charge your battery when it hits 20% charge remaining. Do not charge the battery before it hits this red zone.
      • Always charge your battery completely. Partially charging your battery will count against your battery’s total number of charge cycles. Never interrupt a charging flooded type battery! (Unless you have an opportunity charger and battery combination.)
      • Avoid extreme temperatures when charging your battery. Charging and operating your battery in extreme temperatures will greatly reduce your battery’s life.
      • Allow your battery to cool down after charging. If you have a flooded or wet cell battery, you can follow the battery cycle of 8 hours charging, 8 hours cooling down, and 8 hours of working.

    Battery Cycle of a Flooded/Wet Celled Battery

    6. Check and maintain your battery’s fluid level.

    As you use and charge your forklift battery, the fluid level of your battery decreases. That is why you should check the fluid level of your battery daily. You should add deionized or distilled water to your battery about every five to ten charges. Fill the cell with just enough water to cover the battery plate, usually about ¼” over the plate. Always add this water after charging, but never before charging. Also, do not overfill your battery because the water needs room to expand when the battery is in use.

    7. Equalize your battery regularly.

    Flooded, or wet cell, batteries need to be equalized on a regular basis. Over time, the water and acid in your battery become stratified. When this happens, your battery will not hold a charge well. By equalizing your battery, the electrolyte concentrate is rebalanced, and any buildup of sulfate crystals on the battery plate gets removed. Be sure to use a battery charger that has an equalizing setting.

    8. Clean your battery regularly.

    The top of your forklift battery needs to be cleaned regularly with battery cleaner or warm water regularly. Doing so is not only good maintenance practice; it can also help you maintain your battery’s manufacturer’s warranty. Also, cleaning can help you avoid battery build-up which can lead to tray corrosion and faster self-discharge.

    Taking care of your forklift battery is greatly beneficial for your forklift and for your business’s bottom line. If you have any questions about battery care and maintenance, please contact your local Doosan dealer.

    5 Reasons Why Forklift Maintenance Is Beneficial To Your Business

    By: Jane Wu

     

     

    Forklifts, like everything else, get worn and torn over time – they need occasional TLC. Without proper care, they will break down more quickly and more easily. They can even become safety hazards causing injury and death! Neglected forklifts cost your business time, money, and manpower. The way to avoid all that is to make sure your forklifts are scheduled for routine maintenance checks.

    Performing regular maintenance on your fleet’s forklifts is a great way to protect your investment and your business. It will produce long-term benefits that your operators and your bottom line will thank you for.

    Here are the 5 reasons why keeping your forklifts in tip-top condition is beneficial to your business:

    1. Increased Productivity and Service Life

    Performing regularly scheduled maintenance on your forklifts is a proactive way to increase their expected service life. Longer uptime in operation provides increased productivity out of your forklift fleet. And more productivity means a higher return on investment (ROI). Also, when your fleet’s forklifts have a longer service life, you will replace them less often, saving you thousands.

    2. Eliminate Expensive Unexpected Repairs

    When your fleet is not regularly inspected and maintained, breakdown is more likely to occur. Such downtime can cost hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars per minute. By regularly maintaining your fleet, you can find problems and fix them before they turn into a costly repair. Doing so also decreases the risk of failures and emergency repairs. In other words, well-maintained forklifts reduce downtime. And this saves you money!

    3. Keep Your Forklifts Within Warranty

    Each forklift has a recommended maintenance schedule set forth by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM). This recommended maintenance schedule is to help your fleet stay within the OEM’s warranty. Whether you are a dealer or an end-user, you are held to the same OEM standard to register your forklifts and keep warranties up to date. The maintenance schedule differs depending on several factors such as fuel type, type of operation, hours of usage. For the specific forklifts in your fleet, please refer to the Operator’s Manual for the appropriate service intervals.

    4. Higher Resale Value

    Like with cars, a forklift’s value depreciates over time because of wear and tear. But if you are diligent about maintenance and keep your fleet’s forklifts compliant with the OEM warranty, the value doesn’t depreciate as quickly. This means you will be able to recover more of your initial investment when you sell or trade in your forklift(s).

    5. Safety, Safety, Safety

    At the end of the day, everything we do has to be about safety. Every workplace has a responsibility to its employees to keep them safe. By simply maintaining your forklifts, you can identify potential safety issues before they become serious safety hazards. Doing so can keep the forklifts your employees use daily in the best working condition. Learn more about how to optimize forklift safety at your workplace here.

    Here at DIVAC, we pride ourselves in providing world-class support to our dealers and end-users. Our product service department currently offers virtual service training to our dealers and their service technicians. You can get your forklift maintenance performed by a trained and certified service technician at any of our 225 dealer locations. Additionally, any serious issues found during your maintenance visit are fed into our live worldwide service feedback loop so that issues resolved quickly and efficiently. If you have any questions regarding our warranty or about our dealer service technician training, please contact your local dealer.

    5 Ways to Maximize Forklift Safety in Your Workplace

    By: Jane Wu

     

     

    As a piece of essential warehouse equipment, forklifts are everywhere. There are currently around 1,000,000 forklifts helping businesses stay organized, and productive throughout the United States. They are one of the most powerful tools in improving efficiency. However, with great power comes great responsibility. Forklifts can be hazardous, and the cause of expensive citations, workplace accidents, injuries, and even death.

    According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), forklift violations are consistently one of the top 10 violations costing businesses about $135,000,000 every year. OSHA also estimates that forklifts cause of approximately 110,000 accidents annually. Of these, about 35,000 resulted in serious injuries, and about 85 accidents resulted in death.

    Any workplace that uses forklifts should emphasize forklift safety. Promoting forklift safety will prevent costly violations and accidents. Here are 5 ways to optimize forklift safety:

    1. Make sure all employees are educated and properly trained and certified

    Studies show that proper training and education is a great deterrent of accidents. Employers should develop and implement a training program based on the general principles of safe operation, the types of forklifts used in the workplace, the potential hazards in the workplace, and the general safety requirements of the OSHA standard. According to OSHA, with these training policies, about 70% of forklift accidents could be prevented.

    Additionally, operators must be properly certified per OSHA regulations. OSHA requires forklift operator to be certified in a two-phase training course: a classroom-style training and test, and a hands-on evaluation. Only trained and competent operators can be permitted to operate a forklift. You can find all the necessary information about training and certification here.

    2. Understanding your forklift’s load capacity and the Stability Triangle

    Many forklift accidents happen because the operators are not knowledgeable about how much their forklifts can carry. In fact, tip-overs due overloading is a leading cause of forklift accidents. So, understanding your forklift’s load capacity is extremely important.

    A forklift’s load capacity is found in two places: on the data plate of the forklift, and in the operator’s manual. This capacity refers to a balanced load carried on the stated load center. It can change depending on the attachments used, the height of the lift, and the length of the load.

      • Forklift attachments are anything that is attached to the front carriage or attached to an attachment on the forklift. Generally, as you add attachments to the forklift, the load capacity decreases.
      • Lift height also affects load capacity. Forklifts with high masts will have lower capacity as the lift height increases.
      • The length of the load changes load capacity as well. The longer the length of the load is the lower the capacity.
    A forklift's stability is determined by the stability triangle

    Understanding the stability triangle helps with load capacity management, which is essential for forklift safety.

    The above three points factor into the center of gravity of your forklift as well. To prevent accidents, a forklift’s center of gravity should be within what is known as The Stability Triangle. The Stability Triangle is a triangle formed by connecting the two front wheels and the pivot point of the rear axle.

    With a load, the center of gravity of the forklift is at the center of the triangle. But as you add more weight to the forks or raise the mast with a load, the center of gravity shifts to the front of the triangle. Moving the center of gravity out of the Stability Triangle by adding too much weight or adding weight in the wrong places can cause tip-overs.

    3. Perform daily inspections and regular maintenance

    Maintaining your forklift is not just a great way to extend the life of your forklift, it is also one of the best ways to ensure forklift safety. Regular maintenance safeguards your forklifts against problems that go beyond the normal wear and tear. OSHA requires daily inspections to be performed at the beginning of each shift. If a forklift is equipped with a safety device, the device must be in good working order otherwise the forklift should be tagged out of service until it can be repaired. These daily inspections also help operators identify operational issues so they can be addressed before they become bigger problems or lead to accidents. By keeping your forklift in optimal working condition, you will have a safe operating experience.

    4. Be aware of your work environment

    A lack of awareness in the workplace can be detrimental not only to the products you are moving but also to your employees. Many accidents occur because the operator or someone in the forklift’s vicinity is not paying attention. Practice mindfulness by paying attention, keeping an eye on where you’re going, using your alarms to alert others of your presence, ensuring your loads are balanced and within load capacity, and driving safely. These five simple actions can prevent accidents and save lives.

    5. Store your forklifts properly

    Another way to promote forklift safety and prevent accidents is to store your forklifts properly after use. They should be parked on a flat surface. Engage your parking brakes. Make sure your forks are flush to the ground. The forklift should be turned off, and the keys should be removed from the ignition.

    At DIVAC, safety is a top priority. Our facilities have strict safety protocols, and all our operators are certified. We practice what we preach! Additionally, we are proud to provide customers with warehouse vehicles that have more standard safety features. Features such as our exclusive Guardian Stability System and Operator Sensing System, our high visibility cab and our rear grab bar with horn button help operators stay safe while improving productivity. Many of our equipment can also be equipped with blue lights for added visibility to pedestrian traffic. For more information on our safe and ergonomic products, please contact us.

    OSHA Implements New National Emphasis Program (NEP) Regarding COVID-19

    By: Jane Wu

     

     

    On March 12, 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released its new COVID-19 National Emphasis Program (NEP). This new directive aims to ensure that workers in high-hazard industries are protected from the risk of contracting COVID-19. OSHA plans to achieve this through inspection targeting, outreach, and compliance assistance. Ultimately, the goal is to significantly reduce or eliminate COVID-19 exposure in the workplace.

    To accomplish this goal, OSHA set out two plans of action:

    1. OSHA developed two Master Lists of specific industries that will be targeted for programmed inspections with the highest priority given to the healthcare industry. Other targeted industries include, but are not limited to:
      • Food and beverage manufacturing
      • Plastic and rubber manufacturing
      • Metal manufacturing
      • Meat processing

    The Master Lists can be found here and here.

    Unprogrammed inspections are also a part of this plan of action. These inspections prioritize facilities that have recorded COVID-19-related fatalities or multiple hospitalizations due to COIVD-19 exposure and facilities where workers have alleged exposure to COVID-19-related hazards. This NEP also establishes protocol for follow-up inspections of facilities that have already been inspected due to a COVID-19 hazard.

    1. OSHA is increasing focus to prevent retaliation against workers who voice concerns by increasing outreach programs and distributing anti-retaliation materials during inspections. All allegations of retaliation will be referred to the Whistleblower Protection Program.

    This NEP enhances OSHA’s previous coronavirus enforcement efforts. It is effective for up to a year starting March 12, 2021, and a review within six months. While states are not required to adopt this NEP, OSHA strongly encourages them to do so. State plans must notify OSHA of their intention regarding the NEP within 60 days of its issuance.

    Despite each state implementing its own COVID-19 standards, employers should review and familiarize themselves with the NEP to determine if they may be targeted for a CaOVID-19-related inspection. Whether they are on the targeted lists or not, employers should ensure that they’ve implemented all applicable safety measures in accordance with OSHA guidelines.

    The DIVAC Standard

    Doosan operator wearing a mask during COVID-19At DIVAC, we are committed to upholding OSHA’s safety guidelines, especially those related to COVID-19. In keeping with those COVID-19 guidelines, we have implemented strict safety and cleaning protocols in place in our offices and our warehouse.

    Everyone at Doosan wears masks; if someone doesn’t have a mask, one is provided for them. Employees are required to check their temperature and sanitize their hands when they enter the building. All our warehouse employees are supplied with hand sanitizer for their forklifts and gloves. The forklifts are sprayed down before and after each shift as well. All workstations are spaced out 6 feet apart or more, sanitized, and cleaned regularly. Employees are also instructed to social distance and to follow occupancy limits in all enclosed areas within the office such as conference rooms, break rooms, etc. There is a large-scale spray down of the entire facility every Friday, as well.

    We’re committed to adhering to the highest health and safety protocols because we believe in keeping our employees, our dealers and by extension our customers safe. If you have questions about how we are adapting to this COVID-19 climate, we encourage you to reach out to us to learn more.

     

     

    Sourcewell: The Easier Way to Buy

    By: Conner Cameron

     

     

    If you are a government or education entity, or a nonprofit organization, there is now an easier way for you to purchase products, equipment, and contract services – Sourcewell.

    What is Sourcewell?

    Sourcewell is a self-sustaining public government agency based in Minnesota that offers competitively solicited purchasing contracts for products, services, and equipment to its member agencies. The best part is you don’t have to lift a finger in the solicitation process!

    With Sourcewell’s cooperative purchasing program, the procurement process is streamlined. The procurement team takes care of the entire competitive solicitation process by carefully and rigorously vetting each contracted vendor through an 8-step solicitation process. All you need to do is find a contracted vendor you like, obtain a quote, and finalize the sale.

    How Purchasing through Sourcewell Works

    What does this mean?

    When you become a Sourcewell member agency, you are harnessing the buying power of more than 50,000 government, education, and nonprofit organizations. You also have a list of over 400 awarded supplier contracts in a wide variety of industries to choose from. Also, you will save time in the purchasing process and get a good price.

    I’m interested. What now?

    To participate in Sourcewell’s cooperative purchasing program, you must first become a member. Becoming a member is easy. There is no cost, no obligation, and no liability. Membership is available to all government entities, public and private K-12 schools, colleges, universities, and nonprofit organizations. Registration is also quick and easy. Simply visit the website, and fill out the online registration form. Once your registration is complete, you will receive your official Sourcewell account number. This account number will allow you to quickly make a purchase on any Sourcewell awarded contract.

    To check if you’re already a member agency, visit the member directory.

    As a member, you can reach out to one of the hundreds of awarded world-class vendors. Each vendor has contracted pricing just for member agencies. Just give your account number to the supplier, and you will get your special contract pricing. It’s that easy!

    DIVAC and Sourcewell

    Doosan's Sourcewell Contract Number

    Doosan Industrial Vehicle America Corp. has been a Sourcewell contracted vendor since 2016. Our partnership extends to our over 90 independent authorized and trained dealers. You can use your Sourcewell account number at any of our over 200 sales and service locations throughout the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico. As a Sourcewell member agency, you will also have access to our entire industrial vehicle product line. This includes 142 separate models of 82 various engine/battery configurations of International Combustion and Electric-Powered vehicles with capacities ranging from 3,000lb to 55,000lb.

    For more information about Sourcewell, or if you would like to place an order with us, you can visit our Sourcewell page, or you can contact Conner Cameron via email at conner.cameron@doosan.com or by phone at 678.745.2249.

     

     

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