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Forklift Refurbishment Process

At Easy Truck we take pride in our refurbishment process. We truly believe it is one of many aspects of our operations that sets us apart from the rest. Our thorough process ensures you are buying equipment that is not only as visibly good as new but performs like new. Our mission is to restore the truck to manufacturer standards, and thanks to our long partnership with the Toyota Material Handling group this ensures the results are consistent.

We address every aspect, from mechanical faults to aesthetic work. We take pride in only using original equipment manufacturer parts (OEM) and high-quality expert finishes. This leaves us with a truck indistinguishable from a brand-new truck.

Our specialist team of engineers, trained by Toyota Material Handling provide the equipment with expert care and attention to ensure a high degree of quality.

  • Let’s follow this Forklift’s Refurbishment Process

Before:

Truck 10 Toyota Traigo 24v electric counterbalance 8FBE15T

Step 1 – Cleaning and Inspection

The first step in our detailed refurbishment process is deep cleaning and meticulous inspection. This step removes all traces of dirt, oil, and potential leaks, laying the foundation for the truck’s refurbishment process. Our intricate cleaning process includes spraying down the entire truck, including the undercarriage, followed by steam cleaning. This isn’t just about aesthetics; it’s crucial for ensuring the truck’s functionality and longevity.

After the extensive cleaning, our trained engineers conduct a thorough inspection. Utilising their technical expertise, they can identify any issues that may have been hidden by dirt or oil. Fluid leaks, which can cause operational inefficiencies, are easier to detect on a clean machine.

The inspection goes beyond just a visual check. Our engineers put the truck through a series of operational tests, simulating the conditions of its regular working life. This helps uncover any underlying mechanical faults, ensuring the truck performs at its best after refurbishment, matching the standards and reliability of a new unit.

Step 2 – Paint and Bodywork

The second stage of our refurbishment process is dedicated to paint and bodywork. We focus on eliminating surface flaws like dents, chips, and scratches to restore the truck to its original aesthetic condition.

Our Bodywork Repair and Paint Specialist, Rob Jarvis, applies his 30+ years of trade experience to bring the truck back to manufacturer standards. The forklift undergoes bodywork infills and a full repaint, making it look like new. Rob’s expertise, honed from his previous work in the automotive industry, ensures top-quality results.

Our primary focus during the refurbishment process is the meticulous preparation of the truck’s paint and bodywork. This pivotal stage determines the quality of subsequent activities. It includes sanding, filling, and smoothing the truck’s surface until it is ready to be painted.

This stage is crucial as it sets the tone for the rest of the refurbishment work. A poorly prepared surface can negatively affect the truck’s overall appearance and lead to premature paint failure. Therefore, we emphasise this aspect, ensuring every minute detail is addressed.

Our working process begins with a thorough inspection of the truck. This critical step ensures our meticulous sanding procedure effectively targets all problem areas. We use advanced power sanders to achieve a flat, smooth surface, eliminating rust and old paint, and setting the stage for subsequent steps.

Next, we methodically identify and fill any surface imperfections with high-quality filler. Our detailed approach ensures the truck body has an even surface, which is essential for an exceptional paint finish.

Once the surface is ready, we begin the masking process, carefully covering areas that do not require painting. This precise process guarantees a professional finish. Following this, the truck body undergoes a primer coating, which provides better adhesion for the paint and adds a layer of protection.

The painting phase involves multiple layers of application to achieve a glossy, even finish. Precision is key here. Our techniques ensure the paint is uniformly distributed, avoiding runs or sags. Each layer is carefully inspected before proceeding to the next, guaranteeing a flawless outcome.

After a second thorough inspection for surface evenness, we apply three top coats. These layers not only enhance the aesthetic appeal but also strengthen the truck’s resilience against environmental factors, ensuring longevity.

Given the meticulous nature of the paint and bodywork phase in our refurbishment process, it usually takes 4 to 5 days to bring the truck back up to manufacturer standard. This timeline ensures that we deliver a product that mirrors the quality assurance of Toyota Material Handling itself.

“I can honestly say I love what I do, I’ve been doing this since I was 11 with my Dad. It makes me happy to work on something that comes in looking battered and being able to change it to look like new and knowing it is because of my work.

I find that each truck presents a unique challenge, meaning I’m constantly challenged to find new ways to restore the truck back to new. The paintwork is something that keeps me engaged day in and day out as I have to keep a keen eye for detail and a steady hand.

For me this has become less of a Job and more of a passion, it’s enjoyable watching the transformation of each truck and making it look like something that has just rolled off the factory floor.”

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Step 3 – Parts Inspection and Replacement

Next, in our refurbishment process, our skilled engineers conduct a thorough inspection and replacement of parts. They identify and address common forklift faults, considering the average lifespan of a forklift and tackling the most serious defects.

This phase, while challenging, ensures that the refurbished forklifts meet the high standards our customers have come to expect from us. Our expert engineer Richard who has over 20+ years in the industry has provided us with the part’s inspection and replacement process.

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These trucks are built to last provided they receive the proper care and attention that they deserve. Our systematic inspection and replacement process is identifying parts that are engineered to endure regular use and subsequently show signs of wear. Commonly replaced items include pins, tilt pins, and various plastic components.

In line with our extensive inspection process, brake components and brake lines, which are consistently used parts, are diligently examined for wear and potential faults. We also pay special attention to gas trucks due to the prevalent issue of poor-quality LPG gas. High tar levels in the gas can cause engine pressures to skew, inhibiting engine start-up, and leading to potential starter motor failure and a flat battery. This ensures that trucks that leave our site are reliable.

Regularly encountering these common faults enhances our refurbishment process, ensuring the peak functionality of our reconditioned forklifts. If we are dealing with a new truck that is separate from our hire fleet, we take extra steps to ensure every aspect of the truck is up to standard, conducting a more thorough inspection and replacement process.

With good maintenance and timely parts inspection and replacement, a forklift can accumulate up to 8,000 – 10,000 hours of use, and in some cases, even reach around 25,000 hours. This longevity is primarily due to meticulous preventative measures that address potential issues before they escalate, resulting in peak performance throughout its lifespan.

    • Our electric counterbalance forklifts are specially designed to withstand years of use and receive a battery assessment between service periods. Batteries are made to last for up to 5 years before we consider replacing them unless damaged. This ensures that trucks that leave our site are made to last the full term of use.

 

    • The engine, which is the heart of the forklift, is specially designed for longevity. The 2L, 50Bhp engine is de-tuned for size, allowing for maximum performance during work-based tasks while maintaining durability. The term ‘bulletproof’ is often used to describe these engines, emphasising their robust and enduring nature.

 

However, these impressive lifespans are not achieved without regular maintenance and the use of Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts. Proper care, including regular inspection and replacement of worn parts, is vital to ensure the forklift continues to operate efficiently and safely.

As long as these necessary maintenance steps are taken, a Toyota forklift engine can deliver many years of reliable service.

Examining the essential defects of a forklift, key components such as the forks, chains, and brakes require close attention, each presenting unique potential problems if not properly maintained or replaced.

The forks bear the brunt of a forklift’s operational load. Over time, wear and tear can lead to a reduction in fork thickness. When this wear reaches 10%, it is essential to replace the forks due to the increased risk of failure, which can lead to accidents. In extreme cases, worn forks can snap rather than just bend, posing a significant safety risk.

The chains are another critical component requiring diligent maintenance. Faulty chains can lead to failures, leading to safety risks as well as loss of goods if the truck is in use. Regular inspections for wear, elongation, and corrosion are crucial to ensure the chains are in good working condition.

Lastly, the braking system is the forklift’s primary safety mechanism. Any defects in the brakes can lead to accidents due to the inability to stop the truck effectively. Regular inspections and replacements of brake pads and components are essential to ensure the system’s effective operation.

Mastering the intricacies of parts inspection and replacement emerges as one of the most challenging aspects of the refurbishment process. It requires meticulous attention to detail, technical expertise, and a commitment to quality assurance. This careful inspection ensures the reliability of the refurbished truck, reducing field engineer workload and customer costs.

Each component is scrutinised for defects and wear, with substandard parts replaced with OEM parts. This guarantees that the refurbished truck adheres to Toyota’s original specifications and high-quality standards, ensuring peak performance and longevity.

The process is complex due to the need for extensive thoroughness. Speed cannot compromise the integrity of the refurbishment process, as this could lead to overlooked defects and subsequently, suboptimal product performance or safety issues. It is a delicate balance requiring experienced engineers with in-depth knowledge and understanding of the equipment’s construction and performance requirements.

The commitment to delivering a product that is ‘as good as new’ is not just a company slogan but a philosophy embedded in the refurbishment process. It serves as a tribute to the dedication to quality and customer satisfaction that Easy Truck brings to every refurbishment project.

Rich’s Background and Expertise

Richard’s journey into forklift engineering began early, inspired by his father, who was also a forklift engineer. He spent his school holidays in the garage, working on trucks as far back as he can remember. With 23 years of industrial experience, his expertise is built on a solid foundation of knowledge gained from his father.

Rich began his apprenticeship in 2001 and has dealt with every make of forklift. For Rich, the best part about working at Easy Truck is the continuous support from Toyota Material Handling UK.

The maintenance team receives significant support from Toyota, including training courses, which are the exact same as Toyota Material Handling engineers. Both in-house and service engineers receive training from Toyota Material Handling UK. This training is done regularly to ensure that the engineers stay updated with the latest technological advancements and the most current training.

After:

Used Toyota Traigo 24v 3 wheel electric
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Rich’s Tips for Forklift Longevity

Operating Environment:

  • Harsh conditions, like heavy salt environments, require more frequent and thorough refurbishment.
  • Controlled warehouse conditions can significantly extend service life, with some trucks lasting since the late ’80s.

Regular Maintenance:

  • Conduct regular, meticulous inspections and take immediate corrective actions to minimise the risk of major breakdowns.

Number of Operators:

  • Assigning a single driver to a truck ensures consistent handling, reducing wear and tear and promoting accountability for the vehicle’s condition.

Operator Care and Attention:

  • Damage to components like the overhead guard necessitates costly repairs and poses safety hazards.
  • Foster a culture of responsibility for machinery among operators to ensure longevity and safety.

Conclusion

To sum up, the Easy Truck Truck Refurbishment Process is a meticulous, technical, and detailed approach that ensures each truck is restored to top-notch condition. This process enhances the truck’s aesthetic appeal and secures its mechanical reliability, thereby extending its longevity. By focusing on thorough cleaning, inspection, and refurbishment, we guarantee that the truck is rejuvenated to a state on par with its original, like-new condition.