At the Heart of the Top Rated Forklifts


Toyota’s 4Y engine is a purpose built powerplant for Toyota forklifts.  It’s not an engine adapted from some other machinery to cut on development and production costs.  It’s also not produced by some other manufacturer, so you know you’ll be getting Toyota dependability with it.  Inside Toyota’s Core Internal Combustion forklifts is one of the industry’s most durable, longest lasting forklift engines.  Imagine 30,000 hours without need for a major overhaul, it’s not uncommon.  We’re familiar with 4Y engines that have worked over 70,000 hours.  It is as fuel efficient and environmentally clean as it is capable in extreme hot, cold, dry and wet conditions.

Between the quality, reliability, longevity, low cost of ownership, and efficiency – Toyota forklifts have been bringing great value to the material handling marketplace in the United States since 1967.  Building forklifts in Columbus, Indiana since 1990, Toyota continues to bring safety and efficiency improvements to the workplace.

Forklift Decisions: (Part 1) What Capacity Do I Need?

First, ask yourself these questions:
How heavy is my typical load?
How high do I need to lift my loads?
How wide is my common aisle space?
How many hours will my forklift be used per day / per week?
Will my forklift be used indoors or outdoors?

What is Forklift Capacity and how is it measured?
Forklift capacity is the measurement of how much weight a particular forklift can lift. Lower capacities begin around 3,000 lbs. and can go up to over 50,000 lbs.

What is a Load Center?
A load center is the horizontal distance from the front, vertical face of the forks to the center of gravity of the load. It constitutes the standard, or base, for rating the load capacity of the forklift. The main standards organization, Industrial Standard Design Foundation (ITSDF), places the load center at 24 inches on most forklifts.
Before you begin your research, know the dimensions and the weight of your typical loads. Determine if your loads are typically the same size or if they vary. If your load sizes fluctuate, make sure you know the weight of your heaviest load.
If you have a racking system and loads are consistently being raised and lowered, then height is a major factor. Are loads lifted to a variety of heights? If so, use the maximum height when determining what forklift you need.
Knowing your needs is vital when working with your salesperson. They will be able to determine which forklift capacity best fits your application. For more information, contact us at NORLIFT.



Mousetrap deaths are now the top workplace killer, and the easiest way to avoid them is to always wear your seatbelt while operating a forklift.  OSHA confirms that tipping accidents are the leading cause of fatal accidents in the workplace.  In most fatal forklift accidents, the operator is “mousetrapped’ between the ground and the lift truck while trying to flee the tipping vehicle.  Remember, if your lift truck should begin to tip, hold on with both hands, brace yourself with your legs and lean away from the direction you are tipping.

For more information, visit Mitsubishi Forklift Briefing.

Make sure your workers always wear an operator restraint or seatbelt at all times – challenge those who do not.
Invest in driver training – and refresher courses – ensuring a safer workplace.

Operator Safety Training

We sometimes hear it referred to as Forklift Safety Class.  No matter what you call it, it is the first step in a safe workplace that has powered lift trucks in operation.

Statistics show that there are approximately 85 deaths in the U.S. annually, that are directly related to the careless operation of Powered Industrial Trucks. Consequently, on December 1, 1999 the Operational Safety & Health Act (OSHA) (WISHA followed in March of 2000) enacted new laws requiring all employers to train every employee who operates such equipment.

Class sizes are limited and classes fill quickly
Call 800-666-1774 or 509-535-1776 for more details
or register at


Forklift Training Classes at NORLIFT

Operator Safety Training consists of (3) three separate phases:

1st:  An operator must receive formal (classroom) training; and demonstrate that the operator understands all of the safety elements required to operate a powered industrial truck.
2nd:  An operator must receive practical (hands on) training on the type of equipment used “on the job”. The operator must be able to demonstrate the safe operation of a powered industrial truck.
3rd:  All operators must be evaluated by a supervisor of their own company. Operators must demonstrate that they can safely operate the exact type of equipment used “on the job”.         This evaluation must also be done in a work environment that matches the operator’s specific duties and functions.

    Our professionally trained instructors perform a 3 – 4 hour training program targeting all of the following elements:

–  Daily equipment safety inspections
–  Truck applications
–  Types of equipment, and data information placards
–  Weights and balances, and de-rated load capacities
–  Refueling and maintenance checks
–  General safety rules – pedestrians, hazards and seat belts
–  Operation on loading docks and trailers
–  Traveling over uneven terrain, on ramps, and other obstacles, and many other vital safety issues

The cost of the class is $115.00 per person. We also offer a “Train the Trainer” option.

Guide to Changing Hydraulic Fluid for Forklifts

Hydraulic technology is so common we often forget we use it every day. It’s found right in our own homes in our dishwashers. It’s in the cars we drive to work. It’s in elevators, amusement park rides, and airplanes. And in forklifts. But without liquid to fuel the hydraulic systems, none of these things would work.

The main function of hydraulic fluid is to provide energy transmission, so it makes sense that if you don’t have the proper level of liquid, you can’t create the most power. Inadequate levels of hydraulic fluid in a forklift cause decreased lifting and steering capabilities, which is the last thing you want when you have a job to finish.

So, what do you need to know to ensure your hydraulic system is running smooth and fast? Let’s explore some of the common questions you might have about hydraulic fluids and forklifts.

How often should I change the hydraulic fluid for forklifts?

Most forklift manufacturers suggest replacing hydraulic fluid after every 1,000 hours of operation. To monitor levels properly, operators should go through a checklist, which includes checking the hydraulic fluid tank prior to every shift.

Why should I change hydraulic fluid every 1,000 hours of operation?

There are a variety of environments and variables that can affect the rate oil degrades. In lieu of performing an oil analysis every time you think you need to change your hydraulic fluid, most users stick to the manufacturer’s recommendation, which is based on years of service data. Keep in mind that if you decide not to change the hydraulic fluid for an extended amount of time, you risk the service life of every other component on the hydraulic system.

What hydraulic fluid for forklifts should I use?

It depends on your equipment and manufacturer. Consult your forklift operating manual for the specific fluid grade recommended for your particular forklift.

We also recommend paying close attention to the prescribed level to fill the tank. Thermal expansion can occur, which can in turn cause an oil spill and a safety hazard.

Can I change my hydraulic fluid or does my dealer need to?

Changing hydraulic fluid is a fairly simple task. However, we recommend a professional certified forklift technician perform the task. Also, know that not all hydraulic fluids are exactly the same. Some manufacturers specifications require the use of specific fluids , and these may have an impact on warranties. Norlift’s Toyota certified technicians are trained on all make and models of forklifts.