Thursday, October 7, 2010

August Employee of the Month

Florida Lift Systems Forklift Service at It’s Best!

IMG_8247We wanted to thank Robert “Bob” Morris for achieving “Employee of the Month” for August. He was nominated by Roy Benefield, our Columbus Branch Ops Manager and Olga MacLellan, our Tampa Branch Ops Manager. Bob Morris is our second ever “employee of the month” for the month of August. Bob has been an employee of Florida Lift Systems since 11/16/1986. I have heard Bob mention many times, “you know I will do anything for this company.” Anyone can say that but driving eight hours on a Sunday to help a group of people who he has never met before, and really has no ties to, is Teamwork and shows Initiative; two very important values on FLS/SST.

Congratulations Bob!

Please read below to find out how he was nominated for employee of the month.

“I would like to recognize Bob Morris for his willingness to go anywhere and do anything that is required.  Recently he was asked to go to Columbus, GA for a week and help out in the shop and on the road.  Bob accepted willingly, traveled up on a Sunday and worked hard all week.  Roy Benefield was extremely pleased with Bob and was hoping Bob would be willing to relocate…:-)”

- written by Olga MacLellan.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Tampa Bay Rays Game


We had a blast and we would do it again!

In celebration of achieving the Toyota President’s Award for 2009 Florida Lift System's employees and their families enjoyed an evening at a Tampa Bay Rays game. We could not have obtained this prestigious award without the help of each and every employee… and their families. We understand that while our employees are at work they are Not At Home with their loved ones. We don’t take that for granted. We wanted to treat the whole family to an evening with fun, food, sports, and lots of pictures, thanks to Rob Budd. 


I’d like to thank Kerry Reese for all her help. I think we were a great team!


Tampa Bay Rays beat Texas 10 – 1!

Also see the pictures on our Facebook Account. 

Kristine Coyer, CSP

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Steve Crawford-Employee of the Month!

Employee of the month

Sorry we were late in publishing this information, but it's better late than never.  We wanted to thank Steve Crawford for the time he spent with a very special customer of ours in Macon, GA. Steve Dunn our Macon Branch Ops Manager, wanted to make sure that Steve was recognized in some way.  Steve Crawford is our first ever “employee of the month.” Steve Crawford is a service technician in our Ocala branch.  So in addition to his stellar feedback, we want to thank him for traveling the distance to help this customer. Steve has been an employee of TMH Acquisitions, LLC since we acquired Handling Systems Engineering in May of 2004. He started with Handling Systems Engineering in September of 1999.

Congratulations Steve!

Please read below to find out how he was nominated for employee of the month.

“I just wanted to THANK you for sending Steve Crawford to Macon this week. He walked into a very tough situation and handled it with the utmost professionalism. It was a privilege to work with him … side by side trying to help this customer through a very tough time. His work ethic and attitude was commented on by the customer… They were hoping he could come back. He has helped us and the customer resurrect units that many others would have just left for “dead” and will be leaving the customer in “better shape then they have been in over a year,” customer commented”.                        (written by Steve Dunn)


Written by Kristine Coyer, HRM

Friday, September 3, 2010

Valdosta Chamber of Commerce


Friday, June 25, 2010

Employee Appreciation Night


Florida Lift Systems would like to thank all of our hard working employees and their families for their help in achieving the 2009 President’s Award. The President’s Award, TMHU’s highest honor, has been awarded to select dealers since its inception in 1990 to acknowledge their outstanding business accomplishments. 

See our previous blog post from April 9, 2010: Congratulations Florida Lift Systems

Florida Lift Systems, Tampa and Winter Haven locations are sponsoring a Employee Appreciation Family Night at the Tampa Bay Rays Game on August 17, 2010. The Rays will be playing the Texas Rangers. We will all be sitting together in the Corona Beach Bar area. Please RSVP to reserve your seats.

Thank you again for all your hard work and dedication! Go Rays!




Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Open Enrollment

Open Enrollment is here!

Benefits Open Enrollment for the 2010-2011 Plan Year is here! This is your annual opportunity to review your benefit options and confirm or change your elections – making sure your benefits are right for your needs. The benefit elections you make during Open Enrollment will be effective June 1, 2010.

What You Need to Do: Enroll Online

You can complete the entire Open Enrollment process at

Review your options – either on My TotalSource or in the printed Open Enrollment Kit that you’ll receive (please allow 5-7 business days for delivery). You don’t have to wait for your kit to enroll online!

  • Consider your health care and other benefits needs – be prepared and informed.
  • Have your Social Security number and those of dependents you wish to cover, if applicable – you’ll need them to enroll online.
  • Complete your elections online at* by 04/30/2010. It’s faster, easier and more accurate than using a paper form to enroll.
  • You must actively enroll if you want to participate in a Health Care or Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA). FSA elections don’t roll over from year to year.

On My TotalSource you’ll find:

  • Access to your current benefit elections
  • Summaries of your 2010 benefit options so you can make educated choices
  • Immediate confirmation of your elections
  • Timely receipt of your new ID cards, if applicable

Even after Open Enrollment, you’ll find useful information on My TotalSource, including:

  • Access to My Paycheck (view your paycheck details and history)
  • Information on the Perks program (discounts on a wide range of premium-brand products, services and entertainment as well as Real Estate and Financial Services)

If You Don’t Take Action

If you don’t make any elections, you will automatically receive default coverage (the available plans that are most similar to your current elections) for the 2010-2011 Plan Year. Remember, your per-pay-period costs may change. To participate in Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs), you must re-enroll each year; these elections do not roll over from year to year.

Remember, the last date to return your elections is 04/30/2010.

What’s Next?

  • After your Open Enrollment deadline date, you’ll receive a Confirmation Statement in the mail – it will list your benefit plans for the 2010-2011 Plan Year.
  • Please contact the Employee Service Center at (800) 554-1802 if you have any questions/concerns.


  Kristine Coyer, CSP

  Human Resources Manager

*If you can’t enroll online, you may fill out the form included in your Open Enrollment Kit. FAX IT TO Kristine Coyer at 813-635-2945. Please call to confirm it was received.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Easily, Rent Now

Rent now button

Southern States Toyota lift and Florida Lift Systems recognize the necessity for equipment that must fill a temporary need in your business. That is why we carry a wide range of forklift rental units that are ready and waiting for you to use in your facility at short notice. With locations throughout Southern Georgia and Florida, chances are we have a location convenient for your business

Whether your needs are short term (a day to a few weeks) or long term (a few months or more), Southern States Toyota lift and Florida Lift have the proper forklift to meet your special needs.

5k cushion

Key Benefits:

  • Over 200 fork lifts available 
  • Narrow aisle and "walkie" walk-behind units
  • Daily / Weekly / Monthly or Long Term agreements
  • Rental purchase programs
  • LP / Diesel / Electric / Gas units available
  • Units up to 17,500 lbs available

To speak with our Rental Team directly, call: (800) 226-2345



Click on the forklift picture to see Rental and Parts Coupons! 



Monday, April 19, 2010

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Manual vs Electric Pallet Jack


  fp_handPalletTruck_medElectric pallet jackwalkie_3_4_view_lg

We can thank Brad Birrenkott, Florida Lift Sales Team, for this insightful information helping a customer with the difference between the manual and electric pallet jacks.

“Thank you for the status update at L-3.  After reading about your purchase process it makes sense that there should be some justification for the purchase.  I did a little research myself that might be of assistance when compiling your evidence.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than one million workers suffer back injuries each year, and back injuries account for one of every five workplace injuries or illnesses. Further, one-fourth of all compensation indemnity claims involve back injuries, costing industry billions of dollars on top of the pain and suffering borne by employees (OSHA).

The stress of the manual jack can accumulate over a period of time.  Safety professionals teach that the preferred method for applying force is to push, rather than pull a load, but with manual pallet jacks, that practice is hard to follow.  I will say that in practical usage, both pushing and pulling are necessary to move, transport, and place a load. This is why electric pallet jacks were invented, to take the strain off the body and be able to move heavy loads safely and efficiently.

The general consensus regarding electric jacks vs. manual jacks can be summed up by the saying “an ounce of prevention vs. a pound of cure”.  According to United States Department of Labor companies should “utilize power equipment rather than manual to reduce ergonomic stresses.”  By reducing the stress on your employees the L-3 has reduced the potential for employee injury and expensive compensation claims.

I hope this is of some assistance in your process and I look forward to following up soon.”


Brad Birrenkott

Florida Lift Systems, Inc.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Congratulations Florida Lift Systems

2009 Presidents Award 

Toyota Material Handling U.S.A., Inc. (TMHU) recently announced the 2009 winners of its prestigious President’s Award. TMHU selects its top dealers each year from a nationwide network of 68 dealers and 188 dealership locations, recognizing them for demonstrating excellence in parts, service and equipment sales, customer satisfaction and overall dealership operations.

This year, 15 winners earned the coveted award and were acknowledged at Toyota’s National Dealer Meeting in Orlando, Fla.

"Each year our dealers go above and beyond to demonstrate top quality service and support," said Brett Wood, president of TMHU. "The President’s Award provides TMHU with a way to showcase their achievements and honor their dedication to their customers and the material handling industry."

The winners are:2010-04-09 13.29.20

  • Al Rawson of Atlas Toyota Material Handling, Schiller Park, III.
  • Ron McCluskey of Brodie Toyota-Lift, Lawrence, Mass.
  • Anika Conger Capelle of Conger Toyotalift, Green Bay, Wis.
  • Jeff Fischer of Florida Lift Systems, Inc., Tampa, Fla.
  • Bob Whittingham of Forklifts of St. Louis, Inc., St. Louis, Mo.
  • Brian Hull of Hull Toyota Lift, Elkhart, Ind.
  • Ted Wente of ILT Toyota-Lift, Cleveland, Ohio
  • Sam Swartz of JRC Toyota-Lift, Worthington, Ohio
  • Don Herman of Lift, Inc., Mountville, Pa.
  • David Graffy of ProLift Industrial Equipment, Louisville, Ky.
  • Jim Shoppa of Shoppa’s Material Handling, Ltd., Fort Worth, Texas
  • John Scheunemann of Toyota-Lift of Minnesota, Brooklyn Park, Minn.
  • Ken Townsend of Toyota Lift of South Texas, San Antonio, Texas
  • Mark Andres of Toyota Material Handling Northern California, Hayward, Calif.
  • Ken Turnmyre of Vesco Toyotalift, Hickory, N.C.

The President’s Award, TMHU’s highest honor, has been awarded to select dealers since its inception in 1990 to acknowledge their outstanding business accomplishments.


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Social Networking

“Social Networking”                                                                                       
It’s a term most of us probably know little about, yet all of us have seen the tools.social_networking

Ever notice thisclip_image002at the bottom of every single website and commercial now?

You probably even know that this is a link to a Facebook page. Have you ever clicked on it? Do you have a Facebook page?

The effects of the economy have been quite obvious over the last year, especially here at home. FLS and SST are reaching out and getting creative; we are doing whatever it takes to pull through, to gain ground, to beat out the competition, to come out on top. Now is the time to get our name, our brand, our services, in the mind of everyone. “Social Networking” is just one, but extremely powerful tool, we are developing to do this. Best of all, it’s free!

Help us expand our Network

Here is how you can participate in this effort and be a key player in making our home what it once was…It’s only 3 steps!

1. Log on or make a Facebook Profile. Click video to play.

Note: It’s best to use a non-work related email for registration to help broaden our network.

2. Join the FLS page.

  • Click clip_image002 to go to the FLS page.
  • Next click become a fan at the top of the page.  clip_image002[24]

3. Suggest our page to all you’re friends. Also, encourage them to do the same.

    • This is the most important step!


You are helping the FLS and SST family expand and grow!


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Florida’s Natural Pro AM

FNG Womans Pro Am Golf Tournament First Place Winners

Congratulation to the Florida Lift Team that participated in the Florida’s Natural Pro AM golf tournament fundraiser who placed 1st. Also congratulations to Jenny Gleason, who placed 6th overall in the tournament of 250, competing for a spot on the LPGA. The annual event averages $50,000 benefiting Florida’s Natural Growers Foundation.


Pictured left to right: Charles Matlock, Michael Weathers, Jenny Gleason, Mike Parker, Ed from Florida’s Natural.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Toyota Industries Corporation


KARIYA, Aichi, Japan — (March 22, 2010) —

Toyota Industries Corporation (TICO) today announced it is formalizing the management and operations structure of Toyota Material Handling North America (TMHNA) to further strengthen the Toyota and Raymond brands in North America. This restructuring originating from a long-term growth plan launched in 2005 allows all TMHNA organizations to better collaborate on business efficiencies and share resources resulting in continually improving levels of quality, service and support. TMHNA is comprised of Toyota Industrial Equipment Mfg., Inc. (TIEM), the Columbus, Ind.-based lift truck manufacturing plant; Toyota Material Handling, U.S.A., Inc., (TMHU), North America’s number one supplier of lift trucks; and The Raymond Corporation, the North American market leader in electric warehouse trucks. TMHNA will be headquartered at Toyota’s TIEM facilities in Columbus, Ind. The new management and operations structure will strengthen North American regional coordination, while continuing to grow the existing brands and maintaining distribution channels for Toyota and Raymond.

“Today we are further evolving TMHNA’s capabilities to better leverage the knowledge and expertise  throughout our North American companies,” said Tatsuo Matsuura, chairman of the Toyota Material Handling Group (TMHG). “This step will ensure that Toyota and Raymond customers continue to receive the best products and service in the industry.”



TICO formed the TMHG to better leverage the Toyota, BT and Raymond brands and operations worldwide. TMHNA was formed by TMHG as a framework to support the North American market. Management Appointments As part of the reorganization, key management positions have been appointed, effective April 1, 2010:

  • Kazue Sasaki will be appointed chairman of TMHNA and will continue to serve as president of TIEM and Toyota Industries North America, Inc. (TINA). He also will serve on the board for TMHU. Sasaki brings more than 20 years of management and engineering experience, most recently serving as a senior managing officer of TICO.
  • James Malvaso will be appointed president and chief executive officer of TMHNA, and thus will resign as the president and chief executive officer of Raymond. He has been president/CEO/chairman of Raymond for 13 years and has more than 35 years of operations, sales & marketing experience. Malvaso, a recognized leader in the materials handling industry, is a former president of the Industrial Truck Association (ITA) and a current member of ITA’s Executive Committee and Board of Directors.
  • Charles Pascarelli will be appointed president of the Raymond Sales division of The Raymond Corporation, which includes sales, marketing, distribution development and aftermarket services. He has more than 25 years of proven success in leading companies to sales and marketing excellence. Pascarelli has been with Raymond since 2007 and has served as executive vice president of sales and marketing at Raymond since 2009.
  • Michael Field will be appointed president of the Raymond Operations division of The Raymond Corporation, which includes manufacturing, quality assurance, engineering and procurement. Field has over 20 years of experience managing engineering and operations groups at industrial companies. Field has been with Raymond since 2004 and has served as executive vice president of operations at Raymond since January 2009.
  • Brett Wood will continue to serve as president for TMHU. A TMHU associate since 1989, Wood formerly served as the company’s vice president of marketing, product and strategic planning and training operations and previously oversaw dealer development. Wood is a member of ITA’s Executive Committee and Board of Directors.
  • Ed Rompala will serve as chief financial officer for TMHNA and will remain as chief financial officer for The Raymond Corporation. Rompala has served as Raymond’s CFO since 1998.
  • Hitoshi Matsuoka is appointed TMHNA Executive Coordinator, and will remain as Executive Vice President/Treasurer for TMHU.
  • Kazuhiro Kurosaka is appointed TMHNA Coordinator, in addition to serving as Finance & Planning Coordinator for TIEM.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Monday, March 15, 2010

Introducing the New 4-Wheel Electric 8FBCU


image March 4, 2010 Toyota Material Handling, U.S.A., Inc. (TMHU) unveiled its innovative new line of 8-Series 4-wheel AC electric lift trucks, available in 4,000 to 6,500 pound load capacities—including a new 5,500 pound model. Ideally suited for virtually every indoor material handling need, from food and beverage to general warehousing and distribution centers, this AC-powered lift truck delivers longer runtimes and offers quicker acceleration, elevating the industry standards of productivity, efficiency, durability and safety. The new 4-wheel models will be manufactured exclusively at the company’s facility in Columbus, Ind., Toyota Industrial Equipment Mfg., Inc. (TIEM) starting this May with orders currently being accepted though Florida Lift Systems and Southern States Toyota Lift.

―To meet customers’ needs for increased productivity and efficiency, we are introducing the most powerful AC electric lift truck Toyota has ever built,‖ said Brett Wood, president of TMHU.


With the 8-Series 4-wheel AC-powered lift trucks, Toyota offers our customers improved performance speedsincluding up to 21 percent faster travel speeds over the previous model. Toyota’s New 8-Series 4-Wheel Electric Lift Truck Raises Industry Standards.

AC Power System with Revved- Up Travel and Lift Speeds

image image image
Toyota was the first major lift truck supplier to bring AC technology to the North American market. Taking this acclaimed technological advancement to new levels, Toyota’s lift truck offerings now include a 4-wheel AC-powered lift truck with the distinct performance advantages of Toyota-designed, motors and controllers. The AC-powered system is comprised of a series of subsystems—each of which either conserves or regenerates power to maximize operational productivity between battery charges. The motor features a ―power keep‖ function, which is designed to compensate for battery depletion and corresponding loss of performance, allowing for longer run times and more consistent power output throughout the length of each battery charge cycle. In addition, energy is continually recovered through three forms of regenerative braking, coast control, plug braking and foot braking extending run times significantly and prolonging brake component life.

Reduced Maintenance to Improve Customers’ Bottom Line

image image
Toyota’s virtually maintenance-free AC power system contains no motor brushes, springs, commutator or wearable parts to service and replace, resulting in fewer, quicker and less expensive maintenance and operational costs. The lift truck’s AC-powered drive system and AC-powered hydraulic system boost travel and lift speeds. Also, by controlling the on-demand, full hydrostatic power steering through the AC hydraulic motor system, there is one less motor to service and maintain.
This notable increase in AC-powered performance, combined with a reduction in down time for maintenance, means significant enhancements in productivity and efficiency for customers.

Enhanced Visibility

A number of operator visibility enhancing features were integrated into the new
4-wheel electric AC lift trucks including angled tie-bars on both the overhead guard and load backrest extension along with lowered free-lift cylinders on both the 3-stage and
4-stage masts. The 8-Series Multifunction Digital Display was also integrated into the front cowl to give the operator an uncluttered forward view toward the load and operating environment, and the fork color was changed to orange in order to help clearly define the position of the fork tips.



Additional Lift Truck Operability Enhancements

A Momentary Hold and Controlled Descent feature is now standard and maximizes lift truck control by regulating rolling speed when the accelerator pedal is released on a grade. It also allows the lift truck to be started on an inclined surface without rolling backward.
Also, a Shock Sensor option, integrated into the multifunction digital display, enables end users to monitor lift truck damage or fleet abuse. When an impact is detected that exceeds a pre-set level it warns the operator by displaying a highlighted ―Shock Sensor Alarm icon on the display and sounding a buzzer. At the same time the controller records the date and time of the event to be later retrieved by the warehouse manager through the digital display. If the lift truck is equipped with the Keyless Entry System option the controller will also record the PIN of the operator that was driving the unit at the time of truck impact. This will facilitate determining the operator responsible for the damage caused to the equipment. This system cannot be deactivated even if the operator tries to reset it by either turning the key, off and on again, or by disconnecting
and reconnecting the battery connector. Only the warehouse manager with the appropriate password can reset the system. Additionally, for maximum productivity and to minimize product damage, an Auto Height Select option is available to allow warehouse managers to program the lift truck to automatically stop the forks up to three pre-determined rack heights.

Call now to place orders or for additional info.

Southern States Toyotalift and Florida Lift Systems
800.226.2345 |
115 S. 78th St, Tampa, FL 33619

Friday, March 12, 2010

Toyota Fast Facts

                                                        March 8, 2010
This is Toyota Fast Facts, an update on breaking news, our recent recalls and the work we are doing to make things right for our customers. Please feel free to share this information with family and friends. For additional information and breaking news, please

1. Toyota Rebuts Unintended Acceleration Study Presented to Congress2010 Toyota Electronic Throttle Control 004

Toyota today raised serious concerns about the validity, methodology and credibility of a demonstration of alleged unintended acceleration in a Toyota Avalon by University of Southern Illinois professor David Gilbert. He presented his findings during a Congressional hearing and on a segment of ABC News.
At a news briefing this morning at TMS headquarters in Torrance, Calif., Toyota revealed the results of a comprehensive analysis conducted by the company and engineering consulting firm Exponent. The analysis of Gilbert’s findings shows:
1.        The Toyota vehicle’s electronics were rewired and reengineered in multiple ways and in a specific sequence. There is no evidence to suggest that this highly unlikely scenario has ever occurred in the real world.
2.        The electronic systems were actively manipulated to mimic a valid full-throttle condition
3.        Substantially similar results can be obtained in vehicles made by other manufacturers.
On hand to discuss these findings were J. Christian Gerdes, mechanical engineering professor at Stanford University and director, Center for Automotive Research at Stanford (CARS); Subodh Medhekar, principal engineer, Exponent; and Kristen Tabar, general manager of Electronics Systems, Toyota Technical Center in Ann Arbor, Mich.
To read the news release and view related materials, please click on:

2. Toyota Responds to House Committee Request
Toyota will cooperate with a request from the House Committee on Energy and Commerce for additional information about unintended acceleration.
In a letter sent Friday to TMS President and COO Jim Lentz, committee chairman Henry Waxman and Bart Stupak, chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, said there is an “absence of documents showing that Toyota has systematically investigated the possibility of electronic defects that could cause sudden unintended acceleration.”
In response, Toyota issued the following statement:
“We have received the letter, and will, of course, cooperate. Toyota has already agreed to keep the committee informed on a regular basis. We are providing them with the Exponent report and results of additional testing by Toyota regarding erroneous allegations by [Southern Illinois University professor David] Gilbert that sudden unwanted acceleration can easily be induced in real world conditions. Toyota has offered to demonstrate the results of our further research and would welcome committee representatives to observe those demonstrations.
“Toyota is quickly investigating verifiable complaints of unintended acceleration and we are doing everything we can to ensure that our customers are confident in their vehicles and the remedies.”

3. Calls Part of ABC News Report ‘Staged’ 
In the ABC News segment about professor David Gilbert’s allegations of unintended acceleration, reporter Brian Ross and his crew fabricated a critical shot of the Toyota’s tachometer, according to Gawker contends that ABC then inserted the shot into a sequence that shows Ross driving the car in a way that manipulated reality for dramatic effect to suit his story line. “The tachometer footage is faked,” Gawker said.  
To read Gawker’s report and its update about a reedit by ABC, click on:

4. U.S. News and World Report Offers Five Reasons to Buy a Toyota
Although Toyota has taken a nose dive, it will recover, writes Rick Newman in U.S. News and World Report. And he offers five reasons to buy a Toyota vehicle: “Safety concerns are exaggerated, recalls aren’t the whole story, Toyota’s not alone, the cars are still good, and [Toyota offers] white-glove treatment.” To read the article, click on:





Thursday, March 11, 2010

Used Equipment Showroom


“NEW IDEA” from ValdostaUsed trucks

According to Max Lewis-Branch Ops. Mgr and Jody Hall-Territory Manager, things are picking up in Valdosta.  We are seeing a fairly significant level of customers stopping in to look at equipment.  Max’s idea was to be ‘Customer Ready’ at all times by having a place to take a customer to immediately to show an array of used equipment available. Therefore a used equipment showroom is being developed to meet this new demand.

Jody now can suggest to customers that they can stop in and see the equipment if he is not there, and be confident of what they will see.  Max has been a good ‘pinch hitter’ according to Jody and has done well hosting accounts and doing a good walk-around.

This is ‘TEAM-WORK’ in action!

Good things happening and the economy appears to be gaining some steam.

If you are doing something special or a little ‘out of the box’, or maybe just different for you, send it in.  We need all of the good ideas we can find.

Great Job TEAM—Valdosta!


-Jeff Fischer

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Green Solutions


Click here to view the President of Florida Lift Systems, Jeff Fischer, talk in more detail about how to become more green using a Toyota.