Saturday, February 27, 2010

Friday, February 26, 2010

Toyota exec: Focus on safety

Toyota Exec: Focus on Safety

As seen in the Orlando Sentinel. February 22, 2010|By Ed Sheehy, Guest columnist

In 1937, Toyota entered the auto market with a simple but powerful principle: to build the highest-quality and safest automobiles in the world. Our customers and the reliability of our vehicles have always been our top priorities.

The past few weeks have been challenging for Toyota and its dealerships nationwide. We have seen sales drop due to the temporary halt in the sale of eight models while repairs were made, and we have struggled with the fluctuating confidence of prospective customers who have been inundated by aggressive media coverage, which has often blurred the facts.

However, we believe Toyota's remedies only underline the company's commitment to drivers' safety, and we are proud to support their efforts.

As the president of Southeast Toyota Distributors, I am confident in the products we sell and proud of the impact that Toyota has had in America.

The company's total U.S. investment has grown to more than $18 billion and, together with dealers and suppliers, Toyota has helped create more than 200,000 jobs in the U.S.

Recalls are not unprecedented, and many other car makers are currently experiencing them as well.

While the number of vehicles that Toyota has recalled may seem significant, it is worth putting this issue in context.

Confirmed incidents of unintended acceleration are a very small fraction of Toyota's vehicles. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's online database indicates that most automotive manufacturers have received numerous consumer complaints of unintended acceleration, including the other four with the largest shares of the U.S. market, and have had to recall vehicles because of this issue.

According to an independent report by, Toyota still has the fewest complaints of all major automotive manufacturers.

Among the 2.3 million vehicles that were recalled, along with those affected models that were temporarily unable to be sold due to a sticking accelerator pedal, fewer than 20 cases have been confirmed — none of which has resulted in any accident.

While Toyota takes responsibility, we want to remind you that these vehicles were recalled voluntarily because safety and quality are paramount to our company. We believe that the voluntary recall reinforced Toyota's unwavering commitment to continuous improvement. Toyota is using this time as an opportunity to review all aspects of their vehicles and make them better.

We remain focused on our customers — their safety and satisfaction. All of our dealerships have extended service hours, some operating around the clock with a second shift of technicians, to make sure repairs are as simple and trouble free for customers as possible.

Our loyal customers continue to support us and express their trust in Toyota. We sincerely thank them and promise that we will do everything in our power to show that it is deserved.

The silver lining to recent events has been the renewed opportunity to receive feedback on everything we do.

                                                     ABOUT THE AUTHOR
          • Ed SheehyEd Sheehy of Deerfield Beach is president of Southeast Toyota Distributors. It distributes Toyota and Scion vehicles, parts and accessories to 173 Toyota dealers in Georgia, Alabama, North and South Carolina and Florida, including Legacy Toyota in Tallahassee. Contact him at

Thursday, February 25, 2010



See our upcoming forklift training events or call us at (800) 226-2345 to speak to a training expert today. You can also see our Customer Information Pack which should answer any questions you have concerning your training needs.

Monday, February 22, 2010


Recently some friends at Ring Power kindly distributed an article first seen from, highlighting a rare incident involving a Toyota Forklift. The article seen below summarizes a  lawsuit in which Toyota Industrial Equipment Manufacturing(TIEM) lost an appeal in an isolated case in which a tire split on a 7-Series Toyota and rolled over. 

On the second page, Ring Lift suggests that someone has claimed that the SAS system will prevent a roll over in any situation. This in fact is not true and is unfortunate that Ring Lift is merely playing on the emotions of the recent Toyota Car recalls.(See Feb.9th Blog entry)

No, Toyota Industrial Equipment Manufacturing does not claim the SAS system will prevent a Roll Over in any situation. However, they do claim that it will prevent a Roll Over in most situations, that it is the safest system on the market, and lift trucks with this system installed have the best safety record. See below.


If it is not the safest, What Is?

 We would also like to point out that SAS system is not intended to stabilize a lift truck in midair.


Friday, February 19, 2010

“Dead Reckoning”

GetAttachment.aspx (1)At the most recent 'Focus Meeting' in Winter Haven branch, Branch Operations Manager Mike Weathers stands by the 'Dead Reckoning' list of recently acquired 'Conquered Accounts' that the Dead Reckoning process helped us break into or significantly increase our sales to, ultimately better serving the customer.

Some really great work has been done by everyone at the Winter Haven branch with Special
Acknowledgement to Dave Noll and Tyrone Miller for some outstanding effort in capturing 'New Business'

Great Work you guys!


-Jeff Fischer

Wednesday, February 17, 2010




Used parts 001

As you can see, we are actively creating a good size inventory of pre-owned parts that we can use for customers and our own used and rental fleets.  Please be aware of the fact we are doing this and that we can, more than likely, help you with parts off of 5 and 7-series electrics and 7-series IC trucks. 

This will save us all money and helps us get on the road to recovery!

The young man shown below, Conbralius “C” Thomas, is a former apprentice—turned ‘young professional technician’ that just rebuilt the tranny in this old 5 series and we are selling it now. This is his first one.

Used parts 005 (1)

Edd Orlowski wanted to get this fine picture out to help spread the word that the parts inventory is growing and that we are already taking advantage of the wealth of pre-owned parts to serve our customers when they most need cost efficient, reliable parts.

Used parts and inventory will soon be available via our website. This is one project of many currently in progress that will comprise a complete overhaul to our current site.

Please share with your teams.  THINK USED, THINK SAVINGS, THINK RECOVERY.

-Jeff Fischer

Friday, February 12, 2010

New Rent Online

For once, we’re not encouraging you to buy a Toyota.

When you need to rent, rent the best — America’s #1 selling lift trucks. It could be an opportune time to rent if your company expects an increase in business activity — or you’re considering the purchase of additional lift trucks. Our quality and reputation for reliability make Toyota lift trucks ideal for rentals, short or long-term. And, after renting a Toyota lift truck, you just might be sold on owning one. So don’t let another shift go by without the dependability of a Toyota — Rent Online Today!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Toyota Repairs

Toyota's plan to repair its public image

By Akio Toyoda

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

More than 70 years ago, Toyota entered the auto business based on a simple, but powerful, principle: that Toyota would build the highest-quality, safest and most reliable automobiles in the world. The company has always put the needs of our customers first and made the constant improvement of our vehicles a top priority. That is why 80 percent of all Toyotas sold in the United States over the past 20 years are still on the road today.

When consumers purchase a Toyota, they are not simply purchasing a car, truck or van. They are placing their trust in our company. The past few weeks, however, have made clear that Toyota has not lived up to the high standards we set for ourselves. More important, we have not lived up to the high standards you have come to expect from us. I am deeply disappointed by that and apologize. As the president of Toyota, I take personal responsibility. That is why I am personally leading the effort to restore trust in our word and in our products.

For much of Toyota's history, we have ensured the quality and reliability of our vehicles by placing a device called an andon cord on every production line -- and empowering any team member to halt production if there's an assembly problem. Only when the problem is resolved does the line begin to move again.

Two weeks ago, I pulled the andon cord for our company. I ordered production of eight models in five plants across North America temporarily stopped so that we could focus on fixing our customers' vehicles that might be affected by sticking accelerator pedals. Today, Toyota team members and dealers across North America are working around the clock to repair all recalled vehicles.

But to regain the trust of American drivers and their families, more is needed. We are taking responsibility for our mistakes, learning from them and acting immediately to address the concerns of consumers and independent government regulators.

First, I have launched a top-to-bottom review of our global operations to ensure that problems of this magnitude do not happen again and that we not only meet but exceed the high safety standards that have defined our long history. As part of this, we will establish an Automotive Center of Quality Excellence in the United States, where a team of our top engineers will focus on strengthening our quality management and quality control across North America.

Second, to ensure that our quality-control operations are in line with best industry practices, we will ask a blue-ribbon safety advisory group composed of respected outside experts in quality management to independently review our operations and make sure that we have eliminated any deficiencies in our processes. The findings of these experts will be made available to the public, as will Toyota's responses to these findings.

Third, we fully understand that we need to more aggressively investigate complaints we hear directly from consumers and move more quickly to address any safety issues we identify. That is what we are doing by addressing customer concerns about the Prius and Lexus HS250h anti-lock brake systems.

We also are putting in place steps to do a better job within Toyota of sharing important quality and safety information across our global operations. This shortcoming contributed to the current situation. With respect to sticking accelerator pedals, we failed to connect the dots between problems in Europe and problems in the United States because the European situation related primarily to right-hand-drive vehicles.

Toyota will increase its outreach to government agencies charged with protecting the safety of motorists and passengers. I have spoken with U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and given him my personal assurance that lines of communications with safety agencies and regulators will be kept open, that we will communicate more frequently and that we will be more vigilant in responding to those officials on all matters.

In recent years, much has been written about what we call "the Toyota Way" -- the values and principles at the heart of our company. Chief among these is our unwavering commitment to continuous improvement: going to the source of a problem and fixing it. While problems with our cars have been rare over the years, the issues that Toyota is addressing today are by far the most serious we have ever faced.

But great companies learn from their mistakes, and we know that we have to win back the trust of our customers by adhering to the very values on which that trust was first built. The hundreds of thousands of men and women at Toyota operations worldwide -- including the 172,000 team members and dealers in North America -- are among the best in the auto industry. Whatever problems have occurred within our company, the strength and commitment to fix them resides within our company as well.

You have my commitment that Toyota will revitalize the simple but powerful principle that has guided us for 50 years: Toyota will build the highest-quality, safest and most reliable automobiles in the world.

The writer is president of Toyota Motor Co.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010



Click HERE to go directly to our training page and see the entire customer training package including a signup form.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Dear Team Toyota,
The recent events and growing media coverage surrounding Toyota Motor Corporation’s motor vehicle accelerator pedal issue have led to questions about whether this issue faced by Toyota’s automotive division affects the industrial equipment division of Toyota.

I would like to take this opportunity to reassure you, our highly respected dealers, and our valued customers that this design issue in no way affects any industrial products distributed by Toyota Material Handling, U.S.A., Inc. (TMHU). All Toyota industrial lift trucks, tow tractors and aerial work platforms (branded as Aichi) fall under the responsibility of Toyota Industries Corporation (TICO), which utilizes completely different engineers, manufacturing facilities and suppliers.

Should your industrial equipment customers have additional concerns after reviewing this information, please feel free to contact TMHU’s Product Support department at
(949) 223-7755 or

Brett Wood

Friday, February 5, 2010

Linde MH delivers first trucks with fuel cells

Linde Material Handling incorporates fuel cell trucks into its product range

With the delivery of two fuel-cell trucks to the Linde Gases Division, part of technology company The Linde Group, Linde Material Handling has taken another important step on the road to more intensive use of innovative drive technology. As the first industrial truck manufacturer in Europe, Linde MH has incorporated fuel cell trucks into its product range. The trucks are now offered as standard and with immediate effect, as a "Customised Option".

Both fuel-cell trucks are based on the 3-tonne electric counterbalanced truck, the Linde E30. In addition, the enhanced beverage industry version offers an optimised view over the load. In place of the usual 80-volt battery, the trucks have a fuel cell and a tank, which stores 1.6 kilograms of hydrogen gas at 350 bar. The electricity generated from the hydrogen supplies the electric motors that drive the truck. Alongside this are so-called supercaps, large condensers, which act as a buffer and cover performance peaks, such as pulling away or lifting, for example. The trucks bear the CE mark and are permitted for use on public roads. When it comes to performance data, the trucks are not different to the equivalent battery-powered model in the range and they are tailored spe-cially to Linde Gas' customer requirements.

The benefit of the fuel-cell drive for Linde Gas is the "zero emissions" that these trucks produce when used. The only waste product from the splitting of hydrogen molecules is pure water. Another benefit of fuel cells, in comparison to other drive concepts, is that there is no longer a requirement for battery replacement or a battery charging process lasting a number of hours. In the same way, the safety risks relating to the use of battery acid are removed. In order to be able to use the trucks, drivers only require an extra hour and a half driving lesson, along with a valid forklift licence for the advanced trucks.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


Toyota Material Handling U.S.A., Inc. (TMHU) today announced it will participate with The Lean Factory Group, an association of America’s leading lean manufacturing product and service providers, to showcase its Automated Guided Vehicle (AGV) technologies at the Automation Technology Expo, ATX West. The event will take place Feb. 9-11 at the Anaheim Convention Center, in Anaheim, Calif., and TMHU will be in booth no. 4175.

The Lean Factory Group featuring Toyota, Bosch Rexroth, Orgatex, Leonardo Group Americas and Automation Controls will offer workshops designed to educate show visitors on lean manufacturing techniques and technologies, including the use of fully automated industrial equipment. The group also will highlight available AGV options with the ultimate goal of creating a lean production environment.

By integrating AGVs to help automate a warehouse or manufacturing facility, companies can reduce operating costs and increase overall efficiency, said Martin Boyd, national product planning and marketing manager for TMHU. At ATX West, Toyota and the Lean Factory Group will provide workshop participants with an interactive look at AGV products and services available to assist in achieving a lean, streamlined production environment.

Toyota’s AGVs will be one highlight, along with workstations and flow-racks, floor markings and protective tape for AGV paths, PLCs and sensors. The expo will include educational sessions that demonstrate the importance of a data-driven approach to line design; the need to create an environment that supports lean production with the right equipment and infrastructure; and the tools to create a Visual Factory. Participants will witness the step-by-step creation of an optimized lean production environment, culminating in an actual build demonstration on an optimum lean line.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Ask Your Technician


Mast Carriage Rollers and Side Thrust Rollers

Toyota is always working to increase the reliability and safety of every product. As the newest product bulletin from Toyota Material Handling shows, applications that require the operator to handle loads that are not centered with the mast can lead to accelerated wear and/or damage to the mast and attachment. As shown in the picture below, additional side thrust rollers, carriage rollers or both, should be considered to improve longevity of the mast and critical mast components.


Operations that lead to such offset loading configurations often (but not always) involve lift trucks outfitted with hydraulic attachments such as single-doubles, rotators, bale clamps, paper roll clamps, carton clamps, etc. To proactively address potential issues associated with accelerated wear due to offset loading, it is critical for dealers to perform on site inspections prior to placing any new equipment into service. If your operations involve any offset loading, ask your salesman before buying new equipment, or if you have used models, ask your technician if this addition is right for you.