Six weeks ago, Toyota Materials Handling stunned the industry when it shut down production of most of its internal combustion engine (I.C.E.) forklifts due to a surprising and only recently disclosed failure to obtain 2021 U.S. engine emission certification. The shutdown followed what was a lengthy period of uncertainty for Toyota customers. New I.C.E. Toyota forklifts ordered back into 2020 never shipped and many months passed until Toyota released the actual reason. A public statement was only issued in Q2 2021. 

Since the announcement, we have learned that thousands and thousands of new Toyota forklifts cannot and will not be shipped. Also, at the time of this post, there is no clear answer as to if and when the compliance issue will be resolved.* Thus, Toyota customers suffered a double hit – a cancelled order and a breach in trust – and many began looking for a new forklift supplier. 

Eastern Lift Truck Co. understands the challenge caused by Toyota’s failure. Hyster-Yale Group and its network of dealers have stepped up to fill the void. As two of the oldest and most trusted materials handling brands in the world, Hyster and Yale offer a full-range of EPA-compliant I.C.E. forklifts. As one of the country’s largest dealers, Eastern Lift Truck Co. stocks a sizeable inventory of both brands. Unlike Toyota dealers, we are also able to place new orders with our vendors’ factories. 

Eastern Lift Truck Co. has 16 branches and 1,000+ employees. This year we are celebrating 50 years of business – a business founded on providing excellent customer service and built on trust between us, our employees, our customers, and suppliers, such as Hyster and Yale. In addition to having new equipment in stock, we also have a great selection of used and rental equipment. 

Though it is not surprising, there have been reports that Toyota is now attempting to flip customers from I.C.E. to electric to retain their business. If you are considering making the move from I.C.E. to electric, please consider that Hyster and Yale are pioneers in the field and have received multiple environmental stewardship awards over the years for their award-winning forklifts. Learn more about Yale’s 5,000 – 6,000 pound capacity integrated lithium-ion forklift for indoor and outdoor applications. 

Eastern Lift Truck Co. fully supports green initiatives and the general move towards electric vehicles. (We also sell electric railcar movers and low-speed vehicles.) However, we are committed to doing so in a responsible and informed manner. Rather than force electric on an I.C.E. user, our Sales team will perform a power analysis to confirm electric forklifts are a viable solution for the application. If it is, we offer multiple options including lead acid, lithium-ion, and hydrogen fuel cells. 

Final comments: If you are an I.C.E. user that was let down by Toyota, we have solutions. If you need a new, used or rental I.C.E. (or electric) forklift right now or six or twelve months from now, we have EPA compliant equipment. If you want an alternative to Toyota, Hyster and Yale are two of your best choices. 

We invite you to start a dialogue with our sales team. We have world-class equipment, provide straight answers, and keep a steady focus on your needs and goals. This is how we have been conducting business for the past 50 years. 

*Some have estimated the shutdown will run through the rest of 2021, perhaps longer.

#ToyotaForklift #ICEForklift #PropaneForklift #EPACompliance

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Phone: (856) 779-8880

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