The Southwest “Tip of the Month” Program

A powerful educational tool – having one topic per month (Tip of the Month) that highlights common questions about the industry, equipment and warehouse solutions that our customers encounter on a regular basis.

Our goal is to help customers find solutions to common issues and share these tips with their team members to help save time and avoid any costly mistakes.

Please enjoy our video library called: Tip of the Month

Tip of the Month - Forklift Operator Assist System

Forklift Operator Assist System (OAS)

This is new technology to help forklift operators improve object and pedestrian awareness called the “SEnS” from Toyota, aka Pedestrian Detection Camera System. It is designed to help protect your valuable goods and your employees that will result in reduced accidents, lower liability, and reduce your risks, so you’ll see significant savings on undamaged goods & equipment, as well as in your overall operational costs. 

What you need to know about the Pedestrian Detection Camera?

It is a state-of-the-art camera system that provides real-time data identifying pedestrians and objects, and instantly sends visual and audible alerts to everyone within the detection zone. The kit includes the camera, siren & lights.

It is part of an operator assist system that can be installed as an aftermarket kit on your forklift or installed at the factory on a new forklift. Learn more on our blog page Click Here.

Click on the YouTube video for a quick overview and demo of the SEnS system. Please contact us for more information and to schedule a demo at your location.

Tip of the Month - Southwest Catalog

Purchase Material Handling Items – Catalog

Use the Southwest Material Handling Catalog to review and purchase all of the equipment and aftermarket items we offer, available online or the catalog can be delivered to your location in our territory.

What you can find in the catalog?

You can find detailed information about all of our products, including features, specs, and prices to help you make a better-informed purchasing decision. Now you can search for everything your fleet and operations need including forklifts, training materials, dock accessories, attachments, safety items, lights and more.

Click on the YouTube video for a quick over of the catalog and learn how we can help you make the right decision for your business and get you the equipment that  meets your operational needs. Contact us for more information and for a copy of the catalog.

Tip of the Month - Know before you buy - CARB Forklift Regulations

KNOW BEFORE YOU BUY – CARB Forklift Regulations

Educating our customers about California State Regulations’ goal on achieving ‘Zero-Emissions’ by 2035 and how our customers will start to feel these affects in January 2026.

What do you need to know about the phase out of IC forklifts?

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) will eventually phase out IC (Internal Combustion) forklifts and applicable forklifts that are bought or leased will need to be zero-emission by 2035.

Important things to learn:

  1. What segments of forklifts will be affected
  2. When does it start and what is the phase out timeline
  3. Are there any exceptions to the new rule?
  4. What should my next purchase be?

Learn more about this and more in the video and on our blog page, CLICK HERE.

Click on the YouTube video for a quick over of the process and learn how we can help you make the right decision for your business and get extra money to acquire the equipment that follows the state guidelines and meets your operational needs.

Tip of the Month - Ordering Parts Online, In-Store and Delivery


Most of our customers call or walk in, but our website can save you time with our convenient ordering online. All you need is the model and serial number, or the part number itself.

What parts can I order to pick up or have delivered?

We have everything you need to keep your fleet up and running. We have parts that include, tires, batteries, chargers, attachments, safety items, and service & repairs items for all makes and models.

To order parts:

  1. Call our Parts Department or main line.
  2. Walk-in to any of our or locations, Parts Departments
  3. Order Online – Toyota Genuine Parts
  4. Pick the parts up or have them delivered

Most importantly, no matter which way you decide to order your parts, our team will have them delivered to you.

Click on the YouTube video for a quick review of the parts ordering process to learn how we can help you save time, reduce the down time of your equipment and get you the parts you need, faster.

Tip of the Month - Forklift Mast & Chains Inspection


Daily mast & chain inspections are necessary to maintain the life and peak performance of your forklift and to keep it OSHA compliant.

What to inspect before each shift?

  1. Check the chains for rust, cracks, elongation and bent pins
  2. Check for lack of lubrication
  3. Look for dust and and other chemicals that can build up
  4. Look for wear and tear & any damage
  5. Inspect for misalignment

Ignoring any warning signs during inspection could cause product damage, injuries or worse, so be sure to check them and have it fixed if you find any signs of damage.  

Click on the YouTube video for a quick review of the forklift mast & chains inspection and the warranty, to know when to replace the chains and reduce the down time of your equipment.

Tip of the Month - Industrial Battery and Charger Service


Regular maintenance is necessary to maintain battery life and peak performance.

Why types of service are available?

  1. Battery Service
  2. Watering
  3. Charger Service
  4. Repairs
  5. Installation

Click on the YouTube video for a quick review of the different service programs and how they can help you keep your fleet running properly.

Tip of the Month - Planned Maintenance (PM) & Service


Planned Maintenance (PM) is regularly scheduled service for your forklifts and equipment.

Why I need Planned Maintenance?

  1. Increase productively
  2. Lower your costs
  3. Increase the life of your equipment
  4. Ensure your unit is operating safely
  5. Reduce downtime

What other Service Options are available?

Service programs are for All Makes & Models of equipment and vary on coverage:

  • Full Maintenance – cover PMs, breakdowns and repairs of major components
  • Planned Maintenance (PM) – basic services and inspections
  • Toyota 360 Support – you’ll get the Toyota advantage of Toyota’s Certified Technicians, Toyota Genuine Parts, Toyota standard and Extra Care Warranty programs

Click on the YouTube video for a quick review of the different service programs and how they can help you keep your forklifts running properly.

Tip of the Month - How to get $ Back for your Electric Equipment Use


California and Oregon created a Clean Skies Program that incentivizes businesses to switch to electric equipment.

Why is it important for my company?

  1. Go Green
  2. Lower your costs, increase productivity, and meet state regulations
  3. Lower emissions and improving safety
  4. Get $ back every quarter based on the electricity used by the equipment
  5. There is no cost to the program, and Southwest does all of the work

How do I sign up?

It is simple and there is no cost to you:

  • Contact Us – to Enroll
  • Request your Incentive Estimate
  • We do a site audit to discover your eligible fleet size
  • Then we send you an incentive check every quarter

Click on the YouTube video for a quick review of the program and how that can help you start earning your incentive. For more information, and to sign up click on the link:

Tip of the Month - How to Read a Data Plate


What information is on a forklift data plate?

Sometimes referred to as a capacity plate or a forklift nameplate, the forklift data plate includes important information such as weight, fuel type, and forklift load capacity. Associates need to read the data plate during training and before use to help build the culture of safety in your facility.

Relatively quickly, you’ll need to know some quick information about your forklift’s capabilities. Luckily, a forklift data plate is installed on every truck on the market to help you understand what your forklift can do and provide vital information.

Click on the Youtube video for a quick guide that can help you read your data plate and start using your equipment better with all of the readily available information.

Tip of the Month - Equipment Daily Inspection & Checklist


OSHA states that forklifts must be inspected either daily, or after each shift in cases where vehicles are in round-the-clock use. If problems are discovered, they must be reported and the forklift must be removed from service immediately.

Why is it important to do a forklift inspection?

  1. OSHA requirement of a daily inspection sheet for Safety regulations
  2. Lower your cost, increase productivity, and expand the life of the equipment
  3. Should be performed at the beginning of each shift on each piece of equipment
  4. Detect equipment failure before resulting in accidents and injuries
  5. Protect company reputation, property and finances

What information is on a forklift inspection checklist?

A pre-operational checklist depends on the equipment type:

  • Electric Forklift
  • Internal Combustion Cushion
  • Internal Combustion Pneumatic
  • Reach Trucks­ and Order Pickers

Each Class of equipment will have specific items related to the unit type that will need to be inspected. The inspection typically includes a Visual Inspection, Operational Inspection and a Walk Around of the unit (see video for example).

Click on the YouTube video for a quick review of some inspection items that can help you start your daily inspections. For more information, operator safety training and copies of daily inspection sheets for your fleet, contact us directly.