3 Tips to Forklift Maintenance Optimization
We have discussed the benefits of properly maintaining your equipment in recent articles. There is no doubt that companies that engage in robust and comprehensive equipment maintenance save money in the long run and improve the efficiency of their forklift fleet.
Establishing a program that proactively maintains your equipment to maximize productivity takes just a bit of work. But with the right partner by your side the process can be much easier to set up and manage. Following are three tips we suggest in order to establish programs to maximize productivity and reduce your overall costs.
We observe most of the time that all equipment in your facility is not utilized the same way, under the same conditions. Some equipment might sit idle for a few hours each day and lift/transport far less overall weight. We suggest no only analyzing the hours each piece of equipment is used, but also how it is used. A piece of equipment used outdoors will required more attention than the same piece of equipment used indoors in a warehouse setting. Using both quantitative and qualitative information will help you develop a service plan that treats each piece of equipment uniquely and provides for the proper level of maintenance.
Quantitative Information – This would include the number of hours used each year, the average weight of each load hauled, service history, equipment age and any other quantitative information available through any type of fleet management software you may use.
Qualitative Information – This information is usually observation oriented information such as the type of conditions each forklift operates, the training or experience level of the operator. This observation would also include the types of loads each piece of equipment hauls. Hauling seafood off the dock and process retail-ready seafood, for example, will result in two very different wear and tear scenarios.
While they are required by OSHA we have found that most companies do not perform pre-shift inspections. And we can’t tell you how many times we’ve gotten a call from a customer who has had to lock-out a unit as a result of a pre-shift inspection because the unit is not fit for operation.
Pre-shift inspections will results in catching small maintenance issues before they blossom into giant repair headaches and dangerous safety scenarios. Performing inspections also reduces your liability should an accident occur during a shift. Being able to provide a recent and thorough inspection prior to operating the equipment will help your cause dramatically should litigation occur.
You can find pre-shift inspection forms on our website HERE.
Having a service partner who has the experience, skills and trained repair staff to work with you is the key to a successful program. Not all service providers are created equal and selecting one based on price could result in spending more and having more exposure. Instead selecting a partner that has demonstrated to you that they understand your equipment, your operation and have the trained staff to execute your service plan will give you the desired outcome for your operation. To help ascertain the ability of your potential service partner, inquire about the following:
Taking the time to establish a comprehensive service program takes a bit more work up-front, but in the long run pays for itself many times over. To discuss your service program with our trained staff of service professionals, please call us at 877-366-7261.