Forklifts are not just any cheap equipment. It costs a hefty amount of money to add this amazing piece of equipment to your facility. Regular maintenance not only keeps your facility compliant to international standards, but also keeps your overall costs lower than you think.
Regular forklift maintenance is required by OSHA, USA(Occupational Safety and Health Administration) and it’s good for your workers and accounts also. Forklift maintenance identifies problems before they become major accidents at the job site.
Paying a trained technician to inspect your forklift regularly, in addition to carrying out your own inspections costs money. However, there are ways to save money on forklift maintenance.
In this article, we will focus on the ways to minimize the costs of regular forklift maintenance and maximize the overall output of your operations.
- Train your forklift operators: Your forklift maintenance starts from your forklift operators. They are the end user of this powerful equipment, so they are the frontliners in this case.A forklift is an asset, but if it is not properly operated, it can damage your other assets, i.e., warehouse building, racking, operations, goods or other people. To ensure smooth operation, you must assign properly trained operators.Every operator should be trained and qualified to drive the specific type of forklift they are given at the beginning of every shift. They should maintain a list of daily inspections. Besides this, they should be well trained for any case of malfunction or accident. A well trained operator should be familiar with the forklift truck and have a deeper understanding if the truck is not operating in prime condition.
- Ensure a daily checkup of the forklift trucks: It is an international standard that every forklift operator performs a pre-operation inspection prior to their shift to make sure everything is working properly. Oils or batteries, tires, water and safety items like seat belt, rating plate and mirrors should be checked before starting every shift. This guarantees top performance of your forklift and safety of your employees.
- Keep your floors clean and repaired: At first this may sound a bit odd to you, but this simple precaution can save you significantly. In our eyes very simple objects on the floor may seem harmless, but they can be harmful for you in a number of ways you can think of.For example, small pieces of plastic, wood or other debris on the floor can easily chunk out tires and speed up their wear and tear. Silly plastic sheets can get wrapped around ball bearings. Dirt & dust easily get collected to the forklift. Even cracked or potholed floors can lead to jolts that can damage the sensitive internal systems of the forklift.So, just by keeping your floors clean & crack free you can save a lot of unnecessary hassle caused by your forklift.
- Avoid mixed fleet: Having a mixed fleet for your facility is a sure-shot way of losing money. It is not an easy job to keep track of maintenance and repair schedules of each single brand. For example, BT forklift transmission repair and maintenance will be different from a STILL forklift transmission. The cost of the spare parts will also be different. This can confuse you easily.Moreover, you have to train your operators to operate each type of forklift. This is not an easy job and obviously not a cost effective solution also. It is not uncommon for operators to face difficulties managing multiple types together. This also causes a headache to the human resource department, as they need to find operators with higher flexibility than usual.Considering all of the facts above, you will be losing a lot of money, if you try to maintain a mixed fleet. So, it is recommended by expats to restrict your fleet to only one to two brands.
- Reduce collisions: Minor forklift collisions are very common at warehouses, manufacturing units or any other setups. In most cases we ignore these silly collisions or accidents happily. But these can’t keep you happy in the long term! You should try your best to prevent these types of accidents to minimize the frequency of your forklift repair. Try to own forklifts with advanced safety features. These safety features include forklifts with alarms that warn you when the forklift is too close to an object or person. Some forklift alarm systems can tell you how often impacts are happening and help you to track down the cause.
- Use right forklift for right job: At IESL, we deliver more than 9 types of forklifts. Each of the forklifts are specialized for specific tasks. Order pickers, narrow aisle trucks, reach trucks etc. shines at their specific job.Some people try to use a single type of forklift for multiple purposes. They do it to minimize the cost, but the ultimate result is just the reverse! If you practice this at your facility, you may inadvertently increase your forklift maintenance expenses.To avoid this expense, try to match up the job with the appropriate equipment. In the long run, you can save money in efficiency and forklift maintenance expenses.
- Properly maintain your batteries and charger: This technique applies if you use an electric forklift. Regular maintenance of your batteries is the key of this technique.You can save money on forklift maintenance by careful upkeep of your forklift batteries. For lead-acid batteries, watering regularly is vital. You should use the right charger for charging and watering the battery on a regular basis (once a week or after every five or ten changes). This schedule will extend the battery life. As a result, you have to pay less for batteries with just a little care.
By following all of the ways above you can save considerably on your forklift maintenance. If you don’t have the proper workforce to implement these techniques, you can contact us for a comprehensive forklift maintenance plan from our experts. Our trained technician will visit your facility at a convenient time and inspect your machines. As an obvious output, you will be free from a lot of hassle and waste of money.