When it comes to lift truck fleet management, knowledge is powerful, especially when it comes to reducing your forklift maintenance costs. Factors such as forklift fleet age and your lift truck maintenance schedule all play a part. Here are three tips to reduce the cost and time spent on forklift maintenance – and ways you can help streamline the process.
Standardize your lift truck fleet
Consider standardizing your lift truck fleet to improve productivity and reduce costs. Using multiple-brands of lift trucks in your operation can be taxing. Operators (your biggest fleet operating cost) can lose time when switching between different forklift makes – while there are commonalities, different operator controls and other factors can result in new training for the operators which takes time.
If you are stocking lift truck parts inventory at your facility, having a mixed brand of forklift fleet can also be more expensive to maintain inventory across several brands. This can be true even if all you keep on hand are filters and a few other replacement parts. A mixed fleet can also make tracking true owning and operating costs difficult. With several models running in the facility, it’s tough to make valid cost comparisons.
The reliability of your forklift fleet is also important. Choosing reliable forklift brands, and focusing on the lift truck’s capability and dependability over initial acquisition cost, can also translate into a lower overall cost of ownership. In times where a mixed fleet is necessary, selecting forklifts from a single manufacturer, such as Mitsubishi Forklift Trucks, Jungheinrich, UniCarriers and Cat Lift Trucks, can help you further simplify the process through interaction with one manufacturer with reliable support through one local dealer.
Consider Fleet Management Services
Having a strong fleet management program is vital – especially with larger forklift fleets or equipment being managed across multiple locations.
When considering Fleet Management Services for your business, keep these factors in mind:
- Experience – Selecting a partner with experience in Fleet Management is key to ensure you are getting the right solution and a comprehensive program for your business.
- Flexibility – No two businesses are alike, so flexibility is important when designing your operations’ fleet management program. Look for a provider that will help tailor the maintenance and parts programs to your company’s goals. Evaluating your current forklifts for annual usage, operating environment, specific application and maintenance preference should be part of the process.
- Centralized Billing Options – Save time and money by consolidating invoices across multiple locations into a central, electronically-billed statement. Not only do you receive immediate, online access to cost data and transaction detail organized by facility, business unit or region, but you also gain visibility to the process.
- Fleet Reporting Tools – Online reporting gives you the ability to share information about your fleet across your organization. These tools allow you to access and track fleet usage, manage the cost per hour and categorize your fleet for optimal performance.
Our Fleet Management Services can help you audit and develop the right Fleet Management solution for your business and your goals – whether saving time, reducing owning/operating costs or reducing time spent on managing your fleet.
Revisit your maintenance programs
Do you have a maintenance program in place, or have you reviewed it recently? While it can be easy to forget, this is an important area to keep tabs on.
Consider these factors:
- Does your program allow you to pay a monthly fixed cost for all the maintenance and repairs across your entire fleet? Total Maintenance and Repair programs allow you, for one agreed-upon monthly fee, to receive both regular planned maintenance and breakdown service for the duration of the agreement.
- How flexible is your current maintenance program? Our service technicians visit your facility according to a schedule that meets your unique operational needs and perform PMs on whatever brand you happen to operate.* Detected problems are dealt with immediately to help prevent serious breakdowns later.
- Does your current dealership have in-stock parts when needed? Our Parts Fast or Parts Free program means that if our dealer can’t get a part to you the same day, you’ll get next-day delivery or you don’t pay a thing.
These are just 3 easy ways to reduce forklift maintenance costs. If you’re interested in seeing what can be done to reduce forklift maintenance costs at your individual facility, contact your local forklift dealer to learn more.
*Check your local dealer for what brands they service.
- Forklift Maintenance Checklist
- Daily Forklift Inspection Checklist
- Solutions For Protecting Your Lift Truck Investment