The cost of ownership of your forklift can be affected by fuel, maintenance, labor, electricity and incorrect use of the material handling equipment.
Here are some tips that Hodge has developed to lower your forklift operating costs and save your company money
A forklift can do a lot of damage to a building, warehouse racking, the operator and or other people if the forklift driver is not fully competent on how to operate a forklift properly. For this reason, it is important to properly train all warehouse employees that operate forklifts. This training will not only allow the driver to get familiar with the equipment, it will also teach them what to look for when the truck is not operating in prime condition.
OSHA requires that every forklift operator perform a pre-operation inspection prior to their shift to make sure everything is working properly. Oils, tires, water and safety items like seatbelt, rating plate, and mirrors should be checked before every shift to ensure top performance of your forklift and safety of your employees.
Be sure you are using the correct equipment for the task at hand. You can use data to measure this. Turn on your forklift and take a look at the hour meters. If the drive motors have considerably more hours than the lift motor, it could mean your lift truck is not being used correctly. A more appropriate piece of equipment, like a pallet truck or pallet jack, could be used in its place.
If your material handling warehouse runs on electric forklifts, it is important to take care of your batteries. Damaged batteries, forklifts or injuries can result from improper battery handling. A mistake that we at Hodge see often is mismatching the voltage size of battery to the charger. If you aren’t sure of what voltage the battery is, count the cells and multiply that number by two. Also, be sure your industrial forklift batteries are watered after five to ten charges depending on the age of the battery.
For optimal performance, it’s important to take care of the forklifts in your fleet. The easiest way to ensure this is by adding a scheduled preventative maintenance plan to your forklift fleet. A certified expert from Hodge will visit your facility regularly to make sure your forklifts are in prime working condition. Over time, this preventative maintenance will save you from money lost from downtime and costly major repairs.
Proper forklift training and daily inspections are important, just like brushing your teeth. But it’s also important that your fleet is checked regularly by an expert, like visiting a dentist. Don’t wait until you have a toothache to bring in the certified specialists. It is much more cost-effective to identify and fix a small cavity during a routine check-up than it is to have an emergency root-canal or having to replace your teeth with expensive new dentures because of poor routine maintenance.
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