When it comes to your fork truck fleet’s maintenance costs, a bit of knowledge can go a long way and save you quite a bit of money. Several factors can play a part, such as the age of the fleet and planned maintenance.
Here are a few things that you can do to help overall costs of ownership of your lift truck fleet through maintenance.
Consider using a fleet management service
If your forklift fleet is a larger one, or you have your fleet and equipment spread over multiple locations, a fleet management service is going to be essential for your company. Here are a few things to consider when looking at a Fleet Management Service.
– Experience – A company with experience managing forklift fleets will be crucial in getting the right fit for your business that will have the correct solutions for you.
– Flexibility – Choose a partner that understands that no two businesses are alike. Flexibility is a crucial factor for designing your fleet management system, so one that will tailor a maintenance and parts program to you is a much better fit.
– Centralised Billing – Consolidating your invoices across multiple locations into a central, electronic statement will save you time and money. This gives you the further benefit of immediate, online access to data about costs and transactions.
– Fleet Reporting Tools – These are online tools that let you share information about your fork truck fleet across your business. This will give you the ability to track how your fleet is used, manage costs per hour, and categorise your fleet to optimise its performance.
Consider standardising your lift truck fleet
Using several different brands of lift trucks in your company can come with a lot of unnecessary costs. Fork truck operators, employees, and your most extensive fleet operating cost can lose a lot of time swapping between different fork trucks.
While there are many similarities between different makes of forklift, there will be enough differences in operator controls that may mean new or more training for operators between fork trucks, which will take time.
Standardising your fork truck fleet will help to reduce this cost.
When your forklift fleet is standardised, maintenance costs will decrease as well, as all the parts to maintain your fleet of vehicles will also be standardised. You won’t have to keep an inventory of several different makes of forklifts.
If you absolutely can’t have the same fork truck models, then at least having fork trucks from the same make will help, as all of the same parts will still likely be used across different machines, also helping with fleet maintenance.
Standardising your forklift fleet is one of the most critical factors in helping to reduce overall maintenance and overall costs of ownership when it comes to maintaining your fleet.
Consider revisiting your maintenance program
Is there a program in place for planned or regular maintenance of your forklift service? If there is, have you revisited it recently to make sure that it’s up to standard?
This can be an easy thing to forget about, especially if you have a program in place. But if you’re having trouble keeping maintenance costs down, it’s worth taking a closer look to see if there are any areas where you can improve things.
You might want to consider, for example, streamlining all of your repair, maintenance and parts costs to a single monthly payment.
This can significantly reduce costs and increase efficiency because repair and maintenance take place regularly, and it’s paid for at the same time every month, giving you the ability to budget for it properly.
Does your current fork truck dealership have parts in stock when you need them? Ensuring that you are working with someone who has what you need when you need them will impact the maintenance of your fleet.
And lastly, how flexible is your maintenance program? Do you have technicians that can visit and service your fleet in a schedule that best fits you? If not, this is something that you may need to revisit.
What West Mercia Fork Trucks can do for you
Even with all of these tips in place, we understand that fork trucks can still break down.
At West Mercia Fork Trucks, we operate one of the largest teams of qualified service engineers in the marketplace, whose knowledge and skills are constantly updated through a program of continuous training. We have incredibly well equipped mobile workshops with diagnostic and communication facilities that link back to our head office. This means our mobile workshops can usually diagnose and fix a problem on the spot.
On the rare occasion that a breakdown needs major workshop repair, we can arrange to have your forklift taken to our state of the art workshops at Oldbury, Telford, or Coventry. And we can even hire you out of an equivalent machine, so you don’t have to stop work for the day.
Do you have any more questions about forklift maintenance or our services? Please get in touch, and we’ll be happy to answer any enquiries you have.