Ensuring a Healthier Forklift Fleet

The performance of your supply chain is never far from your mind when managing a fleet of forklifts falls on your shoulders. The health of your fleet is of the utmost importance. A healthier forklift fleet means longer-lasting equipment, a safer work environment, reliable equipment, and time to prepare if replacement is necessary. If you follow these steps, you’ll have the tools you need to ensure a healthier fleet that can meet the demands and expectations of the daily grind.


Assessment and Maintenance

Routine lift maintenance┬áis the key to keeping any piece of equipment running at peak efficiency and safety. The first step to proper maintenance requires you to first establish a baseline. Keeping accurate profiles of the entire fleet that gets updated annually shows you exactly how the fleet changes, helping you predict future needs. It helps to take pictures of the trucks and make note of age, serial numbers, hours of battery life, and so on. While performing these assessments each year, it’s the perfect time to bring in a professional to perform maintenance checks and lubricate moving parts. Worker safety can never be compromisedEnsuring a Healthier Forklift Fleet, and safe trucks mean safe operators.

The big rig isn’t the only part that needs attention. Forklift batteries are some of the most important things to consider when managing your fleet. Keeping up-to-date documentation on the condition and capacity of each battery is vital. Conduct battery tests and use monitoring technology to help keep tabs on battery life and performance. Being able to track battery performance is one more way you can be sure you’re being proactive instead of reactive when it comes to maintaining a healthier forklift fleet.



By tracking each truck and battery’s maintenance history, including the cost of each repair or service, you get a comprehensive picture of each year. This helps you see what might be needed in the coming year. This kind of documentation helps you estimate the average cost per model and find ways to increase efficiency and reduce downtime. Planning for work orders and potential breakdowns is the best way to manage not only the fleet itself but also cashflow.


Monitoring Fleet Usage and Data

Resource management can seem overwhelming, but when you have a complete understanding of how and when your forklifts are being used each time, how many are in operation, you are better equipped to make good decisions. Knowing when to rent or buy additional trucks, assess how many each facility will need during peak seasons is one of the most valuable tools in your management arsenal. Not only does this kind of knowledge help you with your own trucks, it also helps you identify trends and gain a more well-rounded understanding of forklifts themselves. This gives you the power to identify when buying used trucks makes more sense than buying new ones. Integrating a used forklift can save you tons of money in the long-run.

When you have a good handle on what each truck is doing, the next step is to establish a plan to process and share information with each department. First, you’ll want to identify what types of data you want to accumulate, then keep each department informed in a timely fashion. Focus first on a few operational objectives and any changes to keep everyone in the loop. When data is gathered and presented in a meaningful way, the right changes can be made at the right times. Over time, this type of communication will help greatly with efficiency.

A healthier forklift fleet always translates into more reliable, longer-lasting equipment, better business practice, smarter usage of financial resources, and most importantly a safer work environment. Follow these steps and you’ll quickly see the positive changes to your supply chain. More complete knowledge of your fleet, as well as the trucks themselves, puts you in a better position to make decisions that make sense for your business and well as the safety of your workers.


About Tom Reddon

Tom has been involved in the forklift industry since 1986. He loves doing research, blogging, and speaking about forklifts. You can contact Tom on his Twitter or Google+ profiles.

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