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Tips to Reduce the Overhead Costs of your Forklift Fleet

Tips to Reduce the Overhead Costs of your Forklift Fleet

Aug 29, 2017

A forklift fleet can help your company get a lot of work done and improve your bottom line, but only if it is used efficiently.  With the amount of money your company spends on new and used forklifts, as well as forklift maintenance, it is important to use your forklift fleet as efficiently as possible to maximize your ROI.  Many companies may find that the cost of operating their forklift fleet has become too high, which means that they must find ways to reduce the overhead costs of operation.  Fortunately, there are many different ways that you can reduce these overhead costs to help save your company money.

The following tips will help you be more cost effective with your forklift fleet.

Use Data Interfaces for Efficient Utilization

When it comes to determining how efficiently you are utilizing your forklift fleet, it helps to break down the use of each piece of equipment.  There are several different telematic monitoring systems available that can track use data on individual forklifts so you can see if they are being utilized properly.  With this data, you can easily identify when a forklift is being underused or overused, determine the best routing options, manage forklift maintenance, ensure that your operators are compliant, and determine the most efficient ways to use each forklift.  This data will also help you identify forklifts on your fleet that have become a liability.

Improve Routing

 The routing of your forklifts is very important because inefficient routing can cost your company time and money.  One of the best ways to ensure that your forklifts are using the most efficient routes is to use telematic monitoring systems as mentioned above.  This type of software can integrate real-time data from the forklifts with the details of your inventory to help you identify the most efficient routes for moving product through your warehouse.  The data from these monitoring systems can also help you determine if you are keeping your inventory in the best location for it to be moved efficiently.  By improving the efficiency of the routing, you can help maximize the ROI of your forklift fleet.

Monitor Operator Behavior

The behaviors of your forklift operators play a large part in the efficiency of your forklift fleet.  Most forklift accidents are caused by operator behavior which means that they are also preventable.  You can help make sure that your forklift operators are following safety protocols by setting speed limits, monitoring their behaviors, and enforcing compliance with your policies.  You should also make sure that your forklift operators attend training regularly to stay up to date on current safety protocols.

Closely Evaluate Contracts

When taking on a new contract for a job, it is crucial that your forklift operations and finances for the project are in line.  You must carefully review the terms of the contract so you can determine the best way to use your fleet to complete the job while minimizing the costs to your business.  Over or underutilizing your equipment can increase your costs while working on a particular contract.

Reduce Maintenance Costs

Forklift maintenance is always a major cost when operating a fleet, but there are so many things you can do to reduce your maintenance costs.  While there is no way to completely eliminate the need for forklift maintenance, you can prevent many common issues that may put your equipment out of commission.  You can start by forming an inspection checklist that your operators must complete before each use.  This will help maintain the fluid levels and identify minor issues with your equipment that are easy to fix before they develop into more serious and expensive problems.  You can also put each forklift in your fleet on a regular schedule for oil changes to ensure that no forklift goes too long without an oil change.  Taking these simple steps can help prevent major issues and save your company plenty of money on maintenance and repairs.

Forklift fleets can bring a great ROI to your business if they are used efficiently, and they can also be a liability to your company if they are not.  By maximizing the use of each individual forklift, improving the routing, evaluating contracts, and holding your operators responsible for following safety protocols and doing routine maintenance checks, you can significantly reduce the overhead costs of operating your forklift fleet.

Or course, something can always go wrong with your forklift, despite your best efforts at preventative maintenance.  If you have a problem with your equipment, our experts at RHI Lifts provide forklift maintenance to get your equipment back up and running.

If you have employees that need training to get their forklift certifications or operators that could use additional training, RHI Lifts provides forklift operator training classes that are compliant with OSHA and ANSI standards.

The Difference Between Monotrol Pedal Shifting and Lever Shift

The Difference Between Monotrol Pedal Shifting and Lever Shift

May 2, 2017

Many different companies rely on their forklift fleet for their production which means that their staff must be well trained to operate the forklift equipment.  Forklifts are somewhat complex machines to operate, as operators must simultaneously control the steering, shifting, and lift itself.  Traditionally, the gear shifting for forklifts is done with a lever shifter that operators control with their hands.  The introduction of the monotrol pedal, a pedal that shifts between gears, has helped free up the hands of forklift operators by giving them a way to shift gears with their feet.  Read the following descriptions to learn more about monotrol pedals and lever shifters for forklift shifting.

Forklift Lever Shifter

Forklift-Training-Services-in-Chicago-ILForklifts with lever shifters work in a similar manner to vehicles with manual shifting.  The lever shifter is located in the operator cab near the steering wheel and other levers used to control the hydraulic lift and various attachments.  It is common for forklifts to have two shift levers, one to shift between forward, neutral, and reverse, and a gear shift lever to select gear ratios that determine travel speed.  Operators must press down on the clutch pedal when shifting between gears.  The gear shift lever gives operators good control over the speed and gear shifting of the forklift.  However, the use of these hand levers along with the pressing of the clutch pedal can make the overall operation more complicated.

Monotrol Pedal Shifting

The monotrol pedal is a pedal that controls the shifting and acceleration of the forklift.  This pedal allows operators to switch between forward and reverse with their feet, and it also controls acceleration which eliminates the need for another gear shifting lever and clutch pedal.  Forklifts with monotrol pedal shifting are less complicated to operate than those with lever shifters and they give operators more freedom with their hands to better control steering and the lifts.

The main issue with monotrol pedals is that they are more difficult to control than traditional lever shifters.  Forklifts with monotrol pedals do not have different gear settings to help control the speed which means that the speed is determined by the amount of pressure you put on the pedal.  If the pedal is touchy, inching forward can be difficult.  These pedals are also a potential safety issue.  If an operator accidentally steps on the pedal as they are entering or exiting the machine, the forklift will move.  Forklifts with lever shifters will not move until the operator puts the forklift in gear.

Both forklift shifting mechanisms have their advantages and disadvantages that you must carefully consider when choosing between the two.  Regardless of which style shifting your forklifts have, it is very important for you to provide extensive forklift operator training for your employees to review basic operation and safety of your equipment.  In depth operator training is the most effective way to avoid accidents.  If you cannot provide training for your employees in-house, contact RHI Lifts for our forklift operator training services.  We provide training and certification classes for businesses in the Chicago area.  Give us a call at (847) 447-0700 for more information.