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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.

Indoor and Outdoor Uses of Forklifts

Indoor and Outdoor Uses of Forklifts

Mar 23, 2017

The forklift is one of the most important pieces of heavy machinery used in commercial and industrial environments.  Many companies depend on their fleet of forklifts to move product and materials quickly and efficiently, both indoors and outdoors.  The more efficiently the job is done, the better it is for your bottom line.  This makes it very important to choose the right forklift for the specific job and setting.  This guide explains the most common indoor and outdoor uses of forklifts as well as some things to consider when buying a forklift for an indoor or outdoor job.

Indoor Forklift Uses

Forklifts are commonly found in many indoor commercial settings including warehouses, retail stores, and distribution and shipping centers.  These forklifts are needed to transport heavy materials, stack materials for storage, and load and unload trucks.  The basic design of a forklift is best suited for lifting and transporting materials on pallets but they can also transport stacked boxes, drums, and crates.  There are a wide variety of forklifts available that are suited for indoor use and certain features like the size, tires, turn radius, and lifting abilities can be chosen for your specific environment.

Outdoor Forklift Uses

indoor-outdoor-forklifts-chicago-ilForklifts are used in a wide variety of outdoor settings from docks, junkyards, and recycling centers to lumberyards and outdoor home and garden centers.  One industry that puts outdoor forklifts to good use is the construction industry.  Forklifts are used on construction sites to transport heavy building materials as well as dumpsters, portable toilets, and other equipment needed at a jobsite.  Installing a hopper attachment gives a forklift the ability to transport and dump unwanted materials.  Typically, rough terrain forklifts that have a rugged design and high weight capacity are used in outdoor settings.

Electric vs Diesel Forklifts

Electric forklifts are becoming much more popular because they are less expensive to maintain, easy to operate, and much safer for the environment.  However, electric forklifts are not the best option for outdoor jobs.  These smaller, simpler forklifts are best suited for indoor uses and their lack of emissions makes them much safer inside than diesel powered forklifts.  Diesel forklifts are ideal for outdoor use because they have more speed and power and they can operate in tough weather conditions.  The major disadvantage of diesel forklifts is their emissions which makes them dangerous to use in some indoor environments.  It is important to take these differences into consideration when choosing a forklift for indoor or outdoor use.

Forklift Tires

Choosing the right tires for your forklift is extremely important for its safety and effectiveness.  Using the wrong tires for the application or terrain can be dangerous.  The following are the three most common types of forklift tires and their uses:

  • Pneumatic Tires: Pneumatic tires are heavy-duty rubber tires that are inflated with air. These tires have thick, tear resistant rubber with deep treads that can handle tough and uneven terrain.  Pneumatic tires are the best option for outdoor use.
  • Solid Rubber Tires: These tires are made of solid rubber around a metal band, they are not inflated with air. Solid rubber tires can be used for indoor applications but they can only be used for light outdoor work because they do not have the cushion of an inflated tire.
  • Polyurethane Tires: These tires are lightweight and have great traction to handle higher weight capacities. They can also provide balance by counteracting the weight of the forklift batteries.  However, polyurethane tires can only be used indoors.

If your company uses forklifts for indoor and outdoor applications, it is very important to make sure you use the right type of forklifts to best handle each application.  When acquiring a new forklift, you must also consider whether it will be used indoors or outdoors and get the best piece of equipment for the application.  RHI Lifts has a large selection of new and used forklifts for sale that are suited for both indoor and outdoor working environments.  Contact RHI Lifts to learn more about our forklift selection in the Chicago area.