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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.

Forklift Safety Tips for Outdoor Use

Forklift Safety Tips for Outdoor Use

Jun 30, 2016

Summer is here in the Chicago area which means that much more work can be done outdoors.  There are certain instances when you may need to use a forklift outdoors such as loading or unloading a truck and transporting loads to and from the warehouse.  Operating heavy machinery such as forklifts outdoors can be more difficult because the environment poses different challenges that a forklift operator does not face indoors.  All forklift operators, regardless of their level of experience, should follow these forklift safety tips to ensure safe outdoor forklift operation.

Always Be Alert

Many forklift operators get to know their indoor environments well but there are many things outdoors not found in indoor environments that can compromise your safety.  You must always be alert and aware of your surroundings outdoors as tree branches, rocks, uneven surfaces, and even wildlife can pose a potential hazard.  Make sure you stay focused on your surroundings and communicate with your team members so you aren’t caught off guard by any surprises.

Forklifts Safety Tips for Outdoor UseBe Mindful of Hot Conditions

The temperature this summer has already reached high into the 90s only a few weeks into the season.  If you do any work outside in the next couple of months, chances are you will be working in hot or humid conditions.  It is important to keep yourself protected in the heat by taking regular breaks and drinking plenty of water.  By staying hydrated and alert in hot conditions, you can minimize your risk of illness or injury.

Check the Weather Forecast

Before doing any work outside, it is wise to check the weather forecast for that day.  Adverse weather conditions such as wind and rain can have an effect on outdoor forklift operation.  The rain can cause several issues as wet pavement can lead to poor traction which greatly increases the risk of accidents.  Forklifts may also get stuck in the mud which can cause stalling.  This is why it is important to always pay attention to the terrain because muddy and wet conditions from previous rainfall can cause issues on a clear day.  Checking the weather before beginning any work is the best way to plan out which jobs can be done and what may have to wait.

Be Aware of Every Surface

The surface plays a large role in safe forklift operation.  While many indoor surfaces are consistent, outdoor surfaces may vary widely from pavement to gravel or dirt and they can also be uneven.  Grading is another issue that may not exist indoors as you may be required to drive your forklift up or down hill on outdoor surfaces.  Forklift operators must be aware of the outdoor surfaces that they are working on so that they are prepared for the coarseness or unevenness.  It is also a good idea for forklift operators to receive training on driving a forklift on dirt or gravel surfaces.

It feels good to work outdoors sometimes and if you operate a forklift outside, make sure to follow these safety tips to make the experience more enjoyable.  Whether you are indoors or out, safety should always be a top priority when operating heaving machinery such as forklifts.  For more safety tips or information about forklift operator training, contact RHI Lifts by calling (847) 447-0700.