Monday, May 30, 2011

10 Ways To Save Money By Reducing Forklift Repair Costs

Found this great article on how to reduce forklift repair costs from RackExpress.  Thought I would repost it.

1. Replace worn tires and wheels.

Forklifts have almost no suspension. Worn or chunked tires cause excessive jarring and shaking of mechanical, electrical and hydraulic systems. Consider different tire materials and durometers that offer more shock absorption and wear life for load wheels and forklift tires.  We are currently offering a special for tire replacement

2. Eliminate sources of tire chunking and flat-spotting.

Don’t let wooden pallet debris, plastic wrap, trash or manufacturing scrap lay on warehouse and production floors. Small pieces of wood ruin load wheels, especially on walkie-rider pallet trucks. Plastic wrap damages wheel bearings when it gets wrapped around wheel assemblies. Clean your floors frequently and consider plastic or metal pallets.

3. Repair damaged floors and thresholds.

Crossing a bad threshold or hitting holes repeatedly in a lift truck can cause serious damage to the tires, as well as the electrical, hydraulic and mechanical systems. A few dollars of epoxy patch can save thousands in wheel replacement.

4. Stop inching pedal abuse.

Inching pedal misuse and abuse can lead to costly transmission failure. Forklifts with inching pedals are prone to abuse if operators are not trained in proper use.

5. Reduce impact damage.

Stop running into things…Seriously consider impact or shock alarms to help monitor operator and truck incidents. Improper truck selection, aisles that are too narrow and improperly trained operators can all be causes of unnecessary impact damage.

6. Invest in forklift operator safety training.

Commit to quality training and ongoing testing for your operators and you will see reduced forklift damage and inventory damage.

7. Schedule preventative maintenance.

Scheduled preventative maintenance will save you a great deal of money in the long run by preventing major component failures that require costly repairs, reduce your available forklift fleet and often require you to rent a forklift.

8. Make sure your forklift operators have the right truck for the right application.
If your warehouse staff is using a Narrow Aisle Reach truck to run down a ramp and into an outdoor yard, putting pallets into racking using an Orderpicker (don’t laugh), using a 4-wheel sit-down counterbalanced truck to store and retrieve pallets in a 120” wide aisle you may want to re-evaluate your truck selection.

9. Monitor your maintenance costs per hour on each truck.

What is your service company charging you for similar jobs on similar trucks? Is your cost per hour to operate your trucks different? You may discover that one or more of your trucks may be a lemon. If you keep pouring money into a truck in may make sense to put it out of its misery. Consider outsourced fleet service audits or fleet maintenance software.

10. Don’t forget battery maintenance and battery charging education.

Electric lift trucks can have one of several types of lead acid batteries. Some require watering, while some are sealed and require very little maintenance, or are “maintenance free”. Some batteries don’t mind opportunity charging, that is charging when the battery is not completely discharged, but some do. Improper watering and charging can cause trucks to run hot which is very damaging to the expensive electrical components. Check our our video on proper battery handling and truck charging. Make sure all of your batteries are in good working condition and do not have dead cells.

Source: Rackexpress

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