Five Common Problems with Managing Your Forklift Fleet

warehouseImproving productivity and reducing costs are at the top of every warehouse and material handling manager’s to-do list. One of the best ways to achieve these two goals is with proper forklift fleet management.

There are five key areas to account for if you want to achieve your goals of reduced costs and increased productivity; accidents, service costs, service tracking, daily checklists, and productivity. These are all common sticking points you may run into that will hinder your efforts. Eliminating these issues will help reach your company objectives. If you recognize any of these at your facility, consider adding or reexamining your forklift fleet management system:

  1. Accidents & Impacts –Accidents and impacts account for substantial downtime and costs. Whether it is the cost of repairing equipment, replacing damaged inventory, or covering medical injuries, forklift accidents can cause significant damage to your bottom line. Adding a fleet management system will allow you to track accidents and allow your managers to quickly act and rectify any situation. A simple investigation of each accident leads to quick improvements in your warehouse impact rates.
  2. Rising Service Costs – Maintenance costs can quickly rise without proper care of your trucks. It is important to instruct employees to take proper care of each truck since they are quite expensive. Understanding your maintenance costs allows you to gain control over company expenses. Costs can be decreased from proper daily inspections and end of the year evaluations on each truck. These tools will also identify opportunities for improvement and save the company money in the long run.
  3. A Lack of Utilization Tracking – Whether you have one or one-hundred trucks in your warehouse, you’ll want to track each vehicles usage. Not only will this show you whether you need to increase or reduce your fleet, but it will also give a hint as to why certain machines need more servicing.
  4. ChecklistCompliance/Pre-Inspection Checklists – Assurance that only trained and licensed drivers operate your forklifts can be achieved with a fleet management system. Vehicle-based terminals can collect and transmit data, while also disabling access to those who are unauthorized for operation. This will prevent unauthorized access and also remind operators to start with a pre-inspection evaluation. If the truck fails its check, it becomes inoperable and will later notify management.
  5. Productivity – A fleet management system can quickly identify areas of improvement that will affect total productivity. Something as simple as reducing total charge time at a charging station can not only preserve the life of an industrial truck battery, but also increase the trucks time out in the warehouse to keep production numbers high.

Each of the five common problems stated above can be resolved with the proper fleet management system. You may need to put one into place or reexamine your existing system. With the right fleet management system, your total productivity and costs will see a positive outcome.