Forklifts have changed over the years to maximize efficiency and product handling characteristics. The management of this equipment remains the same across various models. Keeping forklifts in good condition reduces downtime and maximizes ROI in ongoing operations. Unfortunately, not all businesses can maintain checks and balances for forklifts, with frequent breakdowns hurting their revenues. It is necessary to highlight ways to reduce forklift downtime and improve the business.
1. Knowing Everything About Forklifts
All forklifts have different requirements. Warehouse managers and operators must understand them. A data-driven approach to managing a fleet of forklifts ensures that the model requirements keep the forklifts operating longer and durably.
Maintenance is also not a one-size-fits-all for forklift fleets. Checking the owner’s manuals and servicing dealership ensures that maintenance schedules meet the brand’s requirements. Understanding the forklift ensures that it works in optimal environments without jeopardizing performance.
2. Using the Forklifts Appropriately
After choosing the right forklift, using it appropriately is critical. Operators must monitor the forklifts’ usage and determine if they are subject to damage from inappropriate operations. Using this equipment wrongly subjects them to rapid wear and tear. This wearing causes damage that can lead to more downtime when they break down mid-operations. Some of the habits to avoid include:
ü Tip Loading – Tip loading involves using a third of the forks or when the load is not covering the entire front side of the carriage.
ü Hot Shifting – Shifting the transmission between forward and reverse gears when the forklift is in operation causes rapid wearing, damaging transmission.
ü Pushing and Pulling Loads – Forklifts are supposed to carry loads, and pushing or pulling inventory causes stress on various components. The mast, carriage and backrest suffer more damage which causes downtime.
ü Overloading – Every forklift has a maximum load capacity, and going beyond this figure could cause failure on the hydraulic components, forks and other attachments.
Proper operator training and safe operation help combat these and other related issues leading to downtime.
3. Proper Forklift Maintenance
Poorly maintained forklifts tend to break down a lot, leading to failures. Therefore, forklifts have maintenance schedules that must be well presented in the records. Maintenance can be frequent depending on the forklift model, work environment, and daily operating hours.
When dust, dirt and fibers settle on the filters and radiators, they need regular cleaning. When operating 24 hours, the machinery will reach the 250-hour service interval faster than a forklift running only one shift.
Most businesses need help managing routine maintenance due to less knowledge about the lack of handling and capabilities. Some manufacturers offer maintenance packages to help reduce downtime by keeping the equipment maintained on time.
4. Use Quality Replacement Parts
Keeping forklift maintenance records helps plan for parts that need replacements. This record assists in sourcing parts and supplies for quicker repairs and replacements during a breakdown. When sourcing replacement parts, finding quality materials directly from material handling equipment manufacturers is crucial.
Not all forklifts are the same, and low-quality parts wear out more rapidly than high-quality products. These parts are less likely to wear out sooner and can reduce downtime significantly. Using genuine parts means getting the same parts the forklift had from the factory.
Using a certified technician to install these replacements ensures all procedures meet the manufacturer’s specifications.
5. Using the Right Tool for the Job
Sometimes forklift downtime results from inappropriate usage, leading to challenging problems. There are different types of forklifts. Some cannot carry certain goods or work in specific environments. In case of downtime, it is crucial to assess the usage of forklifts to understand the root cause of problems.
Using a forklift, for example, without a shock absorption system could cause it to bounce up and down, putting more pressure on the carriage and lift chains. Using a forklift with higher ground clearance and a hydraulic accumulator for shock absorption is only right.
The Godrej Tusker Diesel Forklift 3.0 tonne has a rugged design for working in tough applications. The chassis also has anti-vibration mountings that minimize the impact on the operator and vehicle components.
6. Proper Training of Operators
A knowledgeable team of operators on the operation, handling and maintenance of forklifts help manage downtime because they do everything according to the books. Warehouses and distributors must ensure that these individuals receive proper training and verifiable certification.
When onboarding operators, operations managers must adequately train them how to work as per the company’s standards and safety requirements. Emphasizing safety procedures, pre-shift operations and avoiding hazards guarantees the continuity of operations without losing a few hours aground.
These are key points that operators must remember when managing their forklift fleets. These tenets ensure an optimum work environment with a properly managed fleet that rarely experiences downtime. Work with heavy equipment manufacturers providing ongoing maintenance for the supplied equipment.