Fleet Management & Forklift Safety Blog

What Your Fleet Performance Really Needs

Posted by Brian Quigley, Director of Client Services on Feb 28, 2019 4:00:00 AM

If forklifts are causing delays or unnecessary challenges throughout any given shift, it could be a sign that fleet performance needs are not being met. quality-787663_640

Your fleet needs specific care, from maintenance and proper vehicle usage to the number of batteries your facility requires to keep the fleet healthy and moving. If any of these areas are lacking, it will show in reduced or problematic fleet performance.

Are basic fleet performance needs being met?

If one of your challenges is fleet performance and downtime, the first thing you should do is identify exactly what your fleet is lacking.

  1. Ask this: Is fleet maintenance performed on a set schedule or is it spotty at best? Are repairs put off until they are convenient to do rather than when they are needed? This can be a significant cause of poor vehicle performance.

Solutions and tips: Real-time visibility into the performance of your fleet — as well as ongoing maintenance protocol — can dramatically eliminate that habit of postponing maintenance and repairs. The right telematics software can help you proactively keep to a schedule and identify when a repair is needed and if it’s completed as expected. 

  1. Ask this: Are some of the fleet vehicles too old for the job? With age and extended hours of use, forklifts cost more in repairs, risk, and down-time. There is an increased risk of this with older fleet vehicles if:
  • maintenance was skipped over a period of years.
  • needed repairs were not completed in a timely manner.

Solutions and tips: Monitoring each forklift with advanced telematics can help to clarify when a vehicle is down for repairs frequently and if it shows signs of being too old to operate efficiently. 

  1. Ask this: Does the facility have enough batteries to keep a fleet moving without delays? Forklift batteries cost between $2,000 and $6,000, depending on specs and size, so is it worth the investment to purchase more?

Solutions and tips: The general rule is to have 2 batteries for every forklift in your operation, allowing for proper charging and maintenance of one battery while the other powers a vehicle. This is typical for any average, efficient warehouse operation. 

But, how quickly your batteries receive charging and required cleaning will impact their overall efficiency in keeping the fleet moving. The easiest way to obtain ideal battery performance and ROI is by using battery-monitoring technology.

Here’s why: 

  • Forklift batteries can power your fleet for 2,000 work shifts or charge/discharge cycles, but only if they are well maintained.  
  • Skipping battery protocols — like proper charging habits, cleaning, and proactive maintenance — will shorten battery lifespan and cause reduced power and ability to hold a charge that powers a forklift correctly.  

Battery-monitoring technology is the cost-effective solution that supports healthier batteries and fleet reliability.

An advanced telematics software platform can be crucial in identifying costly fleet-related issues and helping you proactively work to prevent them. 

Topics: forklift costs, telematic fleet management, battery charging, operator certification, dangers of forklift operation, time management, proactive warehouse solutions

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