Fleet Management & Forklift Safety Blog

Is Your Fleet Working at Full Capacity?

Posted by Dick Sorenson on Nov 30, 2017 4:00:00 AM

When did you last sit down and really evaluate the number of vehicles you have deployed during any given shift? Even if you have taken action in the past to right-size your fleet, there's actually a strong chance those figures are outdated or miscalculated. calculation-1889005_640.jpg

How can you be sure? There are specific things that go into a right-sizing evaluation. Ask these questions:

  • Have we taken a recent inventory of both the trucks and trailers currently in the fleet?
  • Do drivers get paid by the hour or on productivity pay?
  • Do we monitor drivers? Monitoring operator behaviorand task execution tends to increase employee productivity — and increased productivity means fewer trucks are needed.
  • If routing or delivery schedules were changed, would our fleet utilization improve?

Right sizing with factual data

Right-sizing will save significant cash, so it is important that it is done based upon the evaluation of facts, not guesses or gut instinct. Think about how eliminating just one or two unnecessary assets could generate savings.

For example, there would be one or two fewer drivers to hire, pay and train. Or perhaps consider a fleet of 1,000 vehicles — eliminating 100 could save more than $300,000 per year and even boost your bottom line from the sale of eliminated units.

Savings also reflect the high cost of lift-truck ownership (batteries, maintenance and repairs). In fact, lift-truck maintenance ranks second or third behind operational cost, with the cost of new batteries ranging from $3,000 to $7,000.

This is why using fact-based insights to right-size your fleet could potentially save thousands — if not hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Are facts about your fleet accurate?

Your decisions are only as good as the information you base them on. Monitoring and measuring the movement of all assets in real time, including inventory and forklift trucks, assists you in right-sizing your fleet accurately. 

Telematics is the ideal solution. Software can:

  1. Track movement of each truck, driver, and load, in real time, with inch accuracy. So, you can track the frequency of materials-handling vehicles traveling without a load.
  2. Show idle time, vehicles in motion, and how much time each vehicle is spending active with load. This lets you shift trucks around during busy periods.

You gain other valuable insight to consider:

  • Learn typical operator behavior and habits. For example, do some drivers take extended breaks or take longer than others to complete the same task?
  • Determine which forklifts are down for maintenance or repairs more often that they should be. Are they at the end of their lifecycle?
  • Identify traffic and routing issues to create safer, more efficient paths.

You shouldn’t assume your fleet is working at full capacity just because you see steady movement on the warehouse floor. Insight from fleet-monitoring telematics identifies the ideal number of lift-trucks needed and any changes, like in routing, which would boost efficiencies.

Topics: Forklift, fleet utilization, TotalTrax Fleet Management Solutions, advanced location, connected warehouse solutions

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