Fleet Management & Forklift Safety Blog

What is Driving the Bulk of your Forklift Maintenance Costs?

Posted by Dick Sorenson on May 10, 2018 4:00:00 AM

How can you tell if forklift maintenance costs are related to normal repairs or are actually driven by reckless operator behavior? The truth is right in front of you if monitor your fleet vehicles. Telematic data tells all.  finance-2837085_640

So, what are the true costs associated with your company’s forklift maintenance, and what is caused by operator error or careless mishaps?

Your forklift management system should provide the answer to that question by:

  • Monitoring operator behavior and certifications
  • Enforcing safety protocol, such as sounding alarms for excessive speed and requiring successful completion of safety checklists for a forklift to operate
  • Targeting operator errors and determining the root cause of all incidents
  • Recording details on all impacts using the 5W approach — the who, what, where, when and why each impact happened
  • Telling you what is slowing productivity or movement within the facility
  • Identifying the best routing for moving product in and out of your facility

Armed with easy-to-interpret telematic insight, managers can quickly determine if a large chunk of their escalating maintenance costs are from avoidable repairs caused by operator error. A recent case study revealed that as much as 75% of forklift maintenance expenses can be caused by operator error.

Tracking and operator training reduces forklift maintenance costs

What would ongoing monitoring of forklift operator behavior and training needs save in impacts, injuries and repairs? The answer may surprise you.

Within a month most companies realize sizable reductions in impacts and associated costs. Here’s why:

  • The system will reeducate operators to best practices and safety protocol and determine where retraining may be needed.
  • Managers get to know their operators’ strengths and weaknesses through operator report cards, which determine who is performing well or driving recklessly and ignoring safety protocols.
  • Real-time monitoring of speed sounds an alarm for infractions, so it can virtually eliminate complacency about speed limits — which is a huge factor in accidents and equipment repairs.
  • Drivers that know they are monitored typically follow best practices regarding movement of loads, pedestrian safety, and safety checklists.
  • Preventive maintenance is monitored, and fleet vehicles are tagged out. Everything is recorded by the system. to ensure that forklifts receive regular maintenance to avoid unexpected and more costly breakdowns.
  • The telematics system can identify better routing through entrances and exits in a facility and reveal numerous ways to improve safety and efficiencies.

The key to knowing if high maintenance costs are being fueled by poor operator behavior is in your forklift management system and how much you know about your operators. Leveraging the right information could drastically reduce your expense line, saving you thousands, or tens of thousands, over the next year.

Topics: human error, forklift impacts, value driven strategies, safety versus productivity, cost reduction, root cause, operator report card, accident reporting

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