Fleet Management & Forklift Safety Blog

Are Forklift Operators in Your Warehouse Costing You Money?

Posted by Thelma Marshall on Oct 4, 2018 4:00:00 AM

If you were to grade forklift operators in your facility on their skills and performance, would they pass your test? Without formal examination, do you know which drivers make the grade, which ones don’t, and what poor driving is costing you? Forklift_Safety-1-1-1

Monitoring forklift operator behavior can determine current training needs and reduce the number of impacts, near-misses, injuries, and damage to equipment. In fact, a recent case study revealed that as much as 75% of forklift maintenance expenses can be caused by operator error, so improving operator behavior drastically reduces lift truck expenses.

Here’s how to reduce these costs:

  • Use a telematic system that will remind operators about best practices and safety protocols and help you determine where retraining is needed.
  • Use telematic operator report cards to get to know your operators’ strengths and weaknesses. Your software platform should monitor and determine who is performing well, driving recklessly, or ignoring safety protocols.
  • Real-time monitoring should clock speed and sound an alarm for infractions. This can virtually eliminate complacency about speed limits — which is a huge factor in accidents and equipment repairs.
  • Drivers should know they are being monitored. This typically motivates employees to follow best practices regarding the movement of loads, pedestrian safety, and safety checklists.
  • Telematic software can monitor preventive maintenance and when fleet vehicles are tagged out for repairs. This information is recorded by the system to ensure that forklifts receive regular maintenance to avoid unexpected and more costly breakdowns.
  • Managers can leverage data from the telematics system to identify better routing through entrances and exits in a facility and reveal numerous ways to improve safety and efficiencies.

But it also reduces hidden costs connected to your operators’ skill-levels and driving habits. For example, the need for unexpected equipment repair can be the result of reckless behavior or poor operation of a vehicle, and this increases maintenance costs.

Reduce costs for forklift maintenance

Reducing forklift maintenance expenses while maintaining safe vehicles is easily achieved with the right strategy and insight.

The steps are simple:

  1. Improve operator skill and driving performance. Monitor all drivers and address poor driving behaviors or training needs. Fewer impacts reduce maintenance costs for repairs, the cost of downtime, labor lost for operators injured, and workers compensation premiums.
  1. Take preventative action based on data. Putting off vehicle repairs costs more in downtime, mechanical damage, and an increased risk of injuries. Use fleet monitoring data to quickly respond to repair and maintenance needs.

How well drivers operate a truck impacts that vehicle. By leveraging data from a telematic forklift management system, managers can determine if high maintenance costs are being fueled by poor operator behavior or lack of skill during a certain task. Once you know the source of the problem, you can address it effectively, improving operator performance and reducing both impacts and costs


Topics: forklift operators, limit risks, operator report card, operator behavior, safety improvements, injuries

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