Fleet Management & Forklift Safety Blog

Telematics & Maintenance – the Perfect Pair for Trimming Expenses

Posted by Thelma Marshall on Oct 26, 2017 3:00:00 AM

Delaying forklift maintenance and repairs is probably costing you more than you realize. There are numerous expenses associated with forklift downtime, mechanical inefficiencies, and shortened battery lifespans. Forklift_safety.png

These costs add up quickly, particularly when maintenance is postponed. And, we get it: sometimes it’s easier to just get the work done quickly and postpone maintenance. But it will cost you.

Here are some facts to remember:

  • It’s estimated that class I and II forklifts, used for multiple shifts, cost about $20,000 to maintain and operate annually. Class III forklifts cost just under $13,000 per year.
  • It’s very common for basic maintenance to get postponed or pushed aside in order to meet deadlines and demands.
  • Small repairs can quickly become big repairs when they are ignored.
  • Downtime is more than a nuisance. It costs productivity and impacts your bottom line.
  • If you allow a battery to discharge below 20%, it lowers the battery's voltage, making it less efficient and potentially shortening its lifespan.
  • Real-time data on battery SOC, amperage, temperature, voltage, and recharge protocol facilitates longer battery life and improved efficiency.

So, how can you take better control and monitor scheduled maintenance, repairs and battery care? This is where telematics can save you thousands of dollars and improve profitability.

Pairing telematics and maintenance

A telematics system will support your unique objectives, monitoring maintenance and repairs, and cut costs and deliver a 3% to 5% increase in productivity. So, it not only saves you money, stress and frustration, it boosts your bottom line.

Here is where to start

      1. Create a regular maintenance plan

  • Forklifts should be serviced and inspected regularly to ensure small repair issues are caught before they become serious.
  • Mandatory safety checklists identify maintenance issues at the beginning of a shift or change of operator. Vehicles are locked until checklists are successfully completed.
  • Battery-monitoring technology ensures proper and complete charging takes place, that battery cleaning occurs, and overall battery health is monitored, indicating when batteries begin to fail and should be replaced.

    2. Utilize Telematics

  • Telematics systems detect and provide notification about potential mechanical issues so repairs can be completed before a vehicle is used.
  • Monitoring shows downtime for both operators and vehicles, and predictive analytics provide insight into the cause of equipment failures.
  • Battery monitoring shows charging habits and rotation of equipment.

    3. Retire old lift trucks

  • Economic effectiveness decreases as forklifts age, typically after six years. At some point, the cost to maintain it — if it is frequently down for repairs — exceeds the cost to replace it.

Simply put, telematic monitoring can ensure preventative maintenance is completed and key issues that threaten to increase forklift downtimes are quickly identified and addressed.  


Topics: forklift costs, maintenance tracking, predictive maintenance, safety checklists

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