Have You Ever Wondered How To Extend The Life Of Your Equipment While Cutting Operating Costs?
A proper Planned Maintenance agreement can do just that. Operating your equipment without planned maintenance or having an inexperienced company manage your program, can result in increased operating costs, downtime, and even shorten the life of your forklifts.
Through years of performing planned maintenance on thousands of forklifts, there are a few basic things we feel you need to know. We will share these 10 tips to ensure you have the best Planned Maintenance agreement available to you.
10 Planned Maintenance Tips For Your Company
1) A Good PM Program Reduces Costs
Ignoring all small costs will lead to bigger costs down the road. What causes this?
a. Keep your forklifts clean – Most forklifts operate in harsh conditions. All of this will lead to build-up in the filters. Deposits can cause issues with the internal working parts. This can result in early failure of your forklift and greater expenses over time.
b. Replace worn out parts – Don’t wait until forklift parts fail to have them replaced. Parts failure frequently leading to damage or failure of other components. Often leading to more costly repairs and downtime.
b. Good tires on your lifts are a must – Damaged and worn tires increase resistance and lead to higher fuel costs.
d. Lifts need grease – When a forklift is out of service you will deal with more downtime and decreased productivity. Keeping key points properly lubricated reduces friction which reduces wear. This will elongate part life and reduce your operating costs.
2) Watch out for and Up-Front “Teaser” PM Price
When budgets are tight it is easy to be lured by low-priced introductory PM rates. Statistically it takes a minimum of 1 hour to perform a proper PM. Ask for the stated hourly labor rate of your potential provider. If the math doesn’t add up, something is going to suffer. – It’s usually the care of your forklifts.
3) The Importance of PM Completion Rates
How many of your forklifts are being serviced according to your agreement? Asking for completion rates is essential. If your provider does not know their completion rates, it likely means your forklifts are not being serviced on time.
4) Review the PM Inspection Form
If your potential provider does not have a PM inspection form, it’s likely your equipment isn’t being maintained correctly. Someone should do a random inspection to be sure grease is getting where it needs to and inspections being done properly. You spent tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars on your equipment. You must get the most life out of your forklift and keep costs low. The best way to ensure this is by having an experienced PM provider.
5. Get and Check Referrals
Your forklift fleet’s performance is critical to your business daily profitability. The safety of your employees and the productivity of your equipment is a top priority. The best way to determine how each potential provider will perform for you is to ask their current service customers. Ask for a minimum of three current planned maintenance customers. Make sure to call and talk with each about their experience and history with the forklift service company.
6) Know How Often Your Forklift Needs Serviced
Make sure you are working with a company that asks the right questions about your planned maintenance program. Your forklifts will need more attention if they operate under extreme conditions. An experienced company knows how often your forklift will need to be serviced. Be sure your service provider asks questions and listens.
7) Recommended by OSHA for a Reason
As part of OSHA’s regulation of forklifts (29 CFR 1910), “preventative” or planned maintenance is recommended. It can be costly to ignore this recommendation when dealing with a workplace accident. Not only fines, but the legal costs will be large if a company has not followed the recommendations of OSHA.
8) Make Sure Your Operators Know Their Daily Responsibilities
A daily inspection of every forklift you operate is required. To name a few items to inspect:
- brake function
- belts and hoses
- engine oil level
- engine coolant
- air filter
9) Work with a Qualified Service Provider
Few qualified resources in any given city can execute a proper Planned Maintenance program. You’ve invested thousands of dollars in a new piece of equipment. You want to protect the lift from expense future breakdowns and repairs. Put your investment in the hands of a company that stands behind the work they perform. A service repair provider that has a long-term successful track record. Having your forklift serviced by qualified “authorized” personnel is required by OSHA.
10) Take Time and Visit Your Their Facility
A lot can be learned by a quick visit to your potential service provider. Is the parts department orderly? Meet the people responsible for managing your planned maintenance program. If the staff is disorderly, you can expect the same of your PM program.
We Understand the Importance of your Planned Maintenance Program
Forklift Systems performs thousands of forklift PM’s every year. It is such a critical service, we have service coordinators and technicians dedicate solely to monitoring, scheduling, and performing planned maintenance. We would be happy to speak with you about your current program or help you establish a customized PM program for your forklift fleet.
Contact your local Forklift Systems branch today. Call 800.752.1882 to be put in contact with someone who can help you right away.