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4 Tips for Effective Forklift Fleet Management

4 Tips for Effective Forklift Fleet Management

Whether you have an operation with 1, 10, or 100 forklifts, one of the biggest keys to productivity is keeping a handle on your fleet. Without effective forklift fleet management, warehouse and distribution center systems begin to break down along with the equipment. When an operation properly manages its fleet, however, uptime is increased, cost of ownership is reduced, and operations continue to run smoothly and efficiently resulting ultimately in greater output and success.

All of that seems to be pretty common sense. Every piece of an operation has to be managed well in order for the whole to operate seamlessly. The problem with forklift fleet management, though, lies in the intricacy of the equipment. You’re not worried about just the piece of equipment, you’re worried about all the parts and pieces – the tires, the batteries, the chargers, the engine. How do you keep all that in check and still run a company?

Manage Your Fleet

There will always be challenges when trying to manage your forklift fleet, but we’ve come up with a few ways to take the edge off so you can be proactive in stopping problems before they arise and be prepared for the inevitable.

  • Categorize Your Fleet

    It’s a must to know what’s in your fleet. Take note of:

    • make, model, and serial number
    • engine model, tire type, etc. – if there is a problem with a specific part, this will help your parts and service team quickly find a solution or replacement
    • age – decide how much you are willing to spend on each age category (old, middle, new), and avoid costly repairs on equipment that is older, unsafe, and ready to be removed from the fleet
  • Regularly Evaluate Your Fleet

    It is important to know the condition of your fleet as a whole and of each individual piece of equipment. This will help your operation:

    • Keep records up to date
    • Know the estimated value of equipment that could be pledged as collateral to finance your business if needed
    • Replace equipment before it becomes unfit for use to minimize downtown and offset costs on a new forklift
  • Invest in a Fleet Management System

    Keeping track of a fleet manually can be a full time job. With a fleet management solution like Crown’s infolink, equipment and operators are easy to monitor. Fleet management solutions enhance productivity by:

    • Providing detailed equipment reporting
    • Offering operator insights so you can keep tabs on operation time, compliance, and impacts
    • Tracking overall fleet data including utilization, energy consumption, and service scheduling
  • Make Informed Decisions

    The purpose of records, evaluations, and reports are to keep you educated so you can make the best decisions for your operation’s fleet. Don’t just sit on the information, do something about it. See that your fleet is made up of largely dated equipment? Make plans to phase out the old and bring in new over a set time period. Noticing too many forklift impacts in your operation? Schedule training for your operators or replace poor operators with more experienced ones. Whatever the records show, use the information to take your operation in further along the path of success.

At the end of the work day, the key to successful fleet management is a thorough understanding of what is going on within the fleet. When you know where things stand, you can make adjustments accordingly. Rather than addressing issues as they arise, stop problems within your fleet before they start by keeping detailed records and reports and making informed decisions based off of the information they provide.