Irrespective of whether you’re planning to purchase equipment outright, or acquire it on a lease or rental contract, it’s important that servicing and maintenance is included in the package. Key performance indicators (KPIs) cannot be achieved if forklift trucks break down on a regular basis leading to unplanned maintenance. Maintenance issues are more common as a forklift approaches the end of its lifecycle, especially if it hasn’t been well maintained. Extra repair bills not only increase the total cost of equipment ownership, but can also impact on your bottom line, as equipment downtime affects productivity. Getting the maintenance strategy right is therefore key to keeping your machines operating at peak performance. Here are a few points to consider:
- Do you employ engineers in-house or outsource?
Having your own team affords your business complete control, but comes with increased overheads – both the associated cost of recruiting employees plus training to ensure they have the requisite skills. Going down the outsourcing route leave the company free to focus on its core competences. With the ability to turn the level of support up or down and on or off, and access associated aftersales support services such as a tyre programme and driver training, outsourcing is highly flexible and you can rest assured that a specialist supplier’s engineers are fully trained on the equipment they support.
- Understand your contractual obligations
It’s going back to basics, yes, but it’s important. Most rental and lease contracts, which cover around 80% of equipment acquisitions, include a service level agreement for preventative maintenance. However, the customer still has an obligation to look after the forklifts because the agreement does not cover accidental damage.
- Can you analyse fleet performance?
You’re unlikely to get the best out of your fleet if you don’t know how well the equipment is performing. Meeting KPIs is only one aspect; you also need to be able to identify trends and pinpoint issues, such as truck overuse and the associated extra cost this would incur. At Briggs Equipment we appreciate the need for accurate data to make informed decisions. That’s why we developed BE Portal, to put our customers in control by giving them complete fleet transparency.
- Value your forklift operators
When it comes to maintenance, don’t underestimate the difference conscientious drivers can make. Operators who respect their forklift truck and use it properly don’t tend to take risks, resulting in fewer workplace accidents. By carrying out daily checks and reporting any problems promptly, they can also reduce the likelihood of damage to equipment. And that helps keep unplanned repairs – and their associated costs – to a minimum.