Forklifts are the muscle that gets things done in warehouses and other storage facilities worldwide. Because manual labour alone cannot handle loads of varying weight quickly and efficiently, forklifts and other similar machines are employed to move things at a much swifter and easier pace.
As the workhorse of many modern industries, forklifts must remain in good operating condition at all times. But despite this requirement, it’s unavoidable for them to need some downtime for their upkeep. And although necessary for their longevity and proper functionality, every minute of downtime can be extremely costly.
Hence, comes the importance of a proper forklift maintenance plan, read on below to discover its advantages.
The importance of a proper forklift maintenance plan
As mentioned, cutting on downtime is necessary to keep operations going and minimise cost expenses. A proper maintenance plan ensures that your business’s indispensable machines remain fully functional and operate without issues. On top of that, efficiency and productivity are maintained in the equipment, from small, everyday forklifts to bigger machines, such as a Combilift straddle carrier.
There are many reasons to schedule a forklift maintenance, and these include:
Avoidance of employee injuries
The safety and well-being of employees must be considered first and foremost, especially in workplaces prone to accidents.
The safety aspects of forklift equipment can be maintained through routine maintenance, thus preventing catastrophic failures such as a total control system failure, for example. It will ensure that the forklifts are safe to operate and reduce legal fees and worker compensation claims that stem from injuries.
Ensurance of continued forklift operational capabilities
If not properly maintained, a forklifts’ functionality can become severely affected, reducing operability and diminishing its productivity.
By frequently servicing these machines, they can stay running on peak efficiency and remain working on the warehouse floor for longer, helping to drive additional revenue for the business.
Prevention of sudden failure
A forklift’s main duty is to transport heavy loads that regular employees cannot lift. And although they’re designed specifically for this purpose, their chances of breaking down and failing are not nonexistent.
For example, the constant heavy load could weaken and eventually break the forklift’s mast, leading to it abruptly dropping its load. Another example is the gradual wear on the tires, which can result in more difficult manoeuvrability. These issues can be prevented through regular maintenance, ensuring the continued operability of the warehouse’s vital systems.
A brief guideline on creating a forklift maintenance plan
Now that the importance of a proper plan is established, it’s time to look at a couple of guidelines in making one. Since each business operates differently, the maintenance plan for each will vary as well. Despite that, there are a couple of steps that must be taken regardless of the industry. These are:
1. Examine the circumstances
Naturally, the first things that must be considered are the forklifts and similar equipment themselves. What are the important parts that need inspection? How often should they be inspected? These are only a couple of the questions that managers must ask themselves to guide the creation of the maintenance plan that works for their situation.
In addition to the two questions above, here are several more variables that need to be considered:
- Safety requirements of the forklifts
- Susceptibility of the equipment to damage
- Service records of past maintenance operations
- Age of forklift equipment
2. Finalise a viable schedule
Once a maintenance manager knows what to look out for, he can then develop a schedule that works best for the business operations. Before piecing together the finalised plan and schedule, a few more remaining factors must be considered. These may include:
- Frequency of each maintenance task (daily, weekly, monthly, etc.)
- Separation of tasks handled by in-house and those that are outsourced
- The type of forklifts owned (propane, internal combustion, or electric)
As with most man-made equipment, maintenance and servicing can entail a lot of work and effort. But with proper care and attention, machines such as forklifts can last for a very long time, enabling business owners to make the most out of the investment they’ve put into them.
If you need heavy-duty machinery either for warehouse operations or road constructions in Singapore, PAVES has all the equipment you require. As a reputable supplier of road construction and material handling equipment, we offer a wide variety of Combilift machinery and road repair equipment that will suit your needs.