If your material handling equipment no longer meets your operation’s needs, it’s time to upgrade. Upgrading to a new forklift model offers several benefits to improve warehouse productivity.
A fleet analysis can help determine the best time to upgrade your lift truck. Here are four signs that it’s time:
New forklift sales typically require less maintenance than older equipment, giving warehouse managers more time to manage their operations and maximize productivity. This can lead to a better ROI on your investment and lower operational costs.
Warehouses need powerful forklifts to handle heavy loads and move them swiftly throughout the facility. These forklifts also need to be able to navigate narrow aisles and quickly transport inventory from point A to point B, boosting warehouse efficiency.
Ensure that your forklift fleet has the right capacity and maneuverability to meet the demands of your operation by conducting periodic forklift safety audits. This can help to identify things such as when forklift drivers were last trained and if they have the proper skills to operate your equipment safely. This information will allow you to decide when to redistribute or retire underused forklifts. In addition, it will help you optimize your fleet utilization and reduce unnecessary expenses.
Reduced Maintenance Costs
A well-maintained forklift fleet is critical to operational efficiency. Keeping your fleet stocked with high-quality, reliable equipment helps to minimize maintenance costs and prevents breakdowns that can cost your business valuable run time.
In addition, replacing older lift trucks with more environmentally friendly models can help align your operations with your sustainability goals and reduce energy costs. For example, newer forklift inventory often offers a more efficient design that reduces fuel or battery consumption.
It’s also important to size your fleet properly for your warehouse and workload to avoid unnecessary expenses. A poorly sized forklift can result in wasted fuel, while overworking equipment increases operating costs and wear and tear. Using your fleet management software to analyze your utilization rate and address any areas where your fleet is overworked will help you make the best decision on forklift upgrades.
Having reliable equipment is one of the most important factors in warehouse efficiency. Forklifts that break down or have issues can cause significant delays for a facility and affect productivity levels. However, this is easily avoidable by implementing a forklift maintenance schedule.
Choosing the right wholesaler is another factor that can positively impact forklift reliability. Choosing a forklift distributor that offers comprehensive warranties and maintenance services can reduce your maintenance costs over time.
In addition to avoiding costly repairs, having high-quality forklifts can also lead to increased fuel efficiency. Keeping tires properly inflated is vital to the forklift’s efficiency. Over or under-inflated tires will use more fuel and pose safety risks. Likewise, proper forklift attachments can make a difference in transporting heavy loads. Narrow aisle forklifts, for instance, offer faster lift/lower travel speeds to save time in confined spaces.
As any warehouse manager knows, many things can negatively impact productivity. For instance, older equipment can be subject to frequent breakdowns, which halts workflow and slows production. Upgrading to new equipment reduces the risk of downtime and can help increase productivity.
Another way to boost efficiency is by implementing new processes. For example, it’s more efficient to designate a shift for receiving and shipping and another for packing orders rather than mixing the two. This helps maintain a consistent workflow and decreases the number of mistakes made during each shift.
It’s also important to use the right forklifts for each job. For instance, short-footprint forklifts can more easily navigate racking and tight aisles, which makes them better suited for high-throughput applications.
Additionally, using a lift truck with a higher travel and lift speed can help improve productivity by reducing the time spent on each load. Lastly, utilizing an inventory management system to track and compare forklift performance can help increase efficiency.