How to Minimize Fleet Downtime In Your Indiana Warehouse

Forklift Service Featured

Downtime is one of the largest, unexpected expenses to any Indiana warehouse.  One day your forklift drives and lifts just fine, and the next day it won’t even start.  Now you’re working with a forklift down and loads can start to pile up  That means your bottom-line decreases until all your forklifts are running well and your Indiana warehouse is back to full working order.

So how can you minimize downtime and keep your fleet running smoothly?

Plan Ahead

Problems happen in every warehouse, and it’s best to have a plan on hand about what to do if a forklift goes down.  Make sure you know how you’re going to compensate for a broken forklift and how you should rearrange your workflow. Depending on the circumstances, you may need to adjust personnel and priorities. With a set plan, your whole crew can adjust to the changes like a well-oiled machine.  After all, you don’t need more downtime from indecision when there’s a forklift that needs to be fixed.

As you plan, plot out all the potential scenarios based on the full year.  If you have a busy season, it may be more practical to rent a replacement forklift instead of jockeying workloads around.  During a slow period, it might be easier to just make small adjustments.  A full year’s plan will give you a holistic look at your operation and will allow you to stagger repair cycles.  Be sure to write your plan down and keep it in an accessible place. Every employee should know how to minimize downtime, even if key management is off duty.

Don’t Let Little Things Fester

The steering may be loose or the brakes may grind a bit, but generally, your forklifts run well enough. They may not move as smoothly as when they were new, but the job gets done -- for today.  Unfortunately, small mechanical problems can lead to larger problems if not dealt with.  Larger problems can lead to longer downtime due to more complicated repairs.

One way to accurately diagnose these small nuisances before they become unavoidable problems is through routine inspections before and after each shift.  A quick review of your basic forklift functions -- lights, brakes, engine, etc -- will allow you to see problems as they start to arise.  Be sure to take detailed records so the next shift can confirm that they see the same irregularities. Scheduled maintenance can also help diagnose and fix small problems, and keep your forklift working through every shift.   

Operator Training

According to OSHA, 11% of all forklifts are involved in some type of accident each year.  They also estimate that 70% of all forklift accidents could be avoided through training.  Making sure your operators understand the ins-and-outs of forklift procedures and safety precautions can dramatically cut down on unforeseen downtime. A training program for both new and seasoned operators may actually be the best way to ensure that your warehouse runs efficiently.

Tynan Can Help You Reduce Downtime

Whether it’s a customized service plan, operator training or emergency rentals, Tynan can help you get your Indiana warehouse running efficiently.  We specialize in helping you manage your whole fleet, especially before problems arise. Call us today at 317-597-4003, and we will keep you up and moving all year long.

Forklift in Indiana getting ready to work.

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