The equipment you have to help run the warehouse has served you well, but no matter how heavy-duty it is, MHE doesn’t last forever. As with automobiles, your machine puts in work hours and requires upkeep. Eventually, productivity decreases as the wear and tear of daily jobs take their toll. So, when do you start considering an upgrade? Here are three points to keep in mind when the time comes to replace your material handling equipment:
1. Increased Frequency of Maintenance and Repairs
What kind of maintenance are you having to do on your truck? Throughout a lift truck’s lifetime, there are always routine replacements. Tire replacement, belts and other upkeep isn’t the same as having a large repair. Costs in maintaining a running machine rise after the first few years in the life of a new machine, and if you find yourself spending more than it’s worth on maintenance, it might be time to move on the better equipment. OSHA has a great guide on maintenance and inspection to keep everything on track. Another area to look at is how many major repairs a lift truck has had within twelve months. According to Brian Markison, senior manager of national accounts for UniCarriers Americas Corp, it’s worth keeping an eye on the machine’s overall usefulness if it’s had more than four repairs within the span of a year. Even if the repairs aren’t major, older trucks start to affect overall business goals after the work hours start adding up, which brings us to our second point: productivity decline in your lift trucks.
2. Decline of Productivity
Cost of equipment maintenance to your company doesn’t just mean paying to have a lift truck repaired. If your machines are needing to be fixed regularly, that’s less equipment to get the jobs done, leading to loss of money overall. Although a forklift may last a long time, it doesn’t mean that it’s economical for your warehouse. One mistake companies make is keeping their MHE too long. Generally, forklift engines last 10,000 to 20,000 hours, maybe longer. Depending on the type of machine and job application will partially determine its lifespan. Be sure to pay attention to performance so you can time replacement optimally, saving time and money.
3. Appearance of Warning Signs
Planned maintenance is the best way to keep up with the condition of your lift trucks. When performing maintenance on your machines, keep an eye out for signs that your equipment could be due for a replacement:
• Wear on forks: surface cracks, crooked blade or shank, height difference
• External damage on truck: broken welds, cracks and surface damage
• Truck is coming close to meeting or exceeding service hours
• Frequency of maintenance increase
If you decide it’s time to move on to better equipment, don’t hesitate to contact us for purchasing your used machine or fleet! We have over 100 years of combined buying and selling experience. Whether you’re stateside or not, we’ve got it handled!