Many businesses are running on razor thin profit margins, and even small savings in forklift fleet costs can make a huge difference to the company's bottom line. There are many ways to increase productivity or cut costs, but let's focus on just forklift battery maintenance. How can you optimize fleet operations to save money?
1) Centralize Your Recharge Area - Some warehouses shove the recharge area off in some forgotten corner. The problem is that requires trucks to travel maximum distance to get to a recharge area. By putting the recharge area in a central location, workers spend less time on travel and more time working.
2) Use Space Efficiently - Within your recharge area, use specialized battery storage systems to maximize your space. You may be able to do the same work in a smaller area, giving more space for other warehouse operations.
3) Go Get The Batteries - During forklift battery maintenance, rather than having forklifts drive into the recharge area it may be more efficient to have a battery lifter go out into the warehouse. Carry fresh batteries to a forklift and swap a discharged cell out in a few minutes. This prevents traffic jams in your recharge area as multiple trucks try to get new batteries at the same time.
4) Use The Right Equipment - Speaking of battery lifters, they are a more efficient method of moving batteries than other equipment such as hand trucks or forklifts. They can swap out batteries much faster than any worker can by hand, plus of course many forklift batteries are nearly impossible to lift without help.
5) Observe Maintenance Schedules - Proper forklift battery maintenance will extend the life of your batteries. That means more work on one charge and fewer batteries bought per year. Charging batteries when they are deeply discharged, and leaving them in the recharge area long enough to maintain a full charge, reduces sulfation inside the battery and gives the cell a much longer working life.
6) Buy The Best Equipment - Cheap equipment is going to cost you more in the long run due to frequent repairs, accidents and replacements. The equipment you use for forklift battery maintenance should be the highest quality you can find -- such as Multi-Shifter lifts, of course.
7) Train Workers Properly - Don't do forklift battery maintenance by instinct. An overall maintenance plan will ensure all units get the attention they need and that work is done efficiently. Part of a plan is training. You can't expect workers to instinctively know the best way to use equipment, remove batteries or work safely. Take the time to teach everyone proper skills.
8) Be Safe - This is worth an article on its own. In short we will say that the correct PPE, safety systems such as eyewashes, a well-ventilated recharge area, and properly maintained equipment are all key components to keeping workers safe and productive.
Invest the time today to create a system that allows you to address forklift battery maintenance more efficiently and save money.