By Keith Trumbull
After what seemed like a never-ending winter, spring is finally here. This time of year, you often hear “spring cleaning” in the context of getting your home into tip-top shape. However, as a fleet manager, it’s also a great time of year to ensure your material handling equipment is well maintained. Proper maintenance is essential, as it will help prevent the loss of business or production caused by failure.
Here are some easy items to cross off your spring cleaning to-do list. It’s important to check:
• assets’ batteries, cables, electric wires and spark plugs for wear and corrosion
• transmission fluid for appropriate level, color and odor
• hoses and hydraulic valves for leaks or breaks in the sealing
While this checklist covers some common cleaning tips, the best way to ensure your equipment is ready for the warm weather is by creating a maintenance plan.
To get your maintenance planning underway, you will first need to take note of all the assets you have at your organization. This first step is critical because it’s the starting point for your entire maintenance process. For fleet managers, the list should include all production and facility equipment, and physical items such lift trucks, pallet jacks, etc. For fleet managers that are responsible for multiple facilities, it may be helpful to separate out assets by location.
While making this list, include other factors that may affect the equipment’s operation. Potential factors include geography, environment, schedules, etc. For example, a forklift operating outdoors in harsh conditions will require more routine maintenance than a forklift running indoors in a mild climate. Once you have your list compiled, you will need to evaluate the current state of the asset.
With this list and other factors taken into consideration, it will be easier for you to develop a maintenance schedule and plan. Each piece of equipment will have different requirements and timetables for regular maintenance. Regular maintenance is necessary not only for your organization’s daily operations and business success, but also for employees’ safety. If you are unfamiliar with the maintenance schedule or actions required, you can work with a third party provider to ensure the equipment is well maintained and ready for use. Sticking to your plan once it is in place will help keep your organization operating smoothly year-round.