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There always comes a time in the business career of a forklift fleet manager when he has
to decide when it is time to replace a forklift. He must consider three basic things when making this decision. They are:
· Cost of repair versus price of a new forklift
· Major parts failures
· Out-of-date technology
A forklift fleet manager must periodically measure the cost of repairing a forklift and compare it to the cost of buying a new one. When repairing a forklift costs more than purchasing a new one, then the decision should be considered to be a slam-dunk. Buy the new forklift.
As time goes on, a forklift will experience wear and tear. There will come a time during the life of that forklift when repairing the wear and tear is no longer worth the expense. The decision is not a difficult one. Managers are able to predict the maintenance cost of a forklift per year. For a few years the cost of fixing the lift will be far less than buying a new one. After many years and thousands of hours of use, the cost of fixing the lift will exceed the cost of buying a new one. Moreover, a manufacturer’s warranty will lapse for an older lift over time making it even more costly to repair.
Another influence in the decision of whether to repair or replace a lift is what part of the lift fails. For example, if repair of a forklift’s transmission becomes necessary, it may be more cost effective to ditch the old lift and purchase a new one. The vehicle is probably very old once a transmission fails. Moreover, the manufacturer’s warranty has probably lapsed anyway making it no longer cost effective to fix it.
Finally, forklifts these days are going through revolutionary changes. The new vehicles now feature technologies that permit warehouse managers to capture all sorts of data that shows how the forklift is operated, assist in helping managers schedule the labor force and assists in helping where to store products for more efficient picking. In short, the newer forklifts are now digital, include sensors and are integrated into warehouse management system software. So it is more cost effective for a warehouse operation over all to replace the older “stupid” forklifts with the “smarter” kind.
For those forklifts that are more cost effective to repair, it is imperative that you continue a regular maintenance program to help to assure them a longer life. This includes:
· Checking the tires regularly
· Changing the oil every three months
· Checking antifreeze levels
· Repairing brakes immediately
· Recycling parts
· Maximizing the warranty