When you are looking to replace your forklifts, you need to consider that the equipment you currently run is quite possibly not what you need for the future. Many years may have passed since you last acquired a forklift and circumstances will have undoubtedly changed. Here are some questions that you could ask yourself…
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Most forklifts perform the same basic functions, however, they can have major differences. Almost all forklifts have good build quality and durability – thanks to widespread advances in production techniques. Some manufacturers, including Mitsubishi and Linde, claim additional Environmental benefits, others (such as Atlet, Toyota) focus on extra safety systems.
TCM and Nissan emphasise their low running costs and high production values whilst Daewoo fit oil cooled brakes to greatly reduce maintenance costs. Yale, Hyster, Still, Jungheinrich and others promote their ergonomic prowess.
There are also specialist equipment providers to consider, such as articulating forklifts (Bendi, Flexi) and multi-directional (Combilift, Aisle-Master, Acroba) although these tend to be more common in specific types of operation.
Of course, what’s most important is how you use the equipment, and whatever brand of forklift you specify the true value of the truck is more often linked to it’s ability to perform, the service backup and the lifetime operating costs.
So, what’s the difference between gas, diesel & electric powered forklifts?
Each type of forklift offers a different power to fuel consumption ratio. There are also differences in size, noise, speed, emissions and average work cycles. Although engine-powered trucks are generally thought to be more capable of handling tougher applications, the latest electric-powered models dramatically increase efficiency and reduce energy costs, without sacrificing core product features such as strength, safety and comfort.
Your working environment will have a major influence in which kind of power is best suited to your application and how you re-fuel your machine may influence your decision making process, but never let it dictate the final outcome. Switching from one type of fuel supply to the other may prove less hassle than you think, that’s why we suggest you keep an open mind and choose the right fuel source for your particular application.
If you are looking to replace your existing fleet, don’t assume that what you had before is what you need now…
Probably not as many as you think. In our experience, the average equipment utilisation in the UK is between 30 and 40 percent for a multi-shift environment. That means the trucks are left idle for up to 70% of the time!
Trucks in smaller fleets tend to be worked harder than those in larger fleets, but measuring your utilisation is often worth the investment, regardless of fleet size.
We also recommend you consider a fleet diagnostics system. This will give you accurate rates of utilisation as well as providing many other valuable fleet management statistics.
This is a question that ultimately, only you can answer. Some companies prefer to own their equipment in order to simplify things. However, most experts agree that hire is by far the most flexible. It has also become incredibly popular over the past few years, with some estimating it will account for over 90 percent of the market in the near future.
Equipment does not function without an operator. In fact, the operator constitutes over 90 percent of your materials handling costs. The management, motivation and direction of operators will provide you with the greatest cost savings.
Provide your drivers with quality, ergonomic equipment to make their operations easier, monitor their activities and focus on increasing productivity. This will ultimately improve your business far greater than cutting corners on equipment procurement and maintenance costs.
Choose a contract (like one of ours!) that is designed to offer greater flexibility. If a supplier is worth dealing with they will offer a contract designed to assist your business as your materials handling demands fluctuate.
It’s one of the reasons why we make great emphasis on our business approach. Our sole concern is that you continue to be satisfied with our company, therefore we’ll do everything we can to keep our service right for you.