Forklift Replacement Vs. Repair: What Equipment Managers Need To Know

Forklift manufacturers in India

Forklifts are important pieces of equipment in warehouses, and warehouse managers cannot afford downtime due to equipment malfunctions: they must ensure the machines are serviced regularly. However, machines are bound to break down at some point, and forklifts are no different. There is a difference between repairing a forklift and replacing one, and knowing when to do what can save a lot of time and money for companies.

Things to Consider When Choosing to Repair or Replace Forklifts at the Warehouse:

Replacing or repairing a forklift depends on various factors. Having the right data about the fleet helps make the best decision. The data generated by the management system helps evaluate if it’s repair or replacement that is needed. 

Here are a few things every equipment manager should consider when repairing or replacing forklifts:

  1. The Model and the Engine Determine the Forklift’s Lifespan

The model and make of the forklift determines how long it lasts. These factors decide whether the forklift needs repair or replacement. Electric forklifts last longer than ones with internal combustion engines. Manual forklifts do not have engines per se and their mechanisms aren’t really complex, which contributes to their longer lifespan. 

Warehouse equipment managers need to know the make and model of their machines. Going for high quality models may be a little more costly initially, but they are bound to last longer. Opting for used forklifts might help replace a worn-out machine with a quality brand at an affordable price. 

 It is important to know the make and model as discontinued or older models will come with parts you cannot easily find. Their repairs can be expensive or take a long time to repair. In addition, old models might come with expired warranties and outdated components that have a less lifespan than new models. 

Newer models come with modern technology that will help optimize efficiency and longevity.

  1. Work Hours and Workload of the Forklift  

The number of hours a forklift has been in operation matters more than the amount of time that has passed since it was purchased. It is because the work hours of the machine determine its wear and tear, and in one way, actually determine its age as well. Forklifts that go past 10,000 work hours, are in fact 5-7 years old, and past the average lifespan. It means such a machine has a high chance of needing a replacement. 

In addition, if you continue repairing these lift trucks, maintenance will just become costlier as they’ll need more recurring repairs. Lift trucks with fewer work hours might need repairs to reinstate their operation and reach full life expectancy.

Workloads also contribute to their wear and tear. Moving heavy loads contributes to the wear and tear of forklift tires, the engine and the lifting mechanism. Excessive wear will occur if the forklift operates for multiple shifts daily.

  1. Safety

Forklift manufacturers in India always provide a set of safety guidelines that can be used to determine whether a lift truck is safe to operate. When these machines have safety issues, the best option is a replacement. Allowing the usage of the equipment might put the employees at risk of injury. The lift truck ergonomics also play a significant role in safety. Old forklifts might have uncomfortable seats or controls that can cause muscle aches and strains. Buying ergonomically designed trucks can prevent injuries and musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). 

About 2 million workers get injuries such as tendonitis and back pain every  year. Among all these, about 600,000 must ask for time off work to heal. In addition, workers get MSDs from bad postures that pressure the nerves and cause strain. Comfortable seats and controls of modern trucks can prevent strain, reducing time off work.

  1. Environmental Conditions

The location where you use the equipment affects its lifespan. Factors such as extreme heat and cold will shorten the equipment’s lifespan. Electric lift trucks used in cold storage might need repairing. The reason is that lithium-ion batteries stop working beyond freezing temperatures.The batteries won’t send enough electricity to run the forklift at this temperature or below.

On the other hand, extreme heat wears the engine and batteries on all types of lift trucks. If the business deals with handling caustic materials, there is a risk of spills causing corrosion which reduces the lifespan. Before deciding on replacing or repairing factors, these conditions make the right decision.

Also Read: Temperature Controlled Warehouses: Future of Warehousing

Warehouse equipment managers play important roles in ensuring forklifts are working well. They have to keep tabs on all equipment due for repair or replacement. Although they do all this, there are things they need to consider to ensure safety and efficiency. They include safety, costs, environmental conditions, work hours, and load. All these ensure the warehouse’s seamless running without downtime, increasing profitability.

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