11 Ideas to Improve Warehouse Productivity, Minimize Downtime, and Keep Workers Safe
In our industry, time and money are precious commodities. We need all the time we can get, just like we need to save as much as we can (without sacrificing safety of course!).
Every now and then it pays to stop, take a breath, and look at what you’re doing day to day. What’s the best use of my time this week? How about spending 10 minutes on a maintenance check, so you don’t have to do an expensive equipment repair next month?
Here are 11 ways to save money (and time!) in your warehouse. Why 11? Because this comes to you from the Forklift Boss. We give you more than the usual 10!
- Get your forklifts serviced according to their recommended service intervals. It keeps the forklift running smoothly, and that saves fuel and major repairs.
- Do your daily checks. Oils, water, tires, seat belts, mirrors, rating plate. It only takes a few minutes. Don’t forget the emergency disconnect for electrics too!
- Raise those forks. If your operators drag forks on the ground, you’re wearing those forks down AND burning up fuel. Totally avoidable if you raise the forks up, even a little. We covered fork wear and what to watch for in our March 2015 newsletter.
- Call in problems right when you see them. Don’t leave it for the next shift, or you could have an expensive and maybe dangerous failure during that shift. Make sure everyone knows—if you see a problem, report it now.
- Keep an eye on hydraulic hoses for wear. Watch for splitting, cracks or weeping. If you see any of these, replace the hoses. It saves you the cost of equipment failure later.
- Forklifts are giant vacuum cleaners. Once a week, use compressed air to clear the truck out. Especially the radiator. You don’t want dust or debris to block your radiator—or you’ve got an overheated, out-of-commission forklift.
- Make sure all your forklift operators are properly trained. This can cost you more than you might think. What if they don’t know how to follow the Stability Triangle? Do they know each forklift’s capacity? If not, you can quickly have overloading issues, damaged racks or product, even injuries.
- Check your tire wear. If a forklift operates in the same direction all the time, turning the same corners over and over, it will cause premature tire wear on one side. Everything in a forklift (including the operator) rides on those tires. Get the maximum use out of them by rotating forklifts throughout the warehouse. Twice a month is good, once a week is better.
- Use the WOW Principle to keep electric forklift batteries running longer. WOW = “Water On Wednesdays.” Fill the battery after charging. And charge them on a schedule—don’t let operators “top up” the charge at random points throughout the day. That can reduce battery life & force costly replacements.
- How much natural light comes into the warehouse? Could you add a window or skylight to bring in more? Even a little more natural light saves on energy. If you do add a window, paint the walls around it white to improve light levels all around.
- Inspect your warehouse for water leaks quarterly. This might seem silly in a drought, but we’re industrial pros. We know the damage even a little water can do.
You might have some of these already on the weekly schedule. If so, good! You’re in a good spot.
If not, it doesn’t take much to add them. You can save quite a bit of money, and even some time, along the way.
Until next month!
Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss
Cromer Material Handling
ForkliftBoss.com Deal of the Month
TWO CAT 2C5000 LPG FORKLIFTs – ONLY $22,965 EACH (OR LEASE FOR $276/MONTH)
Our April Deal of the Month is not one, but two CAT LPG forklifts!
The 2C5000 is a 5,000-pound capacity truck with non-marking cushion tires and aluminum tanks. They’re a breeze to ride, and take corners nice & tight.
These trucks also have clamp holds to keep loads on. And a fire extinguisher, just in case!
Both forklifts are brand new. They’re checked over and ready for the warehouse.
Buy a Cat 2C5000 for only $22,965. OR lease one for $276/month (1,000 annual hours).
To order, visit ForkliftBoss.com, or call Cromer at 800-974-5438. We do have two of these forklifts, but once they’re gone, they’re gone.