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Aug 31, 2020

How to Adapt Your Forklift Fleet to Any Change in Demand

Our businesses change a lot in normal times. This year, we're in a totally new world! Massive changes keep rocking our operations:

  • Wild swings in customer product demand
  • Supply shocks
  • COVID-related worker safety procedures
  • Legal restrictions from city, county, and state governments

We've seen a lot of attention paid to workers in this pandemic (and rightly so). That said, it pays to consider the demands on your material handling equipment.

Whether you have 1 forklift or 100, your fleet has to adapt to all these changes as much as you do. How do you make that happen…while still staying in business?

How Business Fluctuations Affect Forklift Use (and Maintenance)

This year, we saw demand for warehousing & distribution rise so much, the industry added over 67,000 employees between April and July. That's an incredible jump—and it means a spiking need for forklifts.

Let's say you buy more forklifts to meet the demand. Things chug along for 6 months, maybe 1 year...and then the demand starts dropping. What happens then?

You're left with idle forklifts and workers – which, in material handling, is just as bad as over-usage.

Why? Not only does it waste budgets, it also poses a safety risk. Some companies will skip maintenance on idle forklifts to save money. However, any forklift left idle will need extra maintenance before going back into service – otherwise its operator is at higher risk of failure-related injury.

You're left with three questions dogging management:

  1. How can you adapt your workflow to a business climate which changes daily—sometimes wildly so?
  2. How do you make the most of equipment budget with fluctuating conditions?
  3. What's the best size fleet to keep, while still able to handle periods of increased demand?

Best answer for all three questions? Rent!

Forklift Rentals Let You Adapt to Change as it Happens

Using rental forklifts in your workflows gives you the biggest possible advantage: Adaptability.

Buying/leasing forklifts means you'll have those trucks on hand. However, when demand spikes or drops, you're locked in to using them or leaving them idle.

Renting allows you to reduce your owned forklift fleet size. You can "scale up" on trucks as needed, and return the forklifts when no longer helpful.

In our crazy times, everyone has to be flexible to some degree. Forklift rentals make flexibility viable for us all.

5 Additional Benefits to Renting Forklifts

We put this as one of our 6 benefits to rentals: optimizing your fleet for any season, any situation. What are the other five?

  1. Minimize Downtime – Forklift breaks down? Bring in a rental fast & get back to work.
  2. Local Support – The rental provider takes care of any service & delivery issues.
  3. Try Latest Technology Before You Buy – Curious about new electrics? Try one out for a few weeks.
  4. No Repair Concerns – The rental provider (e.g. your local Cromer) handles maintenance for you.
  5. The Right Lift for the Job – You suddenly get big orders for heavy products? Rent a heavy-duty forklift and move them along.
Forklift Rentals from Cromer

Cromer Rentals Have Flexibility Built-In

Our rental fleet has seen plenty of use this year, helping customers meet peak demands left and right. Could you use a few?

Every Cromer rental forklift:

  • Is a late model, low hours, and comes with maintenance included.
  • Has no 'minimum contract time.' Use them for as long (or as short) as your demand requires.
  • Comes with the right piece of equipment (bin dumper, clamp, etc.) for your current needs.

We stock over 400 forklifts for rent, from pallet jacks to 52,000# heavy-duty lift trucks. Wherever your facilities are, in California or Southern Nevada, your local Cromer has you covered.

Renting Forklifts for Short-Term or Seasonal Use Makes More Sense Now Than Ever Before

While we hope no more pandemics appear in our lifetimes, change always comes…and it can come fast. If we adapt our businesses to work with those changes, our businesses stand a better chance of surviving and thriving.

If rentals sound like the adaptation your business needs, contact your local Cromer. All we need to start is 10 minutes of your time and a site survey. From there, we help you plan out the best combination of on-site forklifts and rentals for you.

Until next month!

Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss

Cromer Material Handling

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