After investing in a new or used forklift, consideration should be made to enhancing the asset’s life through regular maintenance. The two most common options are guaranteed maintenance and planned maintenance.
With both programs, experienced technicians will catch potential problems early, helping you avoid safety issues, costly breakdowns and hours of lost productivity. The servicing dealer will also provide you with critical documentation including tracking dates of the forklift’s maintenance schedule as well as detailed records of inspections and repairs.
Guaranteed Maintenance (also known as Full Maintenance) programs are designed to free you from the challenges associated with the ongoing upkeep of the equipment. A typical GM program includes all of the manufacturer’s recommended periodic services and repairs for breakdowns of major components.
The main advantage to a GM program is the predictable monthly costs. You pay a fixed rate and in some cases are offered a complimentary forklift loaner when a service repair experiences an extended downtime. This allows you to easily budget for the costs associated with owning a fleet of forklifts.
The forklift service provider is responsible for maintaining the unit’s records (i.e. dates of service, hours of usage, repairs) and is motivated to reduce costs by identifying abuse damage or needed rotation of the equipment fleet.
Before arranging a GM program, consider the service history of the forklift fleet. If the forklift fleets utilization is low and the costs have been reasonable, predictable and almost always in budget, a GM rate may be too high. GM rates are based on an expected cost per hour over a given time frame. The higher the utilization, the higher the expected costs.
Planned Maintenance Programs are designed to ensure that the basic services (engine oil changing, filter replacement, detailed mechanical inspection, etc.) are completed on a regular basis. However, they do not include major periodic services such as transmission flushes or breakdowns.
A PM program offers you flexibility, having no long-term agreements. Billing is only for parts and labor utilized and the service work is recorded by the job. Companies with a lower number of working hours on their forklift can set the schedule less frequently to keep costs in line.
Unlike a GM program, you are involved in managing the repairs and costs of the forklift. The costs are not locked in and can be unpredictable.
Interested in comparing our forklift maintenance program with your current service? If you are using a competitor program or servicing your equipment in-house, call Thompson & Johnson today to speak to an equipment specialist or fill out a Customer Request Email Form above!
If you have a question on this or any topic related to safety with your forklift, give our resident expert, Dave Bennet, a call or fill out the request form.