To get the most out of your lift trucks, you probably maintain them on a regular schedule, keep accurate maintenance logs, replace parts with high quality materials when necessary, and keep your trucks clean, protected from damage and properly fueled. You also probably choose the right trucks in the first place and you probably make sure that your operators are trained and properly certified.
But in addition to all of these moves, you’ll also need to know when it’s time to take your older trucks out of circulation and replace them. Even the most reliable and durable lift trucks don’t last forever, and successful business management means recognizing the moment when your equipment makes the transition from asset to liability. So how can you tell when it’s time to make a change? Here are a few important signs.
- Your maintenance costs are about to cross the threshold.
Accurate maintenance records can reveal the details of each upgrade, repair, or replaced part, and when the annual cost of maintenance and repair passes the tipping point, it’s time for a new truck. But since you don’t know where that point is until you cross it, you’ll have to refer to the records kept and data collected regarding previous trucks. A few months before the crisis point, start gathering estimated costs for newer models.
- Your business is changing but your lift trucks aren’t.
Your business may change and grow over time, and as this happens, your equipment will be subjected to new demands. As long as your current trucks can be adapted to the challenge at hand, you can still reap the benefits of your original investment. But when you find yourself retrofitting, making do, or placing the burden of adaptation on your operators (especially at the risk of their comfort and safety), that means it’s time to move on.
- Your trucks are fine, but the benefits of replacement outweigh the cost.
Sometimes the money saved by a new lift truck—in terms of greater reliability, capacity, and efficiency—can outweigh the cost of replacement. Yes, you can push your old ones for a few more years and squeeze a little more life out of them, but if you’ll be spending those years making compromises and producing at low capacity, reconsider. New equipment can create a steep momentary cost curve, but generate a significant gain when extended out over the next few years.
For more on how to get the most out of your current lifting equipment, and how to make necessary upgrades when the time comes, contact the management experts at Liftow.