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Material Handling Insights

Jul 9, 2018 9:00:00 AM // 8 min read

Fleet Management Costs: What is the True Cost of Your Forklift Fleet?

By Graham Jones
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The acquisition cost of a forklift is only one factor in the overall cost of ownership. Identifying your forklift TCO is key to reducing total fleet management costs.

If you have been calculating your forklift fleet costs solely around the price of the forklifts, your fleet might be costing your organisation significantly more than you first thought.

Fleet Management Costs: What is the True Cost of Your Forklift Fleet?

In the material handling industry, the cost of acquiring a forklift is only one piece of the puzzle when considering how much your fleet is really costing you. To calculate the total cost of ownership (TCO) of your fleet, look beyond the price of the forklifts themselves to other, often overlooked costs and related expenditures.

Adding up fleet management costs to reveal your TCO

Taking the total cost of forklift acquisition as your starting point, work your way down this list of fleet management costs to identify the TCO of your forklift fleet.

1. If the size of your forklifts aren’t suitable for the weight they are transporting, this can create inefficiencies such as a slower operation, not to mention a greater risk of incidents occurring.

2. Fuel prices are increasing by record levels, with 67% of respondents to the 2017 Material Handling Survey stating that fuel was their most significant operational cost. This makes fuel a key consideration when calculating forklift fleet TCO.

3. Equipment can break for a variety of reasons. However, incorrect charging procedures are a common reason for electric trucks to fail, with costly consequences.

4. It may not be one of the most visible costs, however downtime contributes to a substantial loss in revenue when material handling equipment is even momentarily out of use. In fact, a new survey of auto industry manufacturing executives reveals that stopped production costs an average of $22,000 per minute.

5. Health and safety is another ever-present topic for businesses in material handling, as the equipment required can pose a significant risk to your workforce. It is also no secret that such accidents can be extremely costly. Accidents caused by your forklift fleet should be included in your total TCO.

  1. If the size of your forklifts aren’t suitable for the weight they are transporting, this can create inefficiencies such as a slower operation, not to mention a greater risk of incidents occurring.
  2. Fuel prices are increasing by record levels, with 67% of respondents to the 2017 Material Handling Survey stating that fuel was their most significant operational cost. This makes fuel a key consideration when calculating forklift fleet TCO.
  3. Equipment can break for a variety of reasons. However, incorrect charging procedures are a common reason for electric trucks to fail, with costly consequences.
  4. It may not be one of the most visible costs, however downtime contributes to a substantial loss in revenue when material handling equipment is even momentarily out of use. In fact, a new survey of auto industry manufacturing executives reveals that stopped production costs an average of $22,000 per minute.
  5. Health and safety is another ever-present topic for businesses in material handling, as the equipment required can pose a significant risk to your workforce. It is also no secret that such accidents can be extremely costly. Accidents caused by your forklift fleet should be included in your total TCO.

Fleet management solutions you shouldn’t ignore

Fleet management offers an advantage to companies using it for their forklifts and other material handling equipment, resulting in impressive cost savings, improved safety, and a longer equipment lifecycle. In essence, the money saved throughout your operation will help to offset fleet management costs.

- Fleet management solutions typically enable you to measure the size of an impact, when it occurred, and who was operating the truck when it happened. It’s even possible to trigger a remote shutdown of the truck, if necessary.

- Implementing fleet management solutions helps your business ensure all warehouse equipment is fit for purpose, keeping material handling costs to a minimum.

- Adopting the correct fleet management solutions to monitor equipment usage often reveals alternatives that are more efficient and cost-effective to run.

- Ensuring fuel efficiency in your operation has therefore never been more crucial than it is today. While fuel costs can be forecast with some level of accuracy, adopting a fleet management system can provide your business with greater control. Specifically, obtaining access to fuel usage data can enhance your business’ cost reporting, providing maximum value in the long run.

- Downtime must be factored into calculating the TCO for your forklift fleet, and fleet management makes this process even easier, while simultaneously reducing costs.

  • Fleet management solutions typically enable you to measure the size of an impact, when it occurred, and who was operating the truck when it happened. It’s even possible to trigger a remote shutdown of the truck, if necessary.
  • Implementing fleet management solutions helps your business ensure all warehouse equipment is fit for purpose.
  • Adopting the correct fleet management solutions to monitor equipment usage often reveals alternatives that are more efficient and cost-effective to run.
  • Ensuring fuel efficiency in your operation has therefore never been more crucial than it is today. While fuel costs can be forecast with some level of accuracy, adopting a fleet management system can provide your business with greater control. Specifically, obtaining access to fuel usage data can enhance your business’ cost reporting, providing maximum value in the long run.
  • Downtime must be factored into calculating the TCO for your forklift fleet, and fleet management makes this process even easier, while simultaneously reducing costs.
  • All inclusive, giving peace of mind that assets are looked after reducing the risk of down time
  • Low initial cost with all payments (including VAT) repaid across the contract period
  • Tax efficient because rental payments  may be counted as a business expense*
  • Allows accurate budgeting with minimal risk
  • - Fleet management solutions typically enable you to measure the size of an impact, when it occurred, and who was operating the truck when it happened. It’s even possible to trigger a remote shutdown of the truck, if necessary.
  • - Implementing fleet management solutions helps your business ensure all warehouse equipment is fit for purpose.
  • - Adopting the correct fleet management solutions to monitor equipment usage often reveals alternatives that are more efficient and cost-effective to run.
  • - Ensuring fuel efficiency in your operation has therefore never been more crucial than it is today. While fuel costs can be forecast with some level of accuracy, adopting a fleet management system can provide your business with greater control. Specifically, obtaining access to fuel usage data can enhance your business’ cost reporting, providing maximum value in the long run.
  • - Downtime must be factored into calculating the TCO for your forklift fleet, and fleet management makes this process even easier, while simultaneously reducing costs.
  • Fleet management solutions typically enable you to measure the size of an impact, when it occurred, and who was operating the truck when it happened. It’s even possible to trigger a remote shutdown of the truck, if necessary.
  • Implementing fleet management solutions helps your business ensure all warehouse equipment is fit for purpose.
  • Adopting the correct fleet management solutions to monitor equipment usage often reveals alternatives that are more efficient and cost-effective to run.
  • Ensuring fuel efficiency in your operation has therefore never been more crucial than it is today. While fuel costs can be forecast with some level of accuracy, adopting a fleet management system can provide your business with greater control. Specifically, obtaining access to fuel usage data can enhance your business’ cost reporting, providing maximum value in the long run.
  • Downtime must be factored into calculating the TCO for your forklift fleet, and fleet management makes this process even easier, while simultaneously reducing costs.

Fleet management is undertaken on a broad scale, which can be a daunting prospect for many businesses. However, as soon as your company begins experiencing greater visibility across your operation, you will be able to make more informed decisions on TCO, balancing cost and efficiency.

On the subject, our fleet management solutions offer an advantage to companies using them for their forklifts and other material handling assets, often resulting in significant cost savings and a longer equipment lifecycle.

Reduce TCO using our innovative fleet management solutions

At TCM, we continue to innovate and change as technologies advance. By equipping your business with the latest tools and technologies to improve visibility on the TCO of your operations, your business can reap the benefits of reduced costs, improved safety, and enhanced efficiency firsthand. Harnessing the power of fleet management will have a knock-on effect on your operations, and can reduce expenditure elsewhere in your business.

Since fuel costs are a growing challenge for material handling businesses, we remain committed to assessing each operation to determine whether the types of engines used suit their application. In doing so, we can equip your business with the fleet management solutions necessary to enhance your fleet’s long-term efficiency.

We help you to discover which battery system is right for you. When paired with the Fork Truck Control’s Optafleet advanced fleet management system—available through our nationwide dealer network—businesses can remotely see the state of change, how the battery is performing, batteries available to charge, and when the battery requires maintenance.

In remaining committed to the safety of all operators, we offer a variety of solutions which put this into practice. Being notified about damage remotely using a fleet management system prevents further damage from occurring due to late or even unreported incidents. Not only does impact detection enhance safety in the workplace, but it can significantly reduce accident related costs. Regular forklift training opportunities are another excellent way to ensure operators understand how to operate equipment safely.

The acquisition cost of a forklift is only one factor in the overall cost of ownership. How much are your forklifts really costing you, and what steps are you taking to reduce fleet management costs?

Total Cost of Ownership Calculator

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