forklift planned maintenanceWhen you purchase your forklift, you’ll also have the option to purchase a planned forklift maintenance plan. Though every dealer offers different plans, the standards are Planned Maintenance (PM) and Full Maintenance (FM).

When you purchase a planned maintenance plan, you’ll pay a monthly fee to have your forklift serviced at every planned maintenance interval. Replacement parts and additional fixes are not included. However, the full maintenance plan will cover any maintenance need, barring specific exclusions, at a flat monthly rate.

But, why should you purchase a maintenance plan upfront, when you can pay as you go?

Purchasing a maintenance plan is a great way to save yourself money down the road. The first cost reduction you’ll see with a maintenance plan will be in downtime. Downtime is the single most expensive cost associated with a forklift. Maintenance plans facilitate early catches and easier access to technicians, increasing your uptime. Second, a maintenance plan will ensure your forklift is getting the care it needs, making the lifespan better and longer. Third, you’ll have the option to pay by the month, regardless of the maintenance plan you choose, making your maintenance easier to budget for. There are other available benefits of planned maintenance that will become clear as you engage your provider over the lifetime of your contract.

When it comes to maintenance, which is imperative to the longevity of your forklift, a maintenance plan is the way to go. When considering what to expect from a planned maintenance agreement (and how to make sure you’re with a provider who can follow through on their promises), Toyota’s helpful guide below can help you ensure success.

Forklift Maintenance: What to Expect During my Planned Maintenance Technician Visit

When your forklifts are placed in a planned maintenance rotation, you’ll have a technician on site inspecting your forklifts to be sure they are in top working condition. That means a Toyota Certified Technician is regularly on site to answer any specific questions you might have about the functionality of your fleet while they work to ensure your forklifts are in top working condition.

When a service tech is on site, they will be inspecting several parts of your forklift for optimal working condition. This will include:

  1. Mast, lift chains, forks, hydraulics
  2. Running and braking system
  3. Control system
  4. IC engine or electric motor
  5. Vehicle body and safety components

If your technician is thorough, you should be able to visibly see them inspect these specific areas. To ensure top quality inspection is occurring, it might be useful to request a PM inspection form before your begin the engagement with your service provider. Then, when a technician in on site, you can request that you see the completed form. This will help to make sure you’re getting exactly what you paid for. All Toyota Dealers have these forms available.

What Is the Long-Term Value of Planned Forklift Maintenance?

infographic headerOne of the most important long-term values of planned maintenance is that it will save you money. Avoiding repair costs and downtime because maintenance issues are caught early before they become problems is one main contributing factor. But there are others, as we illustrate here:

More important than these cost savings can be the long-term benefit of planned forklift maintenance on the safety and security of operators. Worn out components can lead to accidents, but a technician might be able to replace these components during planned maintenance before they become too worn to function.

Increased efficiency is also a benefit, both because your forklifts will see increased uptime because of frequent maintenance and because you can plan for downtime during regularly scheduled inspection.

Planned forklift maintenance can also have additional, unanticipated benefits. For example, interruption to your daily schedule caused by a forklift breaking down might be avoided with planned maintenance. Instead of your having to take the time to call around attempting to locate a service tech to get the forklift back up and running, a Toyota Certified Technician will be on site regularly to help prevent such problems from occurring. You also won’t have to wait for an available technician to maintenance your forklift.

How Do I Know I’ve Chosen the Right Partner for Planned Forklift Maintenance?

Planned maintenance sounds great in theory, right? But it’s only great in practice if you have a dedicated partner who is willing to go the extra mile for your business. As you would when you purchase material handling equipment, perform thorough research to make sure you’re getting the right partner. Ask your potential partner for referrals for other businesses they’ve currently worked with. Take the time to interview your potential partner and get to know some of their technicians. After the engagement has begun, ask to see PM completion rates on your fleet to make sure they are holding up their end of your agreement.

As part of the Toyota 360 Support promise, Toyota is dedicated to being the industry leader in customer support and aftermarket services. Our dealers are happy to provide any of the information you request and can come on site for discussions leading up to a planned maintenance agreement.

We would enjoy hearing from you. Post your ideas or comments below, let’s start a dialog. The original article was published by Toyota Material Handling U.S.A. For more information, insights or conversations regarding your forklift or material handling needs. You can visit our online contact form, use our contact form seen to the right. We would welcome the opportunity to cover your material handling questions or concerns. Toyota Lift of Minnesota works very hard to be your partner and material handling, consultant.

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