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Material Handling Equipment

How Much Do You Know About Your Lift Truck?

Posted by Jeff Burns


Lift truck fleets are a costly investment. So the question is, once you purchase a lift truck how do you take care of them properly? How much do you know about your lift truck?

There is a big difference between being well prepared to react and taking steps early to prevent inadvertent costs. Simply suspecting a problem is not the solution; instead, it’s the first step in the “awareness curve.”

The steps in the awareness curve include:

  • Suspicion
  • Data
  • Recognition
  • Change

Companies that don’t go through the curve will tend to have higher costs. Awareness is the easiest and least expensive way to fix a problem. To implement the “awareness curve,” you must start by asking the right questions and collecting the proper data.

Instead of having the mindset of fixing something when it’s broke, fleet owners should have a proactive approach that fosters a culture of prevention, not reaction.

To do so:

  • Consider the benefits of a strong partnership with a service provider
  • Utilize technology to capture data

Asking the right questions is not being suspicious, but prudent.


You must ask the right questions to measure what is happening to your lift trucks in your facility. People often have a skewed idea of what lift truck abuse is and assume it’s based only on what the operator does. However, there could be more causes of lift truck abuse.

Consider these potential impacts:

  • Is the lift truck coming to a full stop before shifting?
  • Does the lift truck go up ramps often, affecting its performance?
  • Are there cracks in the facility floor?

The above items could cause excessive damage to a lift truck no matter what the operator does.

Any problem that arises from lift trucks could lead to:

  • Down time
  • Loss in productivity
  • Missed shipments
  • Overtime labor costs
  • Decrease in overall warehouse efficiency

Determine what is really causing your lift truck damage to prevent the above items from occurring. When customers are attentive to what is occurring in their facility, they have set out on the maintenance awareness curve.

Next, I will discuss the other 3 steps in the awareness curve: data, recognition, and change. Stay tuned!

See our guide to understand how Kenco's proven excellence could help you better manage your material handling equipment:


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Jeff Burns

Written by Jeff Burns

President at Kenco Material Handling Solutions


We'd like to hear about your supply chain and discuss ways Kenco can help address your business needs.

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