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Material Handling Best Practices, Tips, Information and More from Toyota
Just like driver behaviors can affect automobile fuel consumption, improper forklift operation can lead to decreased fuel efficiency. As a part of the operator training required by OSHA, operators should be instructed on best-practices for balancing productivity and fuel efficiency. Best practices include common-sense solutions such as shutting off the forklift when it is not in operation or gradual acceleration instead of “gunning” the engine. Should a particular lift show signs of excessive fuel consumption, more in-depth tracking by shift and operator may be necessary to identify and rectify causes. A vehicle management system like T-Matics can assist in optimization efforts by tracking operator usage, key-on hours, and more.
Facilities Observation and Optimization
Your fuel consumption can also be affected by your facility’s configuration. Layout, racking heights, and forklift routes can all contribute to longer distances and higher fuel consumption. Conduct an audit to determine whether your facility is the cause of high fuel costs by walking through the warehouse. Pay special attention to high traffic areas and key destinations like drop off points, parking, and high through-put storage. Your operators can be key contributors to this audit – ask for their feedback of daily challenges in the operation and for them to identify possible solutions to improve efficiency. Consider making time in your operations to test alternate routes to determine what is most efficient for your business.