Many forklift operators don't realise the importance of checking their trucks daily, but it is a vital process in helping to maintain onsite safety, as well as aiding the upkeep of the trucks themselves. Transmon Engineering has introduced a new method of forcing this issue.
The forklift daily check list includes components such as tyres, chains, hydraulics, brakes and forks and helps to ensure a forklift truck is in a safe working condition before a shift starts, and identify problems before they arise and become costly. Some checks must be carried out before every shift, some daily and others weekly or monthly.
Although daily checks can prevent severe downtime due to repairs left to worsen, many forklift drivers may not consider this potential impact and simply view the checks as an obstacle that delays the operation. Without supervising every individual truck driver on a site, how can operations managers ensure that checks are carried out?
Transmon Engineering's new TDS5 fleet management system offers an integrated daily checks feature that disables the engine ignition until every question has been answered by the operator. A daily check system this detailed is not commonly implemented in forklift fleet management systems, but is arguably one of the most important features of Transmon's TDS5.
"The drivers cannot use the forklift unless the check is done" explains Paul Sercombe, Sales Director for Transmon Engineering. "Not every forklift is the same, so it is important for the daily checklist to be customised to suit the equipment and its application."
The latest LCD version of Transmon's TDS5 fleet management system allows a fully customised list and eliminates the requirement to fill out a separate paper list.
However, while a fleet management system incorporating daily checks does help to ensure checks are carried out, ultimate responsibility still remains with the driver.
"While there is a time sensitive element that 'knows' whether an operator has allowed enough time to complete each check before entering the answer, this cannot guarantee that the operator has physically carried out the checks" Paul explains. "That is where operator accountability comes in."
Transmon's TDS5 fleet management system features controlled keypad or RFID access, which not only prevents unqualified personnel from operating the equipment, but as all checklist items are time, date, operator and vehicle stamped, also provides operator accountability.
"A good fleet management system can ensure operational efficiency and optimised forklift use, according to the contracted hours" says Paul Sercombe of Transmon Engineering. "But it is also important to remember the impact the operators themselves have on the operation. By incorporating staff procedures, such as daily checks, a fleet management system can enhance the efficiency of the overall operation and increase the level of safety."
Another feature of Transmon's TDS5 is a one way text messaging function. This enables operations managers to communicate job messages directly to the drivers via the TDS5 screens fitted in the trucks, while maintaining complete central control. Operations Managers can also access information and receive alerts via email.
To further aid the operation, data captured by the TDS5 is straightforward for the operator to transfer, view and analyse, with the option to use Bluetooth manual download or wireless WiFi or RF automatic technology.
Transmon's fleet management systems are utilised across some of the largest forklift truck fleets in the world, helping companies to manage materials handling operations more effectively.