It’s important to deal with a forklift provider that can provide local support to ensure a prompt response should any problems arise. Choose a supplier that is locally owned and operated because locally owned dealers have a stronger invested interest in looking after you.
Routine service and maintenance are crucial to the long-term performance and return on investment (ROI) of a forklift. As a result, the support of a quality dealer is at the top of the list when evaluating machines — in particular the labor frequency of consumption and system support. Start by evaluating a dealer’s maintenance and post-sale support by considering:
Number and availability of professional service technicians
Accessibility of name-brand parts (both on-hand and delivered)
First-call fix rate and turnaround time
By factoring in the cost of time associated with the above items, you look past low service rates and achieve an accurate estimate related to the cost of your downtime and maintenance requirements.
Professional forklift dealers know those who invest in the least amount of forklift operator training end up paying the most in the long-run. This is both in terms of operating costs and accidents. The availability of operator training is a big plus and should factor heavily into your decision on choosing a forklift.
The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) has very specific rules about forklift operator training and licensing. Those who operate powered forklifts must pass classroom training and a driving test before being licensed. They must also be over 18 years old and are required to be evaluated and recertified at least once every three years.
There are two types of training: Train-the-Trainer and individual Forklift Training. The Train-the-Trainer is intended primarily for foremen, supervisors, managers and those responsible for workplace safety. OSHA certification requires that forklift training consists of a combination of formal instruction, practical training and evaluation of the operator’s workplace performance.
Many dealers provide training at their location if you only have a couple of operators. But for larger groups, they may be willing to train staff on-site at your facility.