New forklifts and telematics streamline operations
Updated fleet improves safety and reliability while cutting maintenance costs.
Thyssen-Krupp, located in Park City, Kan., outside of Wichita, is a partner for the world’s leading aerospace companies and their supply chains. A big part of the company’s overall efficiency is dependent on its fleet of forklifts. After changing forklift brands, the company reduced maintenance costs while improving safety and operational visibility.
“We have 26 forklifts, and they are constantly running,” says plant manager David Delgado. “We even had to use part of our warehouse for what we call ‘the highway,’ which was developed for forklift travel.”
Maintenance supervisor Rick Kessler recalls when maintenance headaches reached a breaking point about two years ago. Every day, it seemed, two or three forklifts were in the shop, and some of them needed extensive repairs. When they introduced new lift trucks (Toyota Material Handling U.S.A) in 2017, the company quickly saw a significant difference.
“We’ve noticed a dramatic drop in what we’re spending on forklift repairs, which ultimately hits the bottom line,” Delgado said.
Thyssen-Krupp also increased efficiency with the lift truck manufacturer’s telematics system, a fleet management tool that uses a vehicle management system (VMS) to track and report operating behavior of a forklift and its operator. A VMS is a tool that facilitates the transfer of operating data from a forklift to individuals using standard or customized reports. The telematics system enables operations staff to understand what’s going on from the minute someone logs into the lift until the moment they log off.
“I can look at the report, I can see how the operators are doing, and I can hold them accountable for any impacts they’ve caused, or I can praise them for driving well,” Kessler says. “We spend a lot more time working on our products and a lot less time working on forklifts. Overall, the new lift trucks and telematics system make our job a lot easier in maintenance.”