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How to Use Data Analytics to Keep Your Service and Maintenance Program on Track

Service technicians review forklift data while performing maintenance

Every fleet manager understands the value and importance of service and maintenance, but not everyone has a clear understanding of how data can determine if service and maintenance programs are effective.

Data analytics allows fleet managers to better approach fleet service and maintenance, but it can be difficult to know where to begin when searching for actionable data to drive decision making. These three tips offer an ideal way to introduce data analytics to your maintenance decisions and help you recognize when your service and maintenance program is off track:

1. Determine Your Planned Maintenance (PM) to Breakdown Ratio

Establishing and closely monitoring your PM to breakdown ratio is a good indicator of how your program is performing.

Our data shows the average number of forklift service work orders is between five to nine work orders per year, depending on the type of equipment and application. If the number of breakdown invoices is greater than the number of planned maintenance event invoices, then you may have a problem. Try to stick to your established ratio moving forward and adjust accordingly when numbers seem to rise. This will help you identify cost-saving measures.

2. Calculate the Average Cost Per Model

The average cost per model will help you determine the ideal age limit for your forklifts. The formula compares the annual cost of the maintenance and repairs needed to the number of hours the forklift is used within the year. This gives you the cost per hour to operate that truck.

Using industry averages or precise numbers for the makes and models specified by your forklift provider, you should be able to regularly benchmark against your numbers as your fleet ages and changes. Numbers that are consistently higher than those your forklift manufacturer provided might indicate that adjustments should be made to your service maintenance program.

3. Create a Plan Replacement Formula

Utilizing a plan replacement formula can help you determine at which point your focus should shift from maintenance to replacement. A good formula should factor in metrics like the age of the forklift, the number of annual operating hours and your maintenance threshold percentage. For example, if life-to-date maintenance costs for the truck reach 75% of the cost of replacing it, we recommend flagging it for possible replacement.

Your forklift provider can be a great resource in helping you determine the best plan replacement formula to determine when a truck is no longer viable to maintain within your operations.

Service and maintenance programs don’t have to break the bank, but always be wary of lower-cost programs. An inadequate program can have a financial impact that is much larger than the cost of actually putting in place a more comprehensive forklift maintenance plan. The best option is always the one that is structured to keep your fleet operational while not burdening your organization with unnecessary costs. Data, when used to make informed decisions, can be an effective tool in keeping you on track.

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