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3 min read

A Beginner’s Guide to Forklift Maintenance Agreements

A Beginner’s Guide to Forklift Maintenance Agreements
A Beginner’s Guide to Forklift Maintenance Agreements

No business wants to fail. Yet, without a program to keep your forklifts in good working order, you’re setting yourself up for a series of expensive failures. Broken forklifts are a leading contributor to unplanned downtime, costing many businesses as much as $10,000 per hour. A reliable maintenance agreement dramatically reduces that loss by preventing forklift failures. In fact, research shows routine forklift maintenance reduces downtime by 30-50 percent.

There are two major types of forklift maintenance agreements: planned and full. Understanding the difference will help you choose the right solution for your fleet. Read on to learn the distinction between planned maintenance and full maintenance agreements.

Planned Maintenance

Planned maintenance is the most common kind of maintenance agreement. It's sometimes called preventative maintenance. However, preventative maintenance is actually the first of three sections in a maintenance program.

  • Preventative maintenance. This service refers to inspecting a forklift and refreshing consumables like oil and filters.
  • Predictive maintenance. This service corrects problems that have yet to occur but are likely to happen in the near future. Predictive maintenance plays a significant role in preventing expensive downtime.
  • Corrective maintenance. This service repairs forklift parts that have already failed.

The difference between planned and full maintenance comes down to how each agreement addresses these segments.

What’s Included in Planned Maintenance?

Planned maintenance starts with preventative maintenance. Preventative forklift maintenance requirements include an all-points inspection. After this comprehensive assessment, the forklift technician makes any recommended minor adjustments, lubricates the machine, changes the oil, and replaces the filters. The technician performs each service to the manufacturer’s recommended specifications.

Following this work, the technician creates a report of the forklift’s condition, including any recommendations for predictive or corrective maintenance. We add this report to the forklift’s service history and provide it to you.

What’s Not Included in Planned Maintenance?

Performing predictive and corrective maintenance is not covered by the planned maintenance agreement. The technician provides you with a quote for these recommended services. Then, you select which forklift maintenance services you want done. After completion, we bill you for anything above and beyond the preventative maintenance.

When Is Planned Maintenance the Best Choice?

Every forklift benefits from a planned maintenance agreement, but aging trucks thrive. Preventative maintenance keeps older forklifts running longer and prevents downtime in heavy-use machines. Additionally, selecting which services and repairs your trucks receive allows you better control over your fleet's repair costs, helping you to stay within budget. Finally, if you plan to sell any of your older trucks, the maintenance record helps you get a better resale price.

Full Maintenance

Full maintenance plans are the most comprehensive and customizable agreements on the market. They provide the best peace of mind with newer forklifts and make total maintenance hassle-free.

What’s Included in Full Maintenance?

Full maintenance agreements are highly customizable, allowing you to add and subtract services during the contract negotiation. However, a standard full maintenance agreement typically covers all preventative, predictive, and corrective maintenance required by normal wear and tear. Our technicians perform these maintenance services at your facility during normal operating hours.

If your forklift becomes disabled and we cannot repair it promptly, we provide a comparable rental replacement at no additional cost. You retain this rental until your repairs are complete. While you have the rental, your service agreement terms cover its maintenance as if it were your own.

What’s Not Included in Full Maintenance?

A few minor expendables are typically excluded from full maintenance agreements. These include items like light bulbs, flat tires, and damaged seat belts. However, the most significant exclusion is damage caused by abuse. If improper use causes a repair, you are responsible for the total repair cost. Finally, emergency repairs requiring a technician outside our normal business hours incur an additional fee.

When Is Full Maintenance the Best Choice?

Full maintenance agreements benefit new forklifts the most. The comprehensive nature of this maintenance plan ensures your truck stays within its warranty requirements, extending its coverage and keeping it in like-new condition longer.

Additionally, since these agreements cover most forklift maintenance services, maintaining your fleet requires little of your time and attention. The fixed monthly rate makes budgeting easier, ensuring maintenance never impacts your bottom line. This frees you from the burden of tracking maintenance. You no longer need to scrutinize which predictive services you need immediately and which can wait until next month, freeing you up to focus on the more essential parts of your job.

Finally, full maintenance agreements allow you to customize your forklift fleet maintenance to fit your facility's needs. Adjustments might include more frequent preventative maintenance, replacement of expendables, or even new tires every year. Whatever you want, this plan can provide it.

Your Forklift Maintenance Partner

Whether you're looking for an off-the-shelf solution or a more tailored fit, our team has the expertise to ensure your fleet gets the care it needs. Maintenance plans are the best solution for reducing downtime costs. If you want to protect your fleet and organization, request an assessment to help you decide which agreement is best for you. To learn more about forklift maintenance agreements or to request a quote, contact us online or visit one of our locations:

Arkansas - Jonesboro
Alabama - Birmingham, Dothan, Irondale, Madison, Mobile, and Montgomery
Mississippi - Tupelo and Richland
Tennessee - Jackson, Memphis, Knoxville, and Kingsport

Further Reading
How To Calculate the True Cost of Downtime
Fast Forklift Repair That’s Done Right
Why Outsourcing Forklift Planned Maintenance Makes Sense

Forklift service and repair