jason-whitwell2Given the current economic climate, the focus on productivity has never been stronger. Calor’s National Account Manager, Jason Whitwell, looks at the steps that can be taken to maximise forklift truck (FLT) fleet efficiency.

In the current financial climate businesses need to work harder for profits. Downtime needs to be minimised and operators require fleets that respond quickly and effectively.

Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) is widely recognised as a versatile, cleaner burning fuel, suitable for use both indoors and outdoors. To save operators’ time refuelling and managers’ time looking after fuel supplies, there are a number of options available that can have a positive impact on productivity.

FLT fuel boost

One of the easiest ways to reduce downtime is to use Fixed Fuel Tanks (FFTs). A number of major forklift truck manufacturers offer FFTs and at Calor we have two FFT sizes available in 55 litre and 70 litre capacities. Both versions are mounted on to the back of the FLT and allow direct refuelling from onsite bulk LPG tanks.

Calor’s own FFTs are designed and constructed in accordance with the European Pressure Equipment Directive (PED), and issued with a test certificate with training offered to operators. An additional time-saving benefit of Calor’s FFTs is that in contrast to manufacturer fitted tanks, we will take responsibility for all maintenance and testing of its FFTs leaving you free to concentrate on your business without the burden of maintenance schedules.

Feedback from customers using FFTs has been extremely positive with real financial savings easily demonstrated keeping operators, financial controllers and business managers satisfied.

calor_0457-appdFor example, refuelling a cylinder-powered LPG forklift can take up to 20 minutes. Where larger fleets operating 24 hour shift patterns are refuelled at the start of every shift, this can mean the truck is out of operation for up to an hour a day whilst refuelling. Take a fleet of 40 trucks and this becomes one operator’s working week’s worth of downtime a day!

Potentially, based on an average operator’s wage of £8.50 per hour, this will cost the company £340 a day in downtime – almost £125,000 a year!

However, FFTs are particularly suited to larger fleets in operation for long periods and will not be appropriate for every forklift fleet. Visit www.lpg-forklift.co.uk/calculator to help determine which fuel supply is most suited to your needs.

Never running low

Running out of fuel can also lead to large periods of inactivity or downtime and can have a devastating impact on your business.

To ensure your business should never be caught short, bulk LPG tanks can be fitted with telemetry devises which use GSM technology and the mobile networks to monitor fuel levels within the tank. As soon as the fuel reaches a certain level, a message is sent to notify us when a delivery is due.

Giving businesses a lift through training

Ensuring operators are trained properly should also maximise productivity as during training courses they are reminded of the safest, most efficient ways of refuelling and materials handling. Each site will require a slightly different approach to training to make sure drivers are given appropriate training and course content is tailored to meet that business’ needs.

And training should not be limited to just new staff or when a new fleet is purchased. Existing operators should receive ongoing refresher training to keep health and safety at the forefront of their business.

Calor Gas Ltd
Tel: 0800 181 4530
www.calor.co.uk