The devil is in the detail
12 December 2012
Jeff Aylott, head of after sales at Linde MH (UK) looks at key considerations for operators when taking out a service contract on a forklift fleet As more and more business operators come under pressure to drive down t
As more and more business operators come under pressure to drive down their logistics costs, choosing the right service contract for a forklift fleet is vital.
Forklift maintenance and the quality of engineers that service forklifts can have a much greater impact on a company's bottom line than many give credit for.With the right service contract in place, customers can maximise return on their capital and hedge against equipment failure from inadequate truck maintenance provision. Having insufficient service provision in place can increase a firm's risk of truck downtime, and lead to expensive truck repairs.
Hence, when operators make the decision to buy a forklift truck, they consider the lifetime cost of the truck, not just the upfront purchase price. And a vital component of this cost is, of course, servicing and repair costs.
While the majority of operators will choose to take out a full service contract to provide the benefits of predictable monthly costs, avoiding unexpected surprises, it is also vital that the credibility of the service provider is also carefully explored. An obvious point, but the devil really is in the detail. It's essential that operators read the contract terms and conditions carefully as it can have significant impact on the lifetime truck cost. Consider: 1 What are the return conditions? 2 What level of repair or rectification is down to the operator at the end of the contract? 3 Is there a standard tyre condition on return? 4 What will the supplier consider as reasonable wear and tear against chargeable damage? 5 Beware of hidden extras such as penalties for out of hours or travel costs.
6 Are truck technicians properly trained and do they have access to correct diagnostic tools and up to date technical information? 7 Are they competent in terms of health & safety and are they adequately insured for on-site working? The key to a good service and maintenance package is to deal with a company which proactively works with its customers to design and deliver maintenance and repair plans which are precisely suited to their needs.
At Linde, we offer a comprehensive range of operator support packages - all of which can be linked to a lease finance agreement.
All packages are based on a set of sound principles.We work to reduce operator cost; we only use genuine original equipment parts; we deploy fully trained and competent engineers and we don't sneak in hidden contract clauses.