One of the latest advancements in the Material Handling Market is the advent and development of Data Collection and Communication devices mounted on Forklift Trucks. Data is Power. These systems collect and report a wide variety of operational data in real-time and report it to management. The access to view and utilize this data greatly improves the ability to effectively manage forklift fleets. Telemetry, Telematics, or Fleet Management Devices should provide at least three basic functions.
Access Control, Compliance, and Impact Detection/Reporting. Current Telemetry Systems can provide so much more but these three have been the basics and enough to convince many users Telemetry is worth the investment.
A business relies on a functioning fleet of forklifts to move products safely and efficiently. They need to know who is on the lift, is he properly trained, and did he complete his “Operator Daily Checklist”? Most Telemetry systems utilize a code or Swipe Card to allow the operator access to operate a lift. Many times, this is the same access card they use to clock in for their shift. Information is preloaded on the system that tracks what unit the operator is allowed to operate, validates training, and guides them through a daily safety checklist, an OSHA requirement. This is a great advantage to Warehouse Managers and alleviates the need for many paper records.
That covers access control and compliance. The next feature is Impact Detection. How many times is there an Accident, Facility Damage or Product Damage and nobody knows how it happened. Impact detection has been one of the best features to positively alter operator behavior. Once the operator knows they are accountable it is amazing how much more careful they are daily.
So now they know who is on the unit, their training, if they completed their daily checklist, and that they are accountable for their actions. How does a business receive all this information? Telemetry Systems communicate via Wireless Infrastructure, Cellular Radio, or sometimes Bluetooth. These connection points are all ways to get the data for management via web access. Most systems provide, via the internet, a customizable Dashboard so a business can view what is important to them.
Other features record and transmit data on Battery Consumption and Charging, Operational Data like Lift versus Travel, and of course Hourly Usage.
- Equipment summaries: Receive comprehensive summaries of equipment. This can involve performance metrics as well as information about the health of the forklift.
- Hourly costs and return on investment (ROI): Money-based stats are important because a business’s main goal is to make a profit. Being able to see how hourly costs compare to money made can give a business a moment-by-moment idea of their ROI.
- Service summaries: Keep a record of service summaries so they know the extent of maintenance each forklift has received. They will stay up-to-date with their forklifts so they know exactly what is going on with each one. Avoid unexpected issues popping up without any warning.
- Alerts and notifications: One of the best parts of forklift telemetry is staying current with forklift fleets. Management can know about any issues within seconds of them happening thanks to immediate notifications and alerts. If they have the telemetry software on their phone or tablet, they can keep track of their fleet from anywhere in the building.
- Individual forklift details: Want to keep a closer eye on employees or know how everyone is doing on a personal level? Management can check various stats on individuals to take a closer look at how their crew is performing.
- Planned maintenance information: Keep forklifts maintained to skip the downtime that comes with malfunctions and mechanical errors. With forklift telemetry, management can keep track of maintenance days for their forklifts. A business can know which forklifts are available and which are not at all times.
- Service or rental requests: A business will be able to keep track of service and rental requests for each of its forklifts. Some days, they may need to rent extra forklifts to make up for ones that are in the shop for repairs. With their telematics system, they can manage each rental and service request to keep each day organized.
All this can be done in multiple languages to match operator preference. It also provides the ability to communicate to the operator on the Forklift to tell him to bring the lift to maintenance or report to the office. Crown’s InfoLink System provides all these features and now adds Dynamic Training to the equation. If an operator is detected to have improperly operated the forklift, the system projects a warning and then a training nugget to instruct them on how to properly complete that task.
These advancements project to continue and eventually become part of the forklift in lieu of an add-on device. If you would like more information on the Crown System contact us or visit https://www.crown.com/en-us/fleet-management/infolink.html and search InfoLink or Telemetry.