Managing a forklift fleet is a huge challenge, to say the least, but the incorporation of an effective fleet management system can make the entire process very simple and efficient. With that in mind, Goscor Lift Truck Company (GLTC) offers its Goscor Fleet Management System to help its customers improve efficiency and protect their bottom line.

We have all heard the phrase “time is money”. And for capital equipment operators – such as materials handling equipment owners – it has never been more true. Today’s tough operating and economic conditions are putting a strain on already constrained bottom lines. If you are in the materials handling business, you probably, by now, know that maximising forklift uptime and efficiency is the foundation to keeping your business healthy and growing.

As fleet owners in Southern Africa seek to take control of their businesses and get the most out of their fleets, there is a growing reliance on effective fleet management systems. To reaffirm the significance of fleet details in today’s operating environment, the uptake of GLTC’s fleet management system continues unabated. The Goscor Fleet Management System is a complete forklift fleet management product, which operates via the GPRS network. Data is sent via a corporate APN (Access Point Name), a point where a mobile device can enter an IP network.

There is a big misconception when it comes to what fleet management entails. The general understanding is that a fleet management solution is merely a tracking device, however, tracking is only one part of it; fleet management includes many other functions such as forklift maintenance, driver management, fuel management and safety management, driver coaching, among others.

There are three fundamental goals of the Goscor Fleet Management System: optimisation of fleet productivity, creating professional driver behaviour and monitoring equipment performance, explains John Valentine, national systems manager at GLTC. In optimising productivity the fleet management system measures the utilisation of forklifts over a predetermined period, providing a “utilisation snapshot” which establishes, among others, the optimum number of forklifts required in an operation.

Uptime is now the mantra, the figure of merit in the materials handling industry. Unexpected downtime can be extremely costly as loss of output has a direct, negative impact on revenues. Every fleet owner of capital equipment expects 100% equipment uptime. To increase uptime and maximise production efficiency, monitoring equipment performance on a constant basis is one of the key attributes of the Goscor Fleet Management System. This helps prevent engine damage by accurately monitoring overheating, low oil levels, among others, resulting in extended lifecycle of the vehicle and significantly reduced maintenance and running costs.

Valentine says the driver cost is usually the biggest cost on IC machines, followed by fuel, which ranges between 30-40% of total lifecycle costs, but application dependent. Driver performance improvement is quite staggering with the implementation of the Goscor Fleet Management System. Driver performance is a key parameter when it comes to fuel efficiency, which is a key metric in running a profitable business. The system analyses driver behaviour and generates easy-to-read reports to allow for identification of potential areas for fuel savings and optimise accordingly, through driver training, for instance.

“There are also live alerts/reports from the system indicating which drivers/machines have the greatest incident ratios of excess idle for further interventions. Other features such as rpm, transmission protection and speed limiters also reduce fuel consumption. In essence, if the desired parameter is exceeded, the machine can be disabled (safely), or an alert sent indicating the guilty party,” says Valentine, adding that the Goscor Fleet Management System can show a visible fuel usage graph, and has an Excess Idle Cut Out after three minutes.

There is a general school of thought that one can reduce fuel costs by up to 20-25% through taking advantage of fleet management systems. Valentine agrees, saying that GLTC has found this assertion to be true, and customers have easily achieved 10-25% fuel savings where the interventions/management system is used correctly. “This can translate to a R1 500-R2 500 fuel saving per month, dependant on application,” concludes Valentine.

Growing base

Many customers are increasingly finding that delivering accurate data on fleet performance and all the important parameters on their operations speaks directly to productivity, total lower cost of ownership and ultimately the bottom line, is part of the most vital services that we offer, and this all needs to happen swiftly.

For this reason, a leading South African value retailer recently took delivery of 33 Crown lift trucks from GLTC, all fitted with Crown’s InfoLink fleet management system, representing the largest ever InfoLink site in southern Africa. The fleet comprises 25 reach trucks and eight powered pallet trucks. “We were awarded the tender for 17 x Crown ESR5260-2.0 Super Duty reach trucks with 13 500 mm lift height and a camera system; 8 x Crown ESR5240-1.4 reach trucks with 9 450 mm lift heights; and 8 x Crown WT3020-2.0 Powered pallet trucks,” explains Dale Rosewall, Area Sales Manager, Inland at GLTC.

Rosewall says a key competitive edge for GLTC was the fact that the MHE specialist offered a total solution to the retailer, and Crown equipment also boasts the lowest total cost of ownership in the industry, which is a key consideration for any capital equipment operator.

“The machines have since been deployed in various tasks across the DC, based on required lift heights and travel distances. All machines will be used for stock movement within the new distribution centre,” concludes Rosewall.