Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!



Lift trucks: Simplifying maintenance

Rawlings revisited lift truck maintenance in its central distribution facility, increasing up-time and efficiency.
By Josh Bond, Associate Editor
June 20, 2011

Eight years ago, managers realized they had a problem at the central distribution facility for Rawlings, where they managed 40,000 inventory lines of sporting equipment and apparel. As the company had grown, its fleet had been expanded piecemeal, resulting in a hodgepodge of equipment providers and a maintenance department scrambling to keep up.

Mike Campbell, senior director of distribution at the 480,000-square-foot Rawlings distribution center in Washington, Missouri, said the decision was made to contract for outsourced maintenance services. Rawlings partnered with Heubel Material Handling, a member of the Raymond Corporation’s dealer network, to implement Raymond’s consultative approach for providing support.

“Our overall impression is outstanding,” said Campbell. “I would not go on record if I didn’t genuinely appreciate how this has worked out.”

Terrie Semsch, safety manager at the facility, said that before outsourcing maintenance the facility experienced lots of downtime and much less efficiency.

“We went for days sometimes without a mechanic being able to make repairs,” she says. “Now within a few hours we have someone working on it. We have virtually no downtime.”

The company initially outsourced all of its maintenance needs, before settling on a roughly 80/20 split of outsourced to in-house services. The company’s two full-time maintenance personnel now work side-by-side with Heubel technicians to service the facility’s 60-truck fleet. The on-site parts cabinet is stocked and monitored by Heubel, and Rawlings is only billed for parts as they are used.

Since the agreement, Rawlings has also standardized the lift truck equipment in the facility, slimming from eight lift truck suppliers to just two. The move has simplified the efforts of maintenance personnel, who previously had to juggle parts and knowledge of a variety of brands.

“That was the way we lived eight years ago, when utilization was about 65 to 70 percent,” said Campbell. “There were horrible issues with competitors before we transitioned to a contract service agreement. Now our utilization is at about 98 percent.”

Long term lift truck maintenance
Tired of throwing good money after bad, fleet managers are turning to training, technology, and dealer support to better understand when to replace, repair or retire.

About the Author

image
Josh Bond
Associate Editor

Josh Bond is an associate editor to Modern. Josh was formerly Modern’s lift truck columnist and contributing editor, has a degree in Journalism from Keene State College and has studied business management at Franklin Pierce.


Subscribe to Modern Materials Handling magazine

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Find out what the world’s most innovative companies are doing to improve productivity in their plants and distribution centers.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Recent Entries

Dassault Systèmes, the 3DEXPERIENCE Company, a world leader in 3D design software, 3D Digital Mock Up and Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solutions, today announced the signing of a definitive share purchase agreement for Dassault Systèmes to acquire Quintiq, a leading provider of on-premise and on-cloud supply chain and Operations Planning & Optimization software, for approximately €250 million

During this complimentary webcast you'll learn the 6 reasons your operation could benefit from voice and multi-modal solutions and exactly how The Container Store did it. They were able to improve efficiency, safety and accuracy, without a complete WMS overhaul and their employees find it faster and easier to use.

Study suggests solutions for filling the talent gap, including the development of robust ties with the education system.

Global business optimism reaches highest level in survey history.

Mentor-based program aims to help students develop STEM skills and foster innovation, self-confidence, communication and leadership.



© Copyright 2013 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA