Preventive maintenance is the systematic and periodic inspection and servicing of vehicles and their components. The chief purpose of preventive maintenance is to ensure the operation of safe, roadworthy vehicles.

Through timely, quality preventive maintenance inspections (PMI), fleet operators should be able to detect, correct and prevent the development of costly vehicle breakdowns. A quality PMI program should provide fleets with the maximum return on assets by attaining optimum component life of major vehicle systems before failure or replacement.

That logic applies not only to over-the-road vehicles, but also material handling equipment. Downtime on the loading dock is just as important to fleet operations as is roadside breakdowns.

ATA’s Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC) has several recommended practices designed to help users of material handling equipment set up an effective PM program for these important equipment assets. For example, RP 752A, “Forklift Preventive Maintenance Inspection Guidelines,” is an excellent primer on more than 40 areas involving conventionally powered and electric forklfits. RP 735, “Battery Recommendations For Engine Powered Material Handling Vehicles,” provides recommendations for specifying batteries in engine-powered material handling vehicles. TMC also has a number of RPs that deal with various aspects of liftgate maintenance, inspection, and specification, such as RP 733, “Liftgate Preventive Maintenance Inspection.”

The total preventive maintenance program begins with a properly engineered and specified vehicle for the application at hand. Vehicle condition reports, prognostics, and accurate record keeping practices are also an integral part in managing and scheduling appropriate PMIs and service intervals. Attend this session and learn from experienced fleet managers what you need to know to maximize the uptime and service life of your operation’s material handling equipment.

S.7 Trailers, Bodies & Material Handling Study Group