Discussion:
Forklift- Technician ratio

I was wondering how many lifts a tech is supposed to handle. I was told the other day the industry standard is 35 to 1. I've personally handled up to around 120 lifts, but alot of those were ones with very low usage ( about 4 hrs/week). I've never worked for a forklift dealer so I have no idea what a dealership expects of it's tech's.
  • Posted 20 Mar 2013 00:04
  • Discussion started by bbforks
  • Pennsylvania, United States
bbforks (at) Hotmail (dot) com
Customers love technology- until they have to pay to fix it!
Showing items 1 - 15 of 19 results.
Hello bbforks.
We have about 70 Toyota units (models 5 to 8),
20 Hysters/Yales, about 50 other units (Doosan, Mitsubishi, Clark, Bauman etc.)
Yes, these trucks require statistically a little more time for inspections and (according to our statistics) a bit more repairs.
But, because we specialize in Linde we keep our trucks/technician ratio. It's just statistics.
  • Posted 9 May 2013 19:14
  • Modified 13 May 2013 05:33 by poster
  • Reply by Karait
  • Poland
I know your deepest secret fear...
J.M.
Thanks Karait- makes perfect sense- just never thought about it. Do you service other brands other than the ones you listed? If so- do you find other brands require less/more service time?
  • Posted 9 May 2013 00:10
  • Reply by bbforks
  • Pennsylvania, United States
bbforks (at) Hotmail (dot) com
Customers love technology- until they have to pay to fix it!
Estimating forklifts/technician ratio makes sense specially when the company is developing or growing.

It's a matter of calculation, whether the new guy in a new area is able to return the costs and bring some money, or if the existing guys are able to preserve the proper quality of their work and need some reinforcement.

In my company we base upon the technician utility factor.

There are about 1700 working hours a year.
The average truck we maintain (90% they are Linde) works 2000 hours a year and this requires about 25 labour hours of service technician for inspections and repairs on IC trucks and about 15 hours on the electrics.
So, statistically, an average truck requires about 20 labour hours a year.
With all the time losses, an average technician is able to deal with about 70-80 statistic Linde/Still/JUngheinrich trucks.

Of course it may vary depending upon the fleet, brands etc, but when we create the new service technician position we consider this factor as a lead.
  • Posted 10 Apr 2013 00:10
  • Reply by Karait
  • Poland
I know your deepest secret fear...
J.M.
stam- you are right that you (as the assigned tech for the account) shouldn't have to think about either situation, but you also shouldn't be penalized for what the customer wants/needs. It's the salesman's job to set up the account and find out what the needs are for the account. All's I was saying was that there 2 ways to repair issues sometimes. If management wants parts replaced rather than repaired, and they were signing my paychecks, than replacement parts would be what I'd installing.

Being self-employed, I have to answer directly to the customer & learned this lesson the hard way early on in my career. I never thought of a parts/labor ratio, I just take the direction the individual customer wants me to take.
  • Posted 1 Apr 2013 03:12
  • Reply by bbforks
  • Pennsylvania, United States
bbforks (at) Hotmail (dot) com
Customers love technology- until they have to pay to fix it!
bbforks, no disrespect but i dont need to think about either situation 1 or 2, my customer does. The issue i see is situation 2 is not presented to many customers these days, not every company needs all their equipment running 24 hrs 7 days. You are right, it should be the customers decision too often this is not the case.

I was done thinking about parts to labour ratio within 5 minutes of first seeing it. If you worked for a dealer with this, and all your customers had low maintenance budgets and wanted things repaired rather than replaced you are left with a low score... seem fair? i always thought it was a ridiculious thing to score a service tech on but if people are using dart boards like raytech says which i did not think about until reading his post it would have some weight to it. unfortunatly as i said previously the scoring system I was dealing with at the time couldn't show low sales as a good thing only bad.
  • Posted 31 Mar 2013 16:48
  • Reply by stam
  • Ontario, Canada
Stam- it's just part of doing business. Not only does upper management want the service techs to repair the lifts so the customers are happy, but to sell parts for added income.

@Raytech- thanks for the explanation of your parts/labor ratio- makes perfect sense. I was afraid that you were responsible for upselling parts that weren't needed just for profit. It does sound though that stam is being pressured to upsell parts that may not be needed- there are 2 choices that we as tech's have at our disposal that maybe stam needs to think about-

situation-1) a propane regualator on a FT hyster- to just replace one that's malfunctioning costs the customer around $600-700 bucks & about 2 hours on site for the relacement. Combine those costs with travel/destination/ fuel & the invoice would be in excess of 1000 dollars, but the unit would only be down for maybe 2 hours.

situation-2) the same regulator can be rebuilt. The rebuild kit is around $100 bucks, but the lift would be down probably 4 hours. Although the invoice would be less, the prolonged downtime may not be favorable for either the customer or the dealer.

I don't know if the dealers in my area advise the techs to replace whole assy's rather than indivual peices in an assy, but replacement of whole assy's seems to be the norm around here. I always ask a new customer which is more important to their business, decreased costs or decreased downtime. You never know what's inportant to them until you ask.
  • Posted 31 Mar 2013 06:28
  • Modified 31 Mar 2013 06:29 by poster
  • Reply by bbforks
  • Pennsylvania, United States
bbforks (at) Hotmail (dot) com
Customers love technology- until they have to pay to fix it!
I had a different experiance with parts to labour ratio at the dealer i used to work for. here is an example: trending done over 1 year showed that mechanic a sold 520 parts over 2080 billed hours. which is 25% parts to labour ratio. Do this for your entire service staff and use the average % you will have a baseline for expected parts sales over a year, i assume budgets are being built off of statistics like this as well as estimated yearly revenue. i had consistantly been scored low in this area as my parts to labour ratio was low thus my year end review had low scoring in this area. the question: isn't a mechanic that can repair the damaged component better than the one who can only replace it? spreadsheets may say something different...

To me this whole thing is just another great example of businessmen unable to understand what is involved in mechanics.
  • Posted 31 Mar 2013 04:25
  • Reply by stam
  • Ontario, Canada
Parts to labor ratio is checked to prevent "parts changers" who use diagnostic dartboards to repair forklifts. Some guys replace everything before getting out the ohmmeter and finding that broken wire. These techs were great back in the day where the customer paid the bill, no questions asked. Management loved them as they were the top producers. With fixed maintenance, we have to pull up our socks and actually diagnose the trucks without just ordering expensive parts and changing everything.
Amazing how many bad connectors, crimps, loose terminals cause most problems. As for my American friends south of the border, they are going through rough times. Not Texas, but most states. I'm 5 mins from New york State, and see new shopping malls boarded up. Talking to many Americans reveals a people that know hard times. We cant imagine what it would be like, as Canadians, or people from the UK, to get very sick and lose everything we have.....just paying hospital bills. We have many Cousins from the USA that were unfortunate to suffer from Cancer. They lost their house, all their savings..just to pay hospital bills. There are more Americans without medical coverage than the whole population of Canada. As Canadians, we owe so much to the Americans. Without them, we might be speaking another language right now!
  • Posted 29 Mar 2013 12:32
  • Reply by EasiTek
  • Ontario, Canada
I Know in fact you pointed that out to me previously, I was just feeling a little cranky and thought I might stir things up a little,

Simple things amuse simple people.

Rgds
  • Posted 27 Mar 2013 23:58
  • Reply by Normandy
  • Co. Cork, Ireland
You're right mrfixit- things have changed. No more vendor loyalty, parts you can't rely on to fit or work (even if bought at the dealer), customers wanting instateneous results, getting more done with less man power... the list goes on. The more I hear about what dealer tech's have to put up with, the happier I am I never worked for one. I never heard of a "industry standard" for a tech/lift ratio, it seems that it's really up to the dealer on what ratio they're comfortable with. I must say I also never heard of a parts/hours ratio either. Raytech- would you expand on that arena?
  • Posted 27 Mar 2013 22:52
  • Reply by bbforks
  • Pennsylvania, United States
bbforks (at) Hotmail (dot) com
Customers love technology- until they have to pay to fix it!
I guess times have changed since I worked for a dealer in the early 80's. No GPS, no cell phones, the 4 road techs would spend the first hour of the day at the diner. After a job was completed, I had to ask the customer to use their phone to call in. Didn't even pay attention to labor hours, that was all done at the office. As long as the thing got fixed, they were happy.
  • Posted 27 Mar 2013 09:17
  • Reply by mrfixit
  • New York, United States
Normandy,
Just a bit of litle know info. there is a point in the lower 48 states US where you actually travel South to go to Canada and it is in the Province of Ontario.
  • Posted 27 Mar 2013 04:36
  • Reply by johnr_j
  • Georgia, United States
"Have An Exceptional Day!"
Hi Raytech

Sounds like a very efficient company you work for. that explains the strong Canadian Dollar and also why that Dollar south of you is so depressed !!!!!
  • Posted 27 Mar 2013 00:23
  • Reply by Normandy
  • Co. Cork, Ireland
RayTech;
What do you mean by parts to labor ration? Can you give me some examples?
  • Posted 25 Mar 2013 21:35
  • Reply by duodeluxe
  • United States
duodeluxe
Hello Kevin,
i`m curious to know if the average tech in China works 40 hrs and has weekends off. It was not that long ago that here in Canada everyone worked 40 hrs during the week and had Saturday to enjoy and Sunday for church and family gatherings. Now, getting the family together is nearly impossible as everyone has different shifts and work weekends. Our children barely know their own relatives. So many places are open 24 hrs. that getting a job during the day with no weekends is rare.
Robert Bosch from Germany started the 40 hr week almost 100 years ago...so workers could enjoy their families. Now, family life has taken a back seat.
As for job stress here, our manager knows every move we make. GPS in truck, GPS in iphone, He tracks our efficiency each day and ensures we bill 8 hrs a day or 40 hrs a week. work orders are tracked and must be closed each day. Our parts to labor ratio is checked and if too high, we are reprimanded. warrantee repairs are scrutinized and comebacks are noted. They track our shop visits and down time while at lunch. Once a year, tech`s are given a review and all areas of your work is considered. How you treat the dispatcher, salesman, parts guy!....your paperwork, parts return, inventory shortages...how much you billed and total down time...and how you treated the customers. If you score low, no raise. If they score very low, you're on probation and must score higher within a 3 month time frame, or you find another job. Is there anything like this in China....
you`re country is still growing....work is more plentiful than any where on earth. Hopefully your not at this level of `BIG BROTHER`
  • Posted 24 Mar 2013 04:38
  • Reply by EasiTek
  • Ontario, Canada

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