4 Things Every Warehouse Maintenance Manager Should Avoid

January 02, 2019

Warehouse maintenance managers have an important role in protecting the safety of their warehouse’s employees and motive power equipment. A serious incident could lead to injury or costly emergency repairs. Proper maintenance checks for your dock and door, motive power, and storage and handling equipment are essential to promote efficient warehouse operations. This is why a preventative maintenance checklist is a key tool for any warehouse maintenance manager.

Serious operational problems and dangers can increase if a warehouse’s safety regulations are ineffective or poorly maintained. When going over your warehouse’s preventative maintenance checklist, these are 4 things that a warehouse maintenance manager should always avoid:

Faulty Forklifts and Forklift Batteries

For most warehouses, using forklifts on a daily basis is a necessary task. They are basically the workhorses of distribution center operations, and are needed to move heavy materials and products that can’t be done by manual labor. Keeping this motive power equipment in top condition is vital for warehouse maintenance managers to maximize a forklift’s useful life and performance. However, mistakes regarding the repair and safety of forklifts and forklift batteries can put a large dent in a warehouse’s operations.

Motive power equipment can be overworked and overloaded rather easily without proper preventative maintenance strategies. Sudden forklift failures due to worn out tires or an electrical short can cause an employee to lose control of the machine, risking the safety of themselves, the warehouse’s assets, and others working in the warehouse. Regular motive power service maintenance ensures the forklifts are running properly, and provides warehouse maintenance managers the chance to replace any equipment that is beyond repair.

Another important issue that should be avoided is overcharging your motive power battery. A forklift battery’s average life span is about five years and is good for around 1,500 charge cycles. The only time the forklift battery should be charged is when it is between 20-30% power. “Opportunity charging,” or charging when it is convenient, can dramatically lower the lifespan of your motive power battery by almost half. Always be sure to charge a battery when it is in the “red” zone (20%).

Unsafe Loading Docks

A warehouse loading dock is one of the busiest areas for warehouse operations. This means there is a dramatic increase in the risk of injury for both workers and loading dock equipment, not to mention costly maintenance and repairs. Environmental changes, peak seasons, and faulty dock equipment are just a few of the issues warehouse maintenance managers have to be concerned about.

Following through with planned maintenance checks and keeping loading dock safety regulations up-to-date will help to ensure the safety and protection of loading dock workers and the assets they have to handle. Warehouse maintenance managers can implement other effective preventative maintenance strategies such as:

  • Installing trailer restraints to prevent trailers from rocking back-and-forth when loading and unloading;
  • Utilizing dock seals and shelters to minimize loading dock damage from trucks and trailers, keep out debris, and protect workers and equipment from environmental changes; and
  • Installing warehouse dock lights to keep the area well-lit and warn pedestrians of moving trucks.

Poor Dock Door Conditions

Warehouse maintenance managers should be sure a warehouse’s loading dock doors are just as secure as the loading dock itself. A faulty dock door can spell disaster if an accident occurs. Faulty or broken components, poor lubrication, foreign objects stuck in the chains, and rust can cause dock doors to get jammed— or worse, come flying down unexpectedly.

Routine maintenance inspections can sometimes fall to the wayside in a busy warehouse, but it is vital that warehouse maintenance managers follow the proper dock door safety regulations to minimize the risk of potential harm to warehouse employees, and prevent any damage from impeding warehouse operations. Adding dock seals and shelter, following a dock door preventive maintenance checklist, and choosing the right dock door for your loading dock are all safety measures that warehouse maintenance managers can do to increase dock door efficiency.

Improperly Installed Pallet Rack System

Pallet rack systems are a huge asset in warehouse organization, as well as providing ample storage space for a warehouse’s products. So, naturally, severe damage to your storage and handling systems has the potential to create a catastrophic event.

Warehouse maintenance managers must be on high alert for any damage or faulty installation practices done to a warehouse’s pallet rack system. Loose bolts and screws, installing a cheap pallet rack system, or overloading a rack’s weight capacity can cause the rack to collapse, heavily damaging any products or assets, and leading to the possibility of fatalities. Proper preventative maintenance strategies is the only way to be sure a storage and handling system is being utilized correctly.

Choosing the right warehouse racking system that meets your operational needs is an easy way to minimize the risk of a pallet rack failure. A few things warehouse maintenance managers should keep in mind when purchasing a rack system are:

  • Determining the strength of material used to make the pallet rack (hot rolled vs. cold rolled);
  • Knowing how much impact your rack system may receive from daily operations; and
  • A rack system’s weight capacity .

Most importantly, a warehouse maintenance manager should always purchase from a reputable warehouse equipment distributor. Southern State Enterprises offers a large selection of pallet rack systems to aid in organization, space efficiency, and storage capacity needed to match a warehouses’ operational needs.

A safe and well-maintenanced warehouse is a functioning warehouse. The role of a warehouse maintenance manager is a huge responsibility in ensuring the safety of a warehouse’s equipment and employees. A preventative maintenance checklist and routine professional maintenance inspections are all important steps to proper warehouse safety, and minimize the potential for costly repairs.

At Southern State Enterprises, we enlist top specialists trained to handle multiple areas of warehouse service. We offer a number of warehouse solutions to meet any of your service challenges. If you’re in need of a warehouse maintenance checkup, contact one of our representatives today!

 Maintenance Manager Checklist



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