Warehouse in the News Lift Trucks: A new technician vision
The modern business climate demands equipment uptime, so it’s not surprising to see similarities in the conversation around lift truck maintenance and the high-stakes airline industry.
To meet increasingly strict standards of lift truck fleet performance, a stable of skilled technicians equipped with modern tools is essential. However, between a lack of incoming talent and the ongoing retirement of Baby Boomers, the numbers don’t add up to a sufficient pool of workers.
Whether aviation, automotive or agricultural, the talent shortage is a growing concern in all skilled trades, but is especially pronounced in materials handling, which is somewhat less visible to young people than a profession like an electrician or plumber.
After decades of cultural emphasis on a four-year degree, technical schools are also struggling to attract young people. As Mike Rowe of “Dirty Jobs” fame said in his ProMat 2015 keynote, “we became so preoccupied with getting into the corner office that we forgot how to build one.”
Having felt the strain of attracting technicians—and in anticipation of the problem only worsening—lift truck manufacturers and dealers have mounted an aggressive campaign to rethink their approaches to recruitment, retention and training.
The pursuit of new recruits
It’s no longer good enough for a modern technician to be handy with a wrench; they are also the customer-facing ambassadors of the dealer and equipment manufacturer. “They touch more of our customers than […]