RP 534, "Guidelines for Determining Vehicle Lift Productivity Efficiencies," was approved on Oct. 1 and will be published in the first quarter of 2009, according to TMC technical director Robert Braswell.
RP 534 was developed by the S5 Task Force on Lift Productivity and ROI to address fleet managers' needs to recruit and retain technicians, improve shop efficiency and reduce shop-related injuries. According to the RP, "Vehicle lift technologies can assist fleet operations in these critical areas, but equipment users should have a sound means of determining the cost effectiveness for acquiring these devices."
The RP includes a simple ROI formula that fleet managers can use to estimate the additional revenue a new lift would generate or the cost-savings it would provide. RP 534 includes typical ROI examples derived from and validated by independent sources that are representative for commercial vehicle maintenance operations. All of the examples show a reduction in preventive maintenance costs through improvements in technician productivity. Typical savings range from $27,840 to $74,472 annually per lift, after the price of the lift has been recovered.
"Unlike transit, government, light truck and automotive maintenance facilities, commercial fleet operations and independent truck repair facilities traditionally have not used vehicle lifts," explains Roger Perlstein, S5 task force secretary and heavy-duty sales manager for vehicle lift manufacturer Rotary Lift. "Instead, they've asked their technicians to primarily work on their backs, using creepers and floor jacks. Vehicle lifts dramatically improve working conditions, productivity and profitability by letting technicians work standing up, where they can easily and comfortably access all parts of a truck. RP 534 acknowledges the benefits of vehicle lifts and helps fleet managers evaluate them for their own facilities."
RP 534 also outlines steps for choosing a new lift. The RP recommends that fleet managers start by completing the facility analysis section detailed in TMC RP 510, New Facility Development. Key factors to consider include the number of vehicles serviced by class, type and frequency of use, as well as the types of services performed. RP 534 also recommends checking to see if the lift model under consideration has been third-party certified to meet the safety standards adopted by the American National Standards Institute.