Forklift maintenance can be challenging - especially as you want to prevent injuries and keep maintenance costs down. Here are a couple of frequently asked questions about how to keep forklifts safe and well maintained.
How often should forklifts be serviced?
As with cars, there are often recommendations from the manufacturers - and forklifts are serviced at usage intervals and time intervals. Unlike cars, however, mileage does not play into it. Instead, usage is measured by "key hours" - the amount of time the key is on - for internal combustion trucks and "pedal hours" - the amount of time the deadman pedal is depressed - for electric trucks. Although the recommendations vary, forklifts should be looked at by a trained technician at least every 90 days.
What routine maintenance should be performed?
Fluid levels should be checked every time the forklift is used. Fluid lines also need to be kept clean, as sediment can cause wear and premature failure. Hydraulic fluid, coolant, transmission fluid and motor oil should all be checked.
Tires need to be checked and kept in good shape. A flat tire on a forklift can be serious as it can cause the vehicle to tip, resulting in a risk of injury and/or damage to the goods you are moving. Some forklifts have pneumatic tires - in that case the pressure should be checked when it is used. Solid tires should be visually inspected for damage.
The forklift should be kept fueled or charged. Running out of fuel can damage internal combustion engines, and running out of fuel or charge in the middle of the warehouse can be embarrassing at best, dangerous at worst.
Can used replacement parts be used?
Absolutely, as long as they meet the manufacturer's specifications and are in good condition. However, you should make sure any parts used on your forklift are high quality.
Maintaining your forklift is an important part of keeping your warehouse running smoothly.