• Man in front of red forklift

Forklifts are simple machines that are ideal for many industrial purposes. With the improvement in technology over the years, forklifts are now more advanced and can perform multiple logistical tasks efficiently and effectively. However, as with many machines, they involve many small parts that wear out over time. To keep your forklift functioning properly, here are a few tips, that can help maintain your forklifts at its best state possible.

Maintenance Tips

  • Lubricate The Parts Regularly

    It is pertinent to grease your moving parts and joints, especially parts that may get into contact with other parts or with the road surface. Such lubrication must be done routinely so that it will reduce contact and minimise any friction that can cause your parts to wear out faster. When ball bearings are worn out, do remove them and get them replaced as soon as possible.

  • Check Fluid Levels

    Hydraulic fluids, oil and coolant fluids are some of the fluids that are being used for optimal function of your forklift. Hydraulic fluids help in force generation to move the forklift extensions, coolants help to minimise overheating of your machine, and oil is generally used as lubricant, or as fuel. These fluid levels need to be checked at frequent intervals, on a daily basis ideally, so that the function of each fluid is not compromised due to the lack of it. Failure to do so may possibly impede on proper functioning of the forklift, leading to malfunction. Therefore, it is extremely important to keep these fluid levels in check to ensure that your forklift is in the best working condition.

  • Ensure That Gauges Are Working Properly

    Forklift gauges and light indicators are usually found on the main control panel and gives warning about any possible malfunction of parts, or insufficient fluid levels. Firstly, it is important to check whether these gauges and lights are working properly. Secondly, pay close attention to any indications from the gauges or lights about possible malfunctioning of any parts. This can allow you to intervene earlier and make proper corrections (e.g. refill fuel tank, replace tires, put more coolant) to prevent any malfunctioning of the forklift. However, we must never rely on these to gauge the safety of the machine. A primary safety and maintenance checklist must still be performed daily to ensure optimal functioning of the forklift, and the gauges and lights act as a secondary regulatory mechanism just in case there was a mistake in the checklist.

  • Tire Maintenance

    The tires of forklifts need to be checked and monitored daily. A checklist includes ensuring proper pressure within the tires (if your tires utilise air) and checking for any gashes or punctures. In purchasing a tire, it is always advised to purchase high-quality, solid rubber ones that are heavy-duty and can withstand difficult terrain and heavy loads. Punctured tires may lead to unbalanced transport, possibly damaging the goods transported. Tire maintenance and repairs often requires the help of professionals.

  • Schedule Maintenance Dates

    Routine inspection and repair of your forklifts should be done on a regular basis. This will allow early identification and repair of problems, which allows your forklift to be kept in optimal working condition. Forklifts that do not undergo frequent maintenance checks may be at risk of malfunctioning, and end up increasing workplace accidents. Major problems may also surface in the long-run and cause your company a much increased repair cost.

Safety While Carrying Out Maintenance

While servicing your forklifts, you must make sure that certain safety procedures are followed to avoid damaging your forklift. Such measures include:

  1. Allowing certified technicians to service the forklift
  2. Disconnect batteries/ fuel tank from forklift before servicing
  3. Cover the batteries conduction surfaces, and prevent contact with any conducting surfaces
  4. Inspect for any cracks or defects that could be a concern to safety