Common Forklift Issues

Forklifts are generally rugged, trusty machines, built to last. But every machine has a few problems from time to time. If your business depends on forklifts, it’s good to be familiar with a few complications that may arise. 



  • Steering issues: Steering is a pretty essential function of your forklift, so if you have steering issues you’ll want them fixed ASAP to avoid an accident. If you hear strange noises when you steer, you may just need steering fluid. Add more if low, but if it looks thick and dark, replace it. If the level is fine, there may be a problem with your pressure valves, your gears may be worn, your steering mechanism may be rusted, or your tires may be misaligned. These issues require professional service. 
  • Starting issues: If your electric forklift won’t start, try charging the battery again. Make sure it connects properly and there’s no corrosion on the terminals or casing. Also check the electrolyte level on the battery and add more if it’s low. Perform a battery function test. If it operates less than 80%, you may need to replace it. If it still doesn’t work, have it serviced professionally. If your IC (internal combustion) forklift won’t turn on at all, it may also have a dead battery that needs charging. If that’s not the problem, check your fuel and oil levels. Look for fuel system leaks or blockages, a bad starter, or broken wires. If none of these solve the problem, get a professional to inspect your forklift.
  • Mast issues: The mast is the part of the forklift that does all the lifting and lowering. Sometimes a mast may not lift or lower sufficiently, or steadily. They can get twisted, rusted or cracked over time, which can require repair or replacement. First check to see if there is sufficient hydraulic fluid. This resolves many mast problems. If not, you will probably need professional service. Other problems include broken wires, faulty switches, battery issues, debris in the fuel system, or hydraulic pump failure. To prevent mast issues, fix or replace any exposed wires, properly maintain the battery, and clean the fuel system periodically.
  • Other possible issues include: leaky hoses, failure of accessories, running rough, check engine light, electrical, seat and seat belt issues, tire/wheel issues, and cooling problems. 

Ring Power Lift Trucks is the premier forklift dealer and service provider for industry professionals to explore forklift rentals, buy a new or used model, find parts, and receive maintenance or repairs. We have ample experience with material handling equipment and offer products and services for a wide array of brands, such as Cat® Lift Trucks, Kalmar, Big Joe, Jungheinrich, and Mitsubishi Forklifts. Our company proudly serves clients throughout North and Central Florida, including Jacksonville, Daytona, Ocala, Tampa, Tallahassee, Lakeland, St. Petersburg, Westside Jacksonville, and Sarasota. Let our extensive inventory and factory-trained technicians work with you to provide timely and efficient equipment solutions. Call 877.544.5438 or visit our website for more information.


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