Tips for Maintaining a Forklift

You count on your forklifts to keep your business moving forward. But like all mechanical equipment, these machines experience wear and tear over time, which can lead to unsafe operation and unexpected breakdowns. Extend the lifespan of your forklifts and avoid hefty repair bills along the way with proper maintenance.

You count on your forklifts to keep your business moving forward. But like all mechanical equipment, these machines experience wear and tear over time, which can lead to unsafe operation and unexpected breakdowns. Extend the lifespan of your forklifts and avoid hefty repair bills along the way with proper maintenance.

Inspect Your Forklifts Daily

Checking the machines before starting each morning shift isn’t just a good idea—it’s also required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Daily inspections help you spot problems early and avoid operating unsafe machinery. To ensure compliance, follow a standardized checklist, such as one provided by OSHA. Here are some of the recommended elements of this checklist:

  • Check the engine oil and other fluid levels.
  • Listen for any unusual sounds when the engine is running.
  • Check hoses and cylinders for fluid leaks.
  • Make sure the battery is clean, fully charged, and in good condition.
  • Check that no components are damaged or missing.
  • Check the tire pressure and tread wear.
  • Make sure seatbelts are in good shape.
  • Test brake performance.
  • Check that overhead and finger guards are in place.

Clean Your Forklifts Weekly

Cleanliness is about more than just aesthetic appeal—it also improves safety by preventing the buildup of dirt, lint, and other combustible materials in the radiator. Weekly cleaning should include the following steps:

  • Blow out the radiator.
  • Wipe down dirty areas of the forklift.
  • Check and change filters as they become clogged.

Address Issues as They Arise

Even with daily inspections and weekly cleanings, forklifts can still develop problems over time. For instance, an operator may report a softening brake pedal, or a tine may bend and break during use. Repair these problems as soon as they come to your attention to prevent larger problems or dangerous accidents.

Schedule In-Depth Maintenance

Most forklift manufacturers recommend maintenance after a certain number of hours in use. In-depth maintenance does not consist of do-it-yourself tasks but involves professional servicing. For example, every 250 to 500 hours, you may be expected to perform the following:

  • Change the engine oil and filter.
  • Change the fuel filter (for diesel forklifts).
  • Lube all grease points and mast.
  • Check and top off fluid levels.
  • Perform a 100+ point inspection.

Take the guesswork out of maintaining your forklifts—sign up for a comprehensive forklift maintenance plan from Ring Power Lift Trucks. We perform all services according to the manufacturer’s recommended schedule to protect your investment and warranty coverage. We also offer field service and in-shop forklift repair for times when those unexpected breakdowns occur. With our help, your forklifts will operate smoothly for a longer service life, less downtime, and a higher trade-in value on your next forklift rental or purchase.

To schedule services or learn more about our forklift maintenance plan, please contact us at 877-544-5438. We serve our customers from several strategically located branches in Florida.

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