Forklifts are valuable business assets that make your operational duties easier and allow you to complete complex tasks quickly. However, like any other equipment or vehicle, several mechanical components of a forklift wear and tear with prolonged use. This deterioration process becomes critical with the moving parts, requiring you to implement a stern maintenance program. Good maintenance and repair guarantee optimal performance, continued operation, and many years of dependable and safe service.
The following five maintenance tips will help you ensure your forklifts function correctly:
- Inspect your forklift daily
Inspecting your machine every day enables you to detect potential problems early, such as faltering brakes and oozing hoses, and fulfill OSHA requirements. As a result, you prevent operational disruptions by handling issues before they worsen, saving you time and money you could have used to repair the machine. Using a standard checklist, especially the one given by OSHA, is the best way to conduct these checks as it helps you address all areas of concern before putting the machines into use. When doing the inspection, make sure you check the hoses, fluid levels, brakes, tire pressure, seat belts, forks, and overhead guards.
- Keep your machine clean
Cleaning not only improves your machine’s aesthetic appeal but also removes any combust materials that can accumulate on the forklift. Additionally, it increases aeration in the radiators, resulting in improved safety and performance. Ensure you clean your forklift at least once per week, and when cleaning, make sure you change any filters, remove any dust, debris, and dirt, and blow out the radiator. Regular cleaning keeps your machine in the proper working condition for many years and saves you money by reducing untimely wear and tear on the forklift.
- Adhere to the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule
Following the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule enables you to effectively inspect various elements of the equipment and ensure its optimal condition. Most manufacturers recommend a particular period for a comprehensive machine inspection and service, like changing oil every three months, or a specific usage, like 250 hours. Following the manufacturer’s manual when executing tasks such as oil changes, tire changes, fluid and filter changes, spark plug replacements, and completing these tasks on time helps you avoid unexpected and more significant problems that could cost you money, time, and safety.
- Inspect your tires regularly
The constant back and forth tire motion can cause your forklift’s tire to wear out quickly. Check for any signs of tread leaks, loss, and deflation. Poor tire conditions result in forklift breakdown and damage warehouse floors. Thus, it is essential to inspect the condition of your machine’s tire daily and replace them immediately if you identify any damage.
- Address issues as soon as they occur
Despite daily inspection and frequent forklift maintenance schedules, unforeseen mechanical issues usually arise, compromising safety and causing disruptions. While minor issues may turn into more significant problems when left unattended, addressing them promptly helps you prevent many substantial matters and hazardous accidents. Besides, minor mechanical issues are cheaper and easier to repair, saving you time and money. For example, repairing a minor coolant leak is more affordable than replacing the whole engine or purchasing a new forklift after the damages caused by a neglected leak. Additionally, it is safer to examine soft brakes than wait for them to stop functioning altogether. Addressing issues as soon as they occur enables you to keep your forklift in the proper working condition. Encourage your workers to report faulty machines and remove them from operation for repair.
Although timely and proper forklift maintenance seems an overwhelming task, it ensures successful forklift use. By executing daily inspections, cleaning the machine regularly, following the manufacturer’s maintenance plan, checking tires frequently, addressing issues as they occur, and working with qualified technicians, you can increase the machine’s lifespan, minimize accidents, increase productivity, and ensure employees’ safety in your workplace. Making these tips a part of your daily warehouse routine is the best way to implement them.
At North Coast Forktrucks, we provide high-performance and heavy-duty forklifts and ensure our forklifts are frequently and adequately maintained to guarantee ideal service and performance. If you require forklift hire & repair or need to buy a new or used forklift, reach out to us today!