Forklifts & Maintenance

The Importance of forklift maintenance

Any machine, equipment or vehicle that is used regularly suffers wear and tear. Its parts develop faults. These faults can cause minor to major problems. Minor problems can include dysfunctional lights. Major problems can include damaged parts that make it difficult to steer the vehicle. Mishaps can be avoided when the forklift is maintained properly. A maintenance plan should be in place to ensure the forklift is maintained in good condition at all times.

More information on forklift maintenance

Maintain Overall Safety

While a forklift should be driven only by a trained forklift driver, it is also necessary to maintain the vehicle in good condition to avoid any accident. Its parts that are worn out, damaged, rusty or cracked should be repaired or replaced in time. A well maintained forklift and a trained driver ensure high level of safety at the workplace. A factory or storage centre where high level of safety is maintained receives higher ratings from safety inspectors. The company meets safety requirements recommended by the government departments and industry bodies. Companies that fail to maintain safety standards at the workplace are slapped with fines and penalties.

Things to Check

The maintenance of the forklift starts from its tyres. The weight of the items it lifts falls on the tyres. The air pressure in all tyres should be maintained at the recommended level. The recommended tyre pressure level can be different for different seasons. The vehicle's backup signals, turn signals, horn must function properly. These small things help avoid many accidents. It does not cost much to fix these small items. Safety inspectors issue citations and fines for broken safety signals. The vehicle's hoses should be checked regularly for any leakage. The forks used to lift the loads must be straight and properly aligned. Tanks should be inspected. Regular and timely maintenance ensures all such parts of the vehicle work flawlessly as intended.

When to Schedule the Maintenance?

It depends on how much and how long the forklift is used. The type of loads that are lifted affect how fast the parts of the forklift suffer wear and tear. Damaged, broken and worn out parts should be fixed before there is any serious accident. Forklift driver, safety inspector and maintenance supervisor have to perform their duties properly. They should check the forklift condition at the scheduled times. The driver should report any unusual noise or driving issue to the maintenance manager as soon as possible.

Visual and Operational Checks

Some problems can be identified with simple visual inspection. Levels of radiator fluid, fuel, oil and battery power can be checked visually. Broken or lose screws, nuts and bolts can be identified during this inspection process. Warning lights and headlights should be activated to see if they are functioning properly. Once the visual inspection has been completed, it is time to go for the operational checks. Parts like gearshift, parking brake, hand brake, foot brake and clutch should be checked. A standard load should be lifted and placed from one place to another. Any difficulty faced during this operation means there is a fault.

An experienced forklift driver can sense many problems in advance. Most forklift problems can be avoided when it is maintained regularly and as instructed by its manufacturer.