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Timely maintenance and servicing help keep your forklift up and running for a longer time. A well-maintained machine will ensure a reliable and safe operation. Otherwise, your machine gets plagued with issues and breakdown over time and calls for a replacement sooner, and even worse, risks the life of the operator.

If you want to keep your forklift in tip top shape for years and minimize forklift accidents, it is important to invest in preventative maintenance.

Keeping this in mind, here is a rundown of the most important steps you should consider to ensure your forklifts perform efficiently.

Daily Inspection:

Inspecting your forklift daily before the operation helps you identify potential issues early such as leaky hoses and inefficient brakes. This way, you can make sure that your forklift is safe to use before every shift.

The best way to do this is by using a standard checklist.

It will help you ensure that all areas of problems are addressed before the forklift is used. Some of the important parts of this checklist are the following:

  • Hoses
  • Tire pressure
  • Seat belt 
  • Fluid levels
  • Brake
  • Forks and overhead guards

Follow the Recommended Maintenance Schedule:

Make sure to follow the maintenance schedule recommended by your forklift manufacturer. For instance, most manufacturers recommend an in-depth inspection or service after a certain period (that can be oil changes every 3 months) or a certain amount of working hours (that can be 250 hours, 500 hours, and 1,000 hours of use).

Getting important tasks such as tire conditions, fluid, filter changes, spark plug replacement, oil changes, brake, and drive train servicing completed on time will help you minimize the occurrence of unexpected issues that could cost you money, time, and safety.

Inspect Your Forklift’s Tires Regularly:

Forklift tires wear out sooner if the machine is used on the same paths across the warehouse. Thanks to the repetitive motion, that can cause the tires to wear out quickly on one side than another.

On top of that, tires are vulnerable to deflating, spring leaks, and tread decline. Since tires are an important part of the operation of the forklift, the maintenance should include daily inspection and servicing of the tires.

The inspection should include a pressure check and a visual examination to ensure that they are in a good shape and have appropriate tread.

Don’t use the forklifts that have worn-out or damaged tires.

Weekly Cleaning:

Cleanliness can do more beyond improving the aesthetic appeal of your forklift. It helps you remove the buildup of combustible materials such as lint on the machine and prevent blocked radiators and other problems that can impact both the safety and the effective operation of the forklift.

Clean your forklift once a week. This should include blowing out the radiator, removing any dirty elements of the forklifts, and changing any dirty filters.

This regular cleaning will keep your forklift in top shape for years, saving you cost by reducing wear and tear on the machine which might be caused by the buildup of dirt and debris.

Resolve Issues as soon as they Occur:

Many issues can occur with your forklift despite having a regular maintenance schedule. For instance, the brake is likely to get soft over time, or a tire might bend or break during use. Taking care of these problems as soon as they occur or you notice their “onset” is an important part of preventing larger issues and accidents.

Addressing issues early can prevent small problems from becoming large and expensive ones.

For instance, it might be cheaper to fix a coolant leak as soon as you notice it than it is to replace the entire engine as a neglected leak can unleash huge damage.

It is easier to examine the soft brakes than it is to wait until the failed brakes stop working for good (even lead to an accident).

To keep your forklift in top shape, deal with any problem as soon as they occur. Encourage your employees to report the issues as soon as they occur as well as promptly removing forklifts if they show issues requiring repair or calling in a certified technician to deal with problems.

Opt for a Comprehensive Forklift Maintenance Plan:

A forklift is complicated machinery and sometimes requires more than a basic checkup and maintenance practices. Therefore, also consider a forklift maintenance service provider.

The maintenance expert will check every element of your forklift to notice the issues. This way, you will have peace of mind knowing that your forklifts are being taken care of by professionals.

You can also contact your forklift vendor if they can provide you maintenance service or whom they recommend.

So these are some key forklift maintenance tips to keep your machine efficient and working for longer.

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