Forklifts are a necessary but costly piece of equipment for material handling companies. However, the cost to maintain forklifts is much less than having to repair or buy a brand new forklift. Regularly inspecting material handling equipment and scheduling preventative maintenance are excellent ways to lower future forklift costs.
Forklift Maintenance ChecklistForklifts may seem like complex machines with many moving parts, but they only consist of a few main components:
- Mast (interlocking rails, forks, and rollers)
Internal Combustion Forklift MaintenanceInternal combustion forklifts require gasoline or diesel as fuel and are suitable for outdoor operations. These preventative maintenance tasks can help reduce issues with your internal combustion forklift:
- Check engine oil levels to ensure they are at sufficient levels. If the engine is low on oil, friction between the intricate parts can damage each other while operating.
- Inspect fluid, coolant levels, and hydraulic brake fluids to prevent the forklift’s breaks from failing (and clutches from stalling).
- Check the forklift’s radiator and air filter to ensure they’re both clean. Also, ensure an employee has replaced the air filter (typically every 500 hours).
Electric Forklift MaintenanceElectric forklifts are more suitable for indoor operations because they have simpler designs and fewer parts than internal combustion forklifts. Here are some things to check to increase the lifespan of your battery-powered forklift:
- If lead-acid batteries power your forklifts, check their water levels to ensure workers water them properly and regularly.
- Evaluate lead-acid batteries for sulfur deposits. Over time, deposits can form on the lead plates, which can cause performance issues and even short-circuit the battery.
- Inspect a forklift’s internal wiring to ensure the cables aren’t frayed or coming loose. Exposed wires are a potential safety hazard. Mice, internal damage, and other factors can cause this problem.
Do you have a planned maintenance or inspection plan for your forklifts? You could be paying hefty expenses for repairs and new equipment if not. Brennan provides material handling maintenance and inspections for internal combustion and electric forklifts. We can extend your forklift’s lifespan while preventing costly future repairs. If you want to know how Brennan can save you money and reduce forklift maintenance, click the link below.