Spending too much on your forklift? Forklifts which don’t receive adequate maintenance tend to brake more frequently, and this is a fact. Over the past 40 years of selling, reconditioning, servicing and maintaining forklifts we understood that in most cases of a machine failing the reason is because of the owner or operator neglecting the truck.
You don’t need to be a mechanic or have engineering knowledge in order to perform some basic checks to ensure the longevity of your forklift and its cost effective life span.
How often should I inspect?
In order to determine just how often you should be inspecting your forklift, it is important to assess each truck individually with the help of your engineer or forklift maintenance company.
Your engineer should consider:
- Age and condition of the forklift.
- Hours on the clock
- Daily routine (Heavy or not?)
- Previous maintenance work and repairs
As a rule of thumb every forklift should receive regular maintenance every 200 working hours. However there are daily checks that each operator should perform in order to make sure the smooth run of the machine and diagnose possible failures on time. Although these are listed below it is advised for all forklift operators to receive appropriate training covering these aspects as well.
Operator Maintenance (Daily)
This should be performed by the forklift operator on a daily basis.
Every operator should have a look around the forklift for leaks, any visible damage like dents that weren’t there, the condition of the tyres, and that all the safety equipment is working properly, this includes lights, brakes, the horn and steering of the truck. Following this you will need to check the functionality of the mast by raising it and then lowering it with load and without. To finalize you should check the levels of fuel, hydraulic fuel, engine oil and radiator water.
These are basic checks that only take a couple of minutes to complete. Failure to spot any potential failure on time could lead to a more serious one on the machine and even worst, an injury to the operator (i.e. brake failure).
Qualified Mechanic Maintenance:
Apart from the daily checks on your forklift there are more specific and REALLY important checks that need to be performed by a qualified mechanic, most usually at your forklift service and repair provider. These checks should be performed every 200 machine working hours.
- Replace Engine Oil
- Replace or Clean Air Filter
- Lubricate Chassis and Mast
- Check on drive belt tension, lift and tilt cylinder operation and according to the forklift spark plugs, cap, rotor and distributor point.
- Check on pedals, hand brake, chain tension, mast, oil pump, transmission oil, fuel filter, hoses.
- Radiator cleaning and fuel filter replacement.
- Adjustment of clutch release bearing, mast support bushing and tilt cylinder pins as well as chassis links.
- Check the brake booster
- Replace brake fluid, wheel bearing grease, engine coolant and water separator of Diesel forklifts.
- Use only trained and qualified personnel to inspect maintain and repair your forklifts.
- Always keep your forklifts clean so that you can detect any possible faults. Only clean with water!
- Fit tyres only using qualified tyre fitters.
- Keep all moving parts well lubricated.
- Always properly charge and fuel your forklift.
- Make sure your forklift gauges are functioning.
- Replace the Gas on your LPG forklift only on a licensed gas fitter.
These may seem a lot to do but in reality it will only take a couple of minutes of your qualified forklift operator’s time to perform these checks every day. It really comes down to simple equation :