A Guide to Proper Forklift Maintenance and Troubleshooting

The average lifespan of a forklift is 10,000 working hours or five years. But did you know that they commonly last upwards of 20,o00 hours with proper maintenance?

If you want you forklift to last longer, regular maintenance is essential. Read on to learn about the best forklift maintenance procedures.

Why Is Forklift Maintenance Important?

Forklift maintenance doesn’t just increase a forklift’s lifespan. It also improves a business that uses forklifts in several ways.

Better Safety

Injured employees can cause a drop in productivity. They may also sue the company for negligence. In addition, malfunctions can damage company equipment and products.

All of these situations can eat into the company’s profits. Proper maintenance will decrease the risk of all these issues occurring.

Improved Production

Constant breakdowns also affect production. This won’t happen if the forklift remains in good operating condition.

What’s the best way to keep a forklift in good condition? It’s to perform regular forklift maintenance and pre-start checks.

Higher Resale Value

Many companies don’t keep their forklifts until they give their last. A good number of them will sell their forklifts a few years after the initial purchase.

Does your company plan to do this? If so, keep your forklifts well-maintained. You’ll get more money for them on the second-hand market if you do.

Less Forklift Repair Service

Another thing that drains your company’s profits is forklift service and repair. Well-maintained forklifts will require fewer repairs. Your company will then save more money.

How Often Is Forklift Maintenance Necessary?

The amount of maintenance a forklift requires depends on a few factors. Older forklifts need more maintenance than younger forklifts. Certain forklift parts need more maintenance than other parts.

You should also keep the following factors in mind:

Frequent Breakdowns

Some forklift parts may break down often. If that’s the case, you should maintain that part often. The same should go for forklifts that break down often.

Maintenance Standards

Experts have recommendations for the amount of maintenance that forklifts should undergo. But some companies perform maintenance more often than that. It all depends on the standards that the company’s higher-ups put in place.

Type of Work

Some projects break forklifts down faster than others. For example, a forklift will break down more often if it constantly travels over rough terrain.

Analyse what your forklifts do. Consider if their jobs require more frequent maintenance. If certain forklifts have tougher jobs, maintain those forklifts more often.

General Tips to Keep in Mind

On top of regular maintenance steps, companies should also take the following steps. These will better the impact that regular maintenance has.

Collision Inspection

Did your forklift have a collision with an object or another forklift? Don’t let it keep operating. Have operators set it aside for a few moments and inspect it for damage.

Maintenance Qualifications

Don’t let just anyone perform maintenance on forklifts. Only licensed operators and technicians should perform this work. They will perform the most effective and proper form of maintenance as per Australian Standards 2359 for material handling equipment. If Workplace Health and Safety inspect your forklift and find no formal documentations from a qualified forklift technician, your company will be liable for all fines, legal matters as a consequence.

Don’t Forget to Clean

Cleaning should be part of regular maintenance as well. Dust and other particles can get into a forklift’s machinery or electrical systems and cause the machine to malfunction. Operators should frequently clean their machines in between operating them.

Get a CMMS

A computerised maintenance management system (CMMS) can be a handy tool. It can process orders, track maintenance costs, schedule device upkeep, and review a device’s maintenance history. Consider getting one for your company to better your maintenance schedule. Eagle Forklifts also offers a free service reminder system based off your forklift make, model, hours used and forklift general condition at inspection for peace of mind to you.

Forklift Maintenance Check-lists

Some forms of maintenance need to be done more or less frequently than others. Your company’s maintenance schedule should reflect this. Every day, week, month, etc. should have a forklift maintenance check-list.

You can look at some examples in the sections below. Your company’s forklift maintenance check-lists can vary from these depending on your company’s wants and needs.

Daily Forklift Maintenance Check-list

Your daily forklift maintenance check-list should consist of quick forklift maintenance steps. Despite the speed, inspecting these items is vital for effective operation. Ask your operators to perform the following daily steps:

  • Inspect the forklift hose connexions
  • Check for damage and deflation on the tyres
  • Test the functionality of seat belts and other safety devices
  • Make sure that the fluid levels are in a safe range
  • Examine the tines and overhead guard
  • Look for any signs of damage
  • See if the decals and inspection stickers are legible
  • Test the brakes, steering and accelerator
  • Move the tines to check how well they function
  • Check the clutch, pedals, and handbrake
  • Operate reverse and forward gears to test functionality
  • Look at the lights, horn, and backup alarm.

Eagle Forklifts offers a complimentary forklift weekly check-list, that can also be used daily to comply with Australian Standards 2359 for material handling equipment, where a daily pre-start check is mandatory for compliance.

Monthly Forklift Maintenance Check-list

Monthly forklift maintenance steps are a bit more thorough. You’ll likely have to set aside a sizable chunk of time to perform these steps.

You may feel a bit annoyed that you have to cut into your company’s productivity time. But if you don’t do this, you’ll likely have to do a lot more to deal with in the long run.

  • Electric forklift battery maintenance
  • Air filter cleaning
  • Adjustment of engine idle speed
  • Oil replacement
  • Lubrication of chassis and mast components
  • Ignition timing adjustment

Your forklift maintenance workers should also inspect the following components:

  • Lift
  • Any cracks
  • Fuel filter
  • Hand brake
  • Pedal free play
  • Carriage rollers
  • Tilt cylinder operation
  • Drive belt tension
  • Mast operation
  • Spark plugs (if they exist)
  • Caps and rotators (if they exist)
  • Distributor point (if it exists)

Need Forklift Servicing and Repairs in Queensland? We’ve got you covered.

Forklifts are expensive investments, just like a car. You should want this investment to be as cost-effective as possible. With regular forklift maintenance, you can ensure that this happens.

Also, if you need forklift service and repair in Brisbane, consider calling us. Our over 100 years of experience should have your forklifts back in good operating condition in no time. Learn more about our services on this page.

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