How Often Do I Need To Service My Lift Truck?
There are considerations in scheduling the right time and conditions in servicing your lift truck, especially in the absence of a regular checklist to monitor the servicing of the machine. Yes, forklifts are some, if not the most, reliable and robust machines in the industry today, but they are not exempt from the natural course of things that lead to wear and tear. Plus, a forklift that’s not serviced regularly and thoroughly is more prone to unnecessary costly repairs and replacements that would have easily been prevented if the servicing was given keen attention.
In addition, the longevity of the life span of a forklift may also be dependent on how often you do the service. In fact, the more you maintain the truck, the longer it lasts, probably even decades more than when it is not given service. The regular service gives you good value for the money you have invested in and can justify the extra maintenance budget you put in for your machines.
Optimum performance can also depend on how often the service on the lift truck is done. Regular servicing, repairs, and maintenance affect the machine’s optimum performance mainly because they boost the machine’s strength in tough conditions. You can also expect that if the machine is not performing at its optimum levels, the lack of service maintenance can be the culprit. The minor problems that if not given attention would escalate to serious machine issues, would also be detected during a service check. This ensures that they can be rectified before the forklift can probably crash down in the middle of operations.
How Often Is Machine Service Necessary?
A variety of factors involving intensity, conditions and damage exposure can dictate how often you may need to service your truck. The general guideline across the board, whatever brand of forklift that is, should be every 250 hours or approximately every six months. There are experts that recommend a precautionary or preventive maintenance schedule that should happen about 30 or 90 days to boost safety and productivity score.
In the regular servicing of the forklift, you should make sure to check the following areas of the machine. The first one would have to be whether the chassis is lubricated. Secondly, the air and oil filters have to be changed, too, before the belt and spark plugs are to be inspected if they’re working at their finest conditions. The next step would be to do inspections of the handbrake and oil pumps, as well as doing inspections for the brake booster operations. The last to consider in the service checklist would be the replacement of the engine coolant and the brake fluid in the machine.
Even with the said routine maintenance, there may be times that you will be required to do the needed repairs to bring back the forklift to optimal condition. This implies that you may want to add a routine maintenance program that’s modeled after the instructions set by the manufacturer itself. It must be added that the a maintenance routine-check-up and service will be the strongest indicator that the machine is still in good condition and is safe to use.
When the machine is not safe for operation, it must automatically be taken off from the field of operations. You are advised to stop using it, and even the authorities in the government mandate you to discontinue the machine’s work. But that’s not the end of the story. You may want to get an expert technician to make the repairs your machine needs or to get the damaged parts appropriately replaced. In addition, if you see that the forklift’s welds are broken or even the overhead gauge damaged, or even if the bolts are missing, then that’s a red flag for an immediate change. If a gauge is not functioning properly or if the large pieces of rubber installed in the forklift are missing, that’s another strong indicator that a replacement or complete service repair must be done. Experiencing such problems should not be disregarded and must be given the keenest attention and at the most urgent time possible. Otherwise, they can escalate into more costly repairs or they could be required a total replacement. So get them fixed immediately.
Another thing to remember when servicing your forklift or machine is to only ever get a licensed, certified, trained and/or verified technician or expert in order for your machine to get the most robust design or blueprint of a maintenance program.
The importance of maintenance in relation to productivity increase cannot be overstated. Ensuring safety may look like an expensive endeavor that could cost your company a significant budget that could go elsewhere, but when you just stick to the aforementioned guidelines above in servicing your forklift, you’ll see the extra expense you shell out would tremendously be justified.
As the insurance industry would remind you, you get a lot of buffers or hedge protection just by spending a little money in insurance. The same principle applies here. You pay a bit more when you maintain your forklifts regularly, but as long as you have an expert technician helping you, you’re always going to be on the right track.
When looking for the right technician to serve you, ask them to do an overhaul testing of all areas of your lift trucks. Doing this not only ensures you’re checking that your machine is in top shape, but it can also give you an idea of what part of the machines needs the next best attention.
Taking extra precautions and notes on your batteries, terminals, starters and how long have the forks of the lift trucks have been in operations could also give you an idea of the estimated cost of your service repairs. Ask from a reliable service provider or technician that can do this, or better yet, go directly to the manufacturer itself for a more responsive, trustworthy assessment.