Tips on How to Maintain Forklifts in Good Shape
Whatever type of forklift it is, no operator can successfully operate one without knowing first how to regularly maintain and service it. This means that an operator, business owner or owner involved in the forklift industry should at all times know the ins and outs of servicing and maintaining these machines correctly and cost-effectively.
Not only is the knowledge of maintenance keeps the machines at their optimal performance, but it can also require less replacement and prevent unnecessary repairs.
Tips on How to Maintain Forklifts in Good Shape
1. Daily Inspection
The first thing to consider when maintaining a forklift is to daily inspect it before using it in whatever type of operation. Doing this not only ensures safety in operating it but also helps you and your technicians to identify potential problems, such as leaky hoses and faltering brakes. It’s also an OSHA requirement to make sure that these parts are functioning under passing industry standards.
Doing the checks is another way to ensure that the forklift is safe to use for a continuous amount of time, especially if it’s running without intervals or pause. The checks can save time and money because the malfunctions or machine problems can be detected when they’re still minor and have not yet aggravated. Machine problems when overlooked can get costly, but daily maintenance costs so little compared to the high possible returns you get in savings from preventing larger repairs.
To make a seamless plan towards a daily inspection, you can make a standardized checklist similar to the one provided by OSHA and ensure that no area in a forklift is left unchecked. The elements in this checklist to be inspected should include hoses, seat belt function, fluid levels, tire pressure and conditions, brake performance and even the forks and overhead guards.
2. Manufacturer-approved Maintenance Schedule
Good forklift maintenance should run smoothly if it adheres to a fixed schedule that’s designed by the manufacturer itself. No other company understands or is better authorized to do checks than the manufacturer itself, and that’s why their recommendation contains an in-depth inspection or service that must be done with a dictated certain period of time, i.e. oil changes every 3 months. The recommendation could also be made via a certain amount of usage, such as an oil inspection after 250 or 500 hours of use.
The tasks that comprise this regular maintenance schedule may include oil changes, tire conditions, fluid and filter changes, spark plug replacements, brake, and train servicing. The more an operator sticks to the maintenance schedule and the more the schedule is completed on time, the more likely the operator can avoid bigger, sudden and unexpected problems that could cost them time, safety and money.
3. Regular Forklift Check-up
The usual area of a forklift that experiences wear and tear damage would be the tires. Especially when the forklift runs in the same path around the warehouse, forklift tires can deflate, spring leaks or lose their tread. The repetitive motion can also sometimes render just one side of the tires to get worn out. Because tires are some of the most critical areas of the forklift, they require proper maintenance and servicing during daily inspection without delays.
The daily inspection of tires must involve checking the tires’ pressure check and visually examining them to be in good condition and have sufficient tread. In addition, the regulatory OSHA would require forklifts to be always in proper condition and if they’re not, they are mandated to be removed from service. This means the forklifts need to have no missing pieces of rubber, no leaks in their machines and no damaged tires. Immediately after finding the tires are worn out, the operators should get a replacement.
4. Weekly Forklift Clean-up
It may just be simple, but a thorough weekly cleaning does more to your forklift than just making it look aesthetically pleasing. A clean-up is important because it can aid in improving the safety features of the forklift by preventing the build-up of combustible materials, such as a leak on the machine. A clean-up can also prevent blocked radiators and other issues that may compromise the safety and effective operation of the forklift.
Weekly cleaning is the most systematic way of a clean-up and therefore must be part of a forklift maintenance plan. The entire weekly schedule must include blowing the radiator out, wiping the dirty elements down, and changing the filters that have become dirty. Doing this clean-up regularly is not that much of a burden but provides so much protection to keep the forklift in top working condition. This makes the clean-up a wise decision as it reduces the wear and tear on the machine rooted in the buildup of debris and dirt.
5. Treat Issues with Urgency
Daily checks and regular weekly maintenance are a great help, but what help will that be when you always delay the addressing of the problematic issues at hand? This means that you should treat the problems you find in your check-ups with great urgency. For example, when you get unexpected issues relating to the brake becoming soft during the course of the shift, you should address to prevent its tine from bending or breaking during use. Otherwise, this important element can escalate to larger problems and lead to hazardous accidents from happening.
Dealing with small issues that escalate is less costly because it’s more affordable to fix a minor issue than replace the entire engine itself; or worse, purchasing a new forklift. A good example of this is the issue of the neglected leak.
When you ignore it, it can cause extensive damage and can even go so far as disable the functioning of the forklift itself.
This implies that you should encourage your technicians, employees or yourself to deal with any issues as soon as they surface, reminding them to promptly remove the forklifts from operating if they exhibit even minor errors. The repair should be attended to, even if the issue to be addressed is just a strange or loud noise. Calling a licensed technician when this event arises will be a wise move.
6. Sign Up For A Comprehensive Forklift Maintenance Plan Specialist
Sometimes it’s more convenient and even less costly to just let the experts do for you the work they do best. The solution here is to get a forklift preventative maintenance contractor or specialist to help you make the maintenance guide in the most comprehensive method possible. An experienced equipment company can not only make your planning less costly because you won’t be making unnecessary or redundant checks, but it can help you get the peace of mind that your forklifts are being kept at an optimal level of safety and repair.
A good specialist in forklift maintenance would also mean that you never ever have to worry about the qualifications of the technicians because a licensed company can guarantee it for you. You only get top quality service daily, weekly or for how often you would want it. Just make sure that the specialist you get can ensure detailed records and have proof that they can offer the best service in the market.
Forklift maintenance plays an important role in lengthening the life of a forklift. By the daily inspection listed above, the weekly cleaning schedule, and the expert specialist from a professional contractor, you can make sure that your forklift performs at its best, will prevent accidents and improve overall productivity.