Forklifts are similar to other kinds of machines or motor vehicles. Even if they never leave your warehouse, there are things you can do to make sure they experience a longer lifespan. By keeping up with the proper maintenance of your forklift, you can also keep it running at its optimum performance level. The less downtime you experience with your forklifts, the more productive your business will be.
The good news about forklift maintenance is that it is not all that complicated. Forklift equipment specialists recommend the following steps be taken to avoid needing expensive forklift repair services:
1. Make and stick to a schedule to check and change the oil every 90 days. In the same way that you check and change the oil in your car or truck, you need to check and change the oil used by your forklift. By changing the oil in a forklift on a regular basis, you can keep it running well and for longer. When the oil is changed about every 90 days, you will also notice that the fuel efficiency goes up. Sticking to this schedule will also improve the forklift's overall performance and head off any problems with the combustion. When the forklifts in your warehouse are neglected and the oil is not checked and changed, a host of problems can pop up. You can end up with corrosion in the engine, problems in the catalytic converter, and a sludge buildup that will prevent the unit from working properly.
2. Change out other fluids when you do the oil. When you are working on the oil in your forklifts, you should take this time to check and change the brake fluids, hydraulic fluids as well as all others used by your forklift.
3. Keep an eye on the tires. Again, your car's tires need to be looked after and so do the tires on your forklift. You can prevent accidents in your warehouse by keeping the pressure in your forklift's tires at the right level. When tires are under-inflated, you can have poor traction and that can lead to accidents. Over-inflated tires can actually blow out. Both will cause you to not be able to use your forklift. If your tires are not inflated properly, you will also lower your forklift's fuel efficiency. People with forklift equipment expertise recommend checking the tire pressure at least once a week.
4. Do not neglect the brakes. Your forklift's brakes need attention, too. Just because your forklift is only driven around your warehouse does not mean the brakes can be ignored. Brake problems on forklifts can cause very serious problems. If and when you see there are problems, you should fix them as soon as possible. Change out the calipers and brake pads as often as needed to prevent accidents in your warehouse. Just because the fastest your forklift can go is eight miles an hour does not mean you cannot have a bad accident if the brakes go.
5. Keep the forklift's moving part in good shape with grease. To keep the moving parts on your forklift healthy and happy, you will need to add grease on a regular basis. The consequences of inaction in this area can be dire. The last thing you want is friction on your forklift, which is what happens when moving parts are not properly lubricated. Ball bearings should also be replaced as needed.
6. Keep the battery in good shape. To get the most from your forklift, you will need to make sure its battery is healthy and happy. The best way to do that is to keep a schedule for recharging it. You have only so many times that the machine's battery can be recharged so you really need to keep that in mind. Many companies find success by recharging the batteries after every eight-hour shift. This should also be done when the battery gets to under 30% full. You should also use a battery cleaner to keep them clean.
If you use a forklift in and around your warehouse, you want to keep it working as well as possible for as long as possible. Theses forklift maintenance tips and tricks should help you do just that.