Managing Forklift Heat

Heat is a forklift killer. It leads to increased engine wear, part failure, and expensive repairs. Making sure your equipment stays cool is vital to increasing its longevity and improving your productivity. If you have a regular maintenance program performed by trained professionals for your forklifts, it’s likely that your cooling systems are already functioning fine. In spite of this, one misstep could result in costly repairs. Here are the things to be aware of.

Use Proper Engine Coolant, Not Water
Water in coolant systems is occasionally used as a very short-term patch, but it can lead to long-term engine damage. Water boils at a lower temperature than engine coolant, leading to your engine running at a higher temperature and increasing its wear.

Replace Hoses Early
While it can be tempting to use a hose without visible damage beyond the manufacturer’s recommended replacement date, you cannot see the wear on the inside and it could fail at any time. Hose failure and the resulting spill can be hazardous for the machine and your employees.

Maintain Pressure
Your coolant system is pressurized to raise the boiling point of the coolant. Radiator caps keep this pressure up in your system, and when they fail they can lead to coolant boiling out at normal operating temperatures, often causing employees to incorrectly believe that the machine is overheating. Make sure there is nothing wrong with the radiator cap to avoid this.

Maintain Engine Belts
An engine’s fan belt creates air movement over the engine while driving coolant throughout the engine. Worn belts reduce the flow of air and coolant, increasing the operating temperature and damage being done to your damage. A broken belt can result in immediate overheating and engine damage.

Regularly Inspect Engine Fan
The fan is an important part that removes surface heat from your engine. A cracked or damaged fan can reduce its ability to perform, leading to an increased operating temperature and engine damage. It should be replaced at intervals recommended by the manufacturer. Heavier fans can also increase operating temperature as they require more energy to run properly.

Replace Engine Coolant
Like oil or bananas, engine coolant has a maximum shelf life, and after that it’s no good. Make sure you replace your engine coolant regularly as needed for your use. This is often different than what the engine coolant recommends and should be tailored to your application.

Still feeling lost? Want to setup a regular maintenance service by highly-qualified professionals for your forklifts? Call today and talk to one of our specialists at (856) 767-2122.

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