Brake Maintenance

We all know that forklifts are incredibly dangerous vehicles, and brake maintenance is one of the most essential aspects of proper safety practice. When you consider that many forklifts weigh roughly three times as much as road vehicles, the effects of poorly maintained brakes can grow disastrous in a hurry. This weight also makes it so that lifting the forklift is incredibly difficult on your own, making it especially important that you have an actual specialist perform your brake maintenance procedures. Forklift brake maintenance is tricky due to the fact that there are so many components to the brake system. The system includes the brake pedal, master cylinder, wheel brakes and tubing. In the past, we’ve discussed the need to chock your wheels, as well as the importance of leaving a healthy braking distance between your forklift and the vehicle in front of you. Here, we review why some more essential aspects of forklift brake maintenance, including brake pedal height and the need to regularly reline your brake shoes.


Keep Brakes in Good Working Order

How should your brakes feel?

Whenever discussing brake maintenance, it is helpful to first consider how your brakes should feel and behave. Inspecting your forklift brakes is an incredibly easy procedure, and you really just need to press down on the brakes. In fact, healthy brakes should function relatively similar to how your brakes should handle on your road vehicle. In both cases, you want to feel resistance. You should not need to press down on the floor for your brakes to work. There should not be any squeaking, and only highly qualified technicians should be allowed to repair brakes.

Monitor brake pedal height

Monitoring brake pedal height is a major concern for any forklift operator and should be done with great regularity. Before the summer gets into full swing, have your brake pedal height inspected. The pedal should hold firmly, allowing you to fluidly come to a complete stop. When inspecting the brake pedal height, also make sure that  you (or the inspector) take a look at the inching pedal.

Reline brake shoes

Relining brake shoes is another crucial brake maintenance procedure. If you don’t replace them on a regular basis, the metal will collide with the drum, resulting in a loud sound. Relining your brake shoes will keep your forklift sounding smooth and calm.

Brake maintenance is an important component of proper brake handling. Just as it is important to chock your wheels and use your parking brake, you also need to have your brake pedal height monitored and your brake shoes relined on a regular basis. The dangers of improper brake maintenance are immense, so protect yourself and those around you by keeping your brakes in good working order.

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