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Forklifts are relatively sturdy machines that are designed to endure a lot of abuse with very little care or maintenance. But most still require a little attention once in a while — especially when it comes to their liquids.
Depending on the model and type of forklift you have, there could be up to eight different types of fluids involved in keeping your vehicle operating at maximum efficiency. Some are simple, such as the distilled water that is poured into forklift batteries. Others are more viscous, like the molybdenum disulfide grease that goes on chassis parts to help them run smoothly.
Regardless of the type, if you don’t pay attention to your forklift’s fluid you may find yourself in hot water.
Common Forklift Fluids
For gas-powered forklifts, the most obvious type of essential fluid is the gasoline or diesel fuel that powers the vehicle. But engines also require motor oil to run efficiently. Like a truck or auto, changing the oil in regular intervals will help prolong the life of your engine and keep your forklift running smoothly.
Forklift transmissions also contain fluid inside the transmission casing. This transmission fluid simultaneously lubricates and cools the many parts and gears that keep your forklift moving. The forklift differential also has gear oil.
Hydraulics use hydraulic oil to lift heavy weights effortlessly. But too much hydraulic oil can be just a harmful for the smooth operation of your forklift as not enough.
Brake lines also use specialized liquids to operate efficiently. In addition to brake fluid, some forklifts also have brake cooling oil to keep brakes from overheating.
We’ve already mentioned the MP grease the keeps chassis parts running smooth. But another type of fluid is the forklift engine coolant. There are two types: Long life coolant for use in cold weather environments or winter operations, and rust-inhibiting coolant for warmer weather use.
Different Forklifts Use Different Fluids
The types of fluids you use in your forklift are going to depend on the model, whether you have an ICE forklift or an electric one, and the recommendations of the vehicle’s manufacturer. Using the wrong fluid can damage your forklift and may even void the warranty or lease agreement.
Make sure to check fluid levels regularly, change things like engine oil, lubricants, and grease according to the recommended schedule, and follow the other maintenance requirements of your vehicle.
Take care of your forklift’s fluids and your forklift will take care of the rest.