Forklift Maintenance

When it comes to forklift maintenance, which procedures should you be doing to protect your forklift and how often should you be conducting them?

  • It is important to recognize that forklift maintenance is a regular affair and conducting it should simply be viewed as part of the job-a necessity.
  • An often overlooked fact among forklift newbies, is that when assessing whether it is time for repairs you should not be relying on the amount of miles you’ve traveled with your truck (the way you would with a road vehicle), but instead on the number of hours since it has last been serviced.  For optimal performance, you should have your forklift serviced every 200 hours.
  • One of the benefits of forklifts over road vehicles is that they have a relatively long lifespan.  However, eventually they will crack or begin to dislodge; when this happens, you know that the tires need to be replaced.  One important aspect to note is that unlike with your car, you should always replace the tires all at once.
  • In addition to getting your forklift repaired or replacing your tires, there are many minor maintenance steps you should take every time you operate the vehicle.  One of the most essential is to check your hydraulic fluids and change your filters with high frequency.  Check the head lights and warning lights—this is especially important if you know there’s a chance that you’ll be riding at night.
  • Check to see if there are any bolts, nuts, or screws that are loose or have broken.  This requires a strong knowledge of your vehicle!  Remember that you should have a clear mental picture of how your forklift should look.
  • Just as you have a checklist of procedures you need to complete before operating your forklift, there are also steps you need to take after using it.  If you share your forklift with someone else, make sure that the seat setting is adjusted so that it is ready for the next person.  Also, make sure to check for any fluid leaks involving coolant, fuel, etc.

This maintenance checklist might seem like a lot, but it really is simple and after it becomes part of your muscle memory, it will become second nature.  You wouldn’t treat any other responsibility lightly, so treat your maintenance with the diligence it requires.

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