Get Forklifts Ready for Summer with Spring Maintenance

The forklift operator should inspect several elements of the lift to ensure safe use.
(Photo courtesy of Bahrns ToyotaLift – Serving Central and Southern Illinois)

For many businesses, things heat up during the summer — both literally and figuratively.

Summer is when operations that have been indoor all winter suddenly move outdoors. It’s when home improvement stores, greenhouses, and other businesses attract the most customers. And it’s when many construction projects go into high gear.

In other words, for a lot of businesses summer also is when their forklifts are busiest. So getting your forklift ready in spring for the busy summer season is critical.

Spring Forklift Maintenance

After a long winter working season, spring is the perfect time to conduct a deep inspection of your vehicles and plan any overhaul or maintenance projects that need to get done prior to the start of summer.

While daily or even per-shift inspections can identify little problems, taking the forklift out of service temporarily to give it a thorough going over may cost you a little productivity in the short run but can save you big in terms of time and money in the long run.

Start at the Beginning

The best place to start is by taking a look at the forklift’s service history. Many maintenance tasks can be done on a quarterly, bi-annually, or annual basis.

Then you want to get your hands dirty and give your forklift a deep inspection, looking at things like the forklift’s battery, its electrical wiring and cables, and spark plugs. Look at the cooling system, including the radiator, hoses, clamps, and cap.

Check the transmission fluid to make sure it is the right color, odor, and is at the right level. Brakes also need to be inspected, taking note of the wear on the pads and cylinders, as well as the brake pedal height and spring.

Engine Overhaul

Spring is when you want to inspect the engine and make all the necessary repairs or maintenance. Inspect the engine thoroughly for leaks, especially the pump, cylinders, hoses, and valves. Look at is air intake system, and look for any signs or wear or corrosion.

Then conduct a thorough inspection of the forks, the mast, and the control panel. Check the tires for wear and pressure. If necessary, lube surfaces that require lubrication.

Get into the forklift and put it through its paces. How does it perform?
What could be improved? Try to push the vehicle to its limits in a safe manner, making sure you have plenty of room and time.

Getting your forklifts ready in spring is important for setting your operation up for success in the summer.

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