Tips for Repairing Your Forklift

(Courtesy: Ken Pretell at

(Courtesy: Ken Pretell at

A forklift that is broken down is more than just an inconvenience. It also could cost your business money in lost productivity and downtime — not to mention parts and repairs.

Breakdowns are something nobody likes but just about everybody experiences at some point or another. Sometimes forklifts break down due to normal wear and tear. Parts wear out. Equipment gets stressed through repeated use over time and sooner or later something fails.

In other instances, breakdowns can result from failure to provide adequate maintenance, operator carelessness, or as a result of an accident or collision.

Before You Order New Parts

As a business owners, you generally want to get your forklift repaired and back in service as quickly as possible. After all, the sooner you can get the vehicle back on the warehouse or factory floor, the sooner it can start paying for itself by adding to the business’s bottom line.

But there are a couple of things to consider before you repair your forklift. The first is whether or not you own or lease the vehicle.

If you lease the vehicle, the burden of the fixing it may fall on the actual owner, not your business. Depending on the terms of your lease agreement, you may be able to contact the company that you leased the forklift from and have them come out and repair it. In some cases, they may even be obligated to provide you with a replacement vehicle until the repairs can be made — as long as the breakdown isn’t caused by operator misuse or anything else that would fall under your responsibility.

Is It Under Warranty?

Another consideration is if the vehicle is still under warranty. If you are the owner of the vehicle and the breakdown occurred while the vehicle is still protected by its original manufacturer’s warranty, you probably need to call the place where you bought the forklift and have them tell you what you need to do to get it fixed.

In some cases, the manufacturer may send a repair person to your business to make the repairs. Or they may send a flatbed to haul the forklift to a qualified repair shop so that it can be brought back into operational service.

Once again, you should carefully read the terms of the warranty. In some instances, the manufacturer may be required to provide you with another vehicle while the repairs are being made. Or they may even need to provide you with an entirely new forklift if the original one is totaled and it’s due to something they are responsible for.

Fixing It Yourself

If you own the forklift and the warranty has expired, you may be responsible for its repairs. If you have qualified mechanics who are familiar with fixing forklifts, they can go ahead and order the parts and equipment you need. In some cases, this could include special tools.

If your in-house workers aren’t familiar with forklift repair, you probably will need to farm out the job to a qualified mechanic. If you don’t know where to look for one, your first call probably should be to the place where you purchased the forklift originally.


About Dan M