Forklifts are one of the most widely used pieces of heavy equipment, found everywhere from the largest-scale construction sites to small warehouses. They handle a lot of the grunt work of moving all sorts of loads around. Preventive maintenance for forklifts is crucial to keeping them operating productively and safely for as long as possible.
Basic preventive maintenance for machines involves regularly checking them out, keeping components clean, and promptly addressing any concerns. This helps keep them working at full power and efficiency, confirms that safety mechanisms and features are functioning, minimizes downtime, and heads off more costly repairs and part replacements. Ultimately, it extends the life of forklifts and other machines, reducing equipment costs.
So it’s well worth the effort of staying on top of preventive maintenance for forklifts. Properly cared for, a high-quality forklift will serve you well for many years.
Tackling Preventive Maintenance for Forklifts
- Stick closely to the cleaning and maintenance steps and schedules recommended by the OEM in the owner’s manual
- Don’t exceed the forklift’s official lift capacity, as this causes undue wear and damage, and it can also cause tips, spills, and other forklift safety concerns
- Conduct a thorough pre- and post-operation inspection whenever the forklift is used, looking for visible damage and checking things like hoses, cylinders, belts, tires, brakes, fluid levels, forks, overhead guards, safety features, cabin controls, hood latch security, etc.
- Confirm that the forks are straight to preserve load stability, and inspect top clip retaining pins and heels
- Pay close attention to your forklift tires’ pressure and condition, especially with machines that regularly run the same path, as these are highly susceptible to uneven wear; tire issues can easily cause poor turning, load shifts, reduced fuel efficiency, and other concerns
- Clean forklifts weekly, including washing the exterior down with water, blowing out the radiator, and replacing dirty filters to prevent flammable buildup, a blocked radiator, and other problems
- Have a proactive fluid management process in place for all forklifts
- Make sure moving forklift parts are greased to avoid unnecessary friction, wear, and diminished performance
- Replace worn-out ball bearings as needed to keep the lift operating smoothly and efficiently
- Charge and clean the forklift battery as instructed in the owner’s manual