Just like any machine, vehicle or piece of equipment – forklifts are no exception to needing regular maintenance/service/repairs. Today we will go over a few forklift service tips that can help you maximize productivity for your warehouse operations and forklift and save you money. Following the manufacturer's suggested maintenance schedule coupled with daily operator inspections can help to prolong the lifespan of your forklift. Here are some suggested forklift service tips to keep your equipment in great shape and maximize the return on your investment:
1 – Daily operator inspection
Setting up an inspection check list for the forklift operator can realize cost savings. These check lists can include checking the forklift from stem to stern. These lists can include but are not limited to lights, wheels/tires, control panels, fluids, hoses, coolant, mirrors, oil, brakes, steering mechanism, battery, forks, filters, safety harnesses, seat belts, dead mans switch, safety devices, etc. Any visual or mechanical issues that are noted should be reported immediately, and subsequently fixed/addressed. Do not leave for the next guy, if something is wrong speak up!
2 – Licensed/Certified operators only
Properly trained, certified and licensed forklift operators should be a given. Utilizing untrained/unlicensed/uncertified operators can open a literal can of worms. Not only is it detrimental to the safety of the person operating the machine – it can be just as detrimental or worse for others in and around the area of that forklift. Building damage, product breakage or harming people can be a real concern if the operator is licensed to operate that forklift. Think lawsuit big time!
3 – Tires, tires, and tires
Check the tires, see Daily operator inspection above. Look for visible wear. Proper tire pressure (on air filled tires) can potentially stop accidents from occurring, ensure smooth conveyance, and maximize fuel economy. Damaged air filled tires need to be changed immediately. Under and over inflated tires each present issues in and of themselves. Solid rubber tires need to be free from gashed, gouges, slashes, cuts, punctures, obvious wear. If the solid rubber tire is damaged, replace it right of away. Safety is job one!
4 – Regularly scheduled service
By servicing your forklift at the manufacturer's recommended service interval your equipment will be properly maintained. If you need a replacement factory service manual, you can obtain one here. Keeping your forklift in good working order will keep your warehouse operations moving with minimal downtime and maximum up time. Be sure all parties involved with the operation of your forklift reads and understands the operator manual. Not servicing your forklift can lead to shorter life expectancy of your investment, whilst potentially being more unsafe. Service it when it needs to be serviced.
5 – Brakes, brakes and brakes
Check the brakes, see Daily operator inspection above, too. Visually inspecting the brake pads and callipers is required. Look for weeping, brittle or cracking hydraulic brake hoses/lines. If it becomes harder and more difficult to stop your forklift, get it checked immediately. Pretending the brakes are fine or leaving it for the next guy can lead to deadly consequences. A forklift that does not stop properly is not a safe forklift.
Taking the time to operate your forklift safely will give you a healthy ROI.