Taking care of your forklifts makes sense whether you only have one forklift or a fleet of one hundred. If you ensure that you get the maximum lifespan out of your forklifts, it will result in massive savings for your company. However, while it makes sense to get the maximum lifespan out of your forklift, it needs to be kept in line with maintenance costs. Keeping a forklift running longer than it should will result in costly maintenance and increased downtime. So, the key is to get the optimal lifespan out of your forklift before retiring it for a new model.
Below are some great tips to help you get the optimum amount of hours out of your forklift.
Keep all moving parts well lubricated
You will find that the majority of the moving joints or parts in a forklift are greased. The grease is used to prevent the negative effects of friction on these parts. To increase the lifespan of these parts you need to always ensure that they are well lubricated by doing regular checks.
Check fluid levels regularly
Always ensure that your fluid levels are checked on a daily basis. A few of the liquids you need to check are: Hydraulic Fluid, Brake Fluid, Engine Oil Coolant, Battery and Fuel levels. These items should be checked on a daily basis.
Ensure your forklift battery is charged correctly
By charging your battery correctly, making sure it’s equalized, checking fluid levels and performing other checks, you can get much more life out of one battery. When you have a fleet, this can equate to huge savings over the long run.
Keep the forklift gauges functioning properly
It may seem like a small element, but by checking and ensuring that all the gauges on the forklift are in excellent working condition you can eliminate the risk of running into all kinds of maintenance problems. Faulty gauges, even those just slightly off can cause major maintenance issues.
Keep forklift tyres and rims in good shape
Check your brakes
Your brakes need to be checked regularly to ensure that they are in good working order. Bad brakes can easily lead to accidents, which damage the forklift or (even worse) other people.
With a forklift you need to change the oil just as you would need to with your car. By changing the oil, you will ensure that you get the best Fuel Consumption, optimum performance and that you prevent many engine issues. Oil changes should take place during servicing, which should occur every 500 hours.
Use genuine parts
Generic or cheaper parts will almost always not work as well or last as long as genuine parts. Always opt for genuine parts and you will save money in the long run.
Ensure drivers are trained
Drivers who are properly trained and qualified are equipped with the right skills to operate a forklift efficiently and effectively. Training helps teach drivers how to increase fuel efficiency and how to prevent many common forklift mishaps from happening.
Load test your forklift annually
An annual Load Test is not only mandatory in South Africa, but Absolutely Essential if you want to make sure that your forklift is thoroughly checked and tested for any issues. A forklift must not be operated if it doesn’t have a valid load test. Loading testing occurs every 12 months with an inspection, by a competent person, occurring every 6 months.
Use the correct forklift for the application
Always use the right type of forklift for the right job. Be aware of the surface you need to operate on, the weight you need to lift and the height you need to lift it to. Rather opt for the correct forklift instead of the nearest or most convenient forklift.
The best solution is to make sure you have a full maintenance contract in place with your forklift supplier, where the supplier assists you with all the above recommendations. The above tips are just a few things to keep in mind if you want to get the most out of your forklift.