In 1917, the predecessor to the forklift was known as the Tructractor. A little over 100 years later, forklift design has come a long way, with rechargeable batteries, elevated masts, and other new features. And as forklift design has improved, so has forklift maintenance.
If you want your heavy equipment to last, you need to maintain it well. No matter how durable a forklift seems, it’s only as good as its caretakers. And with the right forklift maintenance know-how, you can keep an old forklift running like new for many years.
Wondering how to properly maintain your reliable forklift? We’ve got you covered. Here’s what you should know about forklift maintenance and equipment repair.
Make a Schedule
The best way to start on forklift maintenance is with a maintenance schedule. This schedule will keep things organized and on track, even if multiple people are helping with maintenance.
This schedule can break things down into daily, weekly, monthly, semi-yearly, and yearly maintenance needs. Whenever someone performs a maintenance task, they can check it off the list. Then, everyone else on the team will know what still needs to be done.
Don’t Forget the Battery
Maintaining the battery is an aspect of forklift maintenance that’s easy to overlook. However, a well-maintained battery will keep the whole machine running longer.
A schedule for charging the battery will keep the battery working like new. In general, it’s best to charge it every eight hours, or anytime it’s less than a third of the way charged.
Also, just like with a cell phone, make sure not to keep the battery charging once it’s fully charged. Leaving it on the charger may wear it out sooner.
Finally, read the warranty for other forklift battery maintenance instructions.
Cleanliness is Part of Maintenance
A clean forklift is a well-maintained forklift. While there’s more to maintenance than keeping the machine clean, it’s all too easy to neglect cleaning in a maintenance schedule.
A dirty forklift may get a buildup of flammable materials, blocking important vents and otherwise rendering it unsafe. Make sure to wipe down the forklift weekly, clean the radiator, and change filters as needed. These steps will also help your machine last longer, since it won’t go through so much wear.
Keep the Tires Healthy
It’s also easy to forget about the tires during maintenance. However, properly inflated tires make a forklift safer, help it last longer, and save on gas.
If the tires aren’t inflated enough, the forklift might lose traction. But an overinflated tire can easily blow out. Check the tires as part of your weekly forklift maintenance plan, using a tire gauge.
Don’t Delay: Start Forklift Maintenance Today
The sooner you get started on a forklift maintenance plan, the sooner you can start saving money on repairs and replacements. Plus, maintenance reduces the chances of an accident, so don’t let it slip your mind.
However, maintenance is just one piece of the safety puzzle. It’s equally important to have your employees take the right forklift training courses so they can do their jobs safely.
Not sure where to find forklift training? We can help—find out more about what we offer here.