Is your forklift giving you trouble? As it’s a necessary tool for your business, having problems with your forklift can set back your workday. Forklifts experience wear and tear like any vehicle, and these issues will increase without proper forklift maintenance.

As an operator, you should check your forklift before use daily and know how to troubleshoot and repair common problems. Read on to learn about forklift troubleshooting techniques.

Common Forklift Issues

To begin, let’s get into some forklift issues you can often solve in a few steps. If troubleshooting doesn’t work, then that could mean your machinery needs serious professional servicing.

Won’t Start

If the forklift doesn’t start up at all, you might be out of fuel or have an electrical issue. Check the battery (if it’s electric), change the carburetor, or add more fuel. When you look at the battery, make sure:

  • The casing and terminals have no corrosion
  • The electrolyte level is appropriate
  • The battery is properly connected
  • The battery operates over 80% during a function test

Other potential reasons for not starting include a bad starter, broken wires, or fuel system leaks.

Overheated Engine

As time passes, debris can collect in the radiator and cause the engine to overheat. One way to check for this problem is to use water to clean off dirt and mud from the radiator ports. Be sure not to break the fins as you do so.

If the problem persists, the radiator may be damaged or corroded. In this case, you’ll need to repair or replace it.

Mast Issues

Sometimes, you may experience that the lifting mechanism is not rising or lowering correctly. If this is the case, you may have problems with the hydraulic system. Try replacing the oil seals and the oil filter and repair the cylinder. 

The mast can also fail because of debris in the fuel system, battery issues, or faulty switches. 

How to Tell if a Forklift Needs to Be Repaired

Some signs a forklift needs repairs include:

  • A rough ride due to worn tires
  • Hoses are brittle or cracked
  • Leaks in or under the forklift
  • Smoke is coming from the exhaust system
  • Brakes squeal or lock

The blades are one part of your forklift that needs regular replacement. Uneven forks could cause you to lose control of a load. You’ll know it’s time to replace them if you see cracks or differences in blade heights.

You want to plan for forklift maintenance in advance to keep the problems from building up. Get maintenance done on your vehicle every few thousand working hours, and check your forklift maintenance guide when you have concerns. 

Forklift Maintenance

There are several other problems you may have with your forklift over time. These issues could include steering problems or having lights, alarms, or horns fail. When this happens, you could be looking at expensive repairs that cut into your work.

Keeping your forklift clean is one simple forklift maintenance technique to combat future problems. Another way is to only use quality parts for your vehicle that are durable and long-lasting. 

When you need to service or buy a new forklift, look to Superior Industrial Products. We provide rentals, equipment, parts, and training for forklift use. Check out our top-notch products today.