Keeping your forklift in good condition is vital for continued performance. When you’re working on a project, the last thing you want is for equipment to give out and stop functioning properly. Preventative maintenance for your forklift can go a long way toward keeping your machine running and resistant to routine wear-and-tear. Once your forklift completely breaks down, the repair and maintenance costs can skyrocket—don’t wait until it’s too late. Here are some helpful forklift maintenance tips for your machinery and forklift tires.
- Check the Tires: Keeping your forklift tires in good working order leads to a myriad of safety benefits as well as increases in efficiency. If you let your tires deflate without replenishing them, you run the risk of operating a vehicle with poor traction and shortening your tire’s lifespan. Choosing the right tires for your forklift is also crucial— both air-filled or pneumatic tires have different benefits depending on what terrain and location your project takes place on. Air-filled cushion tires work great indoors, while pneumatic tires are solid and prevent punctures while working in rougher terrain like lumber yards. (INSERT BLOG ABOUT TIRES)
- Check the Brakes: The harder you have to push to engage your breaks, the more likely it is that you’re dealing with faulty brakes. Changing your brake pads and calipers can seem tedious, but it could make the difference between causing an accident and keeping your project on schedule. Poorly functioning brakes can have disastrous consequences, so make sure you’re always taking stock of how well your brakes are working and how hard you have to press with your feet for them to work properly.
- Make Sure Everything Moves Correctly: While forklifts may move slowly, there are still a lot of moving parts that need to be greased for optimal range of motion. During your daily check for forklift maintenance (which you should do if you don’t already), make sure all of the parts are well lubricated. Think of it as stretching before a game—you want to make sure your forklift can enjoy a full range of motion for optimal performance.
- Check the Oil: This step is much easier to adhere to when you have a regular maintenance program in place. A forklift requires hydraulic fluids, transmission fluids, motor oil, and coolants to all be properly maintained and reapplied for optimal performance. Make sure you’re extending your forklift’s lifespan as long as possible by consistently checking the fluid levels for every part of your machine.
- Address Issues as Quickly as Possible: Preventative maintenance may seem unnecessary at times—it’s difficult to be as thorough as possible when everything’s already working well and functioning properly. But think of it this way: is it easier to lose five pounds, or 50? Preventative forklift maintenance allows you the opportunity to deal with issues in a timely manner without having to annihilate your budget in one fell swoop. Staying in front of potential pitfalls and roadblocks is the difference between completing a project on-time and on-budget or falling behind and disappointing your client. If you don’t adhere to a diligent forklift maintenance plan, you’re putting every project in jeopardy and risking the health and safety of the forklift operator as well as everyone else onsite.
No matter what type of forklift you use, make sure that you’re taking the time to certify and train your team for how to properly maintain your equipment. It may seem like a pain when everything’s working as it should, but we guarantee that you’ll be prepared for any curveball your forklift might throw your way when things go south.