In many warehouses and industrial facilities, forklifts are used to transfer heavy loads to make the operations more efficient.  It saves the business time and money, but it must also be kept in good working condition to avoid problems in the future.  Minor issues in the equipment, if neglected, can eventually disrupt operations and threaten the safety of both the goods in the warehouse and the warehouse staff themselves.

Like every machine that is regularly used, there will also be wear and tear on the various mechanical parts of the forklift, particularly the moving parts. This is why you should keep your forklift running in top shape by conducting regular preventive maintenance and servicing.

The cost to your business of having a faulty forklift is not just about the expense of repairing the machine, you should also consider the time it will take to get the replacement parts you need during which the forklift cannot be used, as well as the risks involved from accidents caused by a faulty, neglected machine.  A reliable well-maintained machine will help you avoid breakdowns and unnecessary downtime that can affect your business operations, while also preventing you from spending more for forklift repairs on the gold coast.

To keep a machine functioning properly, you should have an inspection and maintenance program in place.  It is also a good practice to inspect it daily before initial operations, identify potential problems that may arise, and ensure that it is safe to operate for the shift or day.


Here are basic but crucial steps you can do to keep your forklift in good condition:

 1. Inspect the tires

This is a simple but sometimes neglected step in proper forklift maintenance. If your tires use air, check them weekly using a gauge and make sure that they are kept at the right air pressure. Under-inflated air tires could lose their grip on the ground and cause accidents, while over-inflated tires could suddenly blow up and make your forklift unusable.  For solid rubber tires, check for any gashes that could cause imbalance, which could then lead to damages to the goods loaded on the forklift.


 2. Test the brakes

Inspect your brakes and observe carefully for any irregularity such as delayed reactions or difficulty in pressing on the brake pedal. These are indications that something is wrong, and you need to address this immediately.  If you need to replace parts like the brake pads or calipers, have it done right away before it leads to serious consequences and threatens the safety of the workers or the goods in the warehouse.


3. Change the fluids and check for leaks

As with other vehicles, forklifts also use different kinds of fluids like motor oil, coolant, transmission fluid, and hydraulic fluid to make the engine and other working parts function properly. Each fluid has a specific function, and if any of them is insufficient or substandard, it may affect the performance of your forklift.  Check the levels of each fluid, and get them changed regularly to ensure full function capacity and help you keep your forklift running for a long time.

If you notice that fluids are constantly on low levels, check around for leaks and get them fixed.  Leaks can not only cause your forklift to malfunction or overheat, the spilled oil on the floor of your warehouse is also a safety hazard and can cause accidents to happen in the warehouse.


4. Keep the parts lubricated

To make the moving parts shift smoothly and prevent friction, grease is applied to the joints and fittings, ensuringthey will glide fluidly while in motion. Dried-out parts will lead to abrasion, which can then damage or affect the performance of the forklift. As part of your regular maintenance, keep the joints and fittings well lubricated and make sure to replace ball bearings that are worn out.


5. Look at the antifreeze levels

The antifreeze levels in the reservoir of your forklift should also be part of your routine inspections. The antifreeze or coolant works to prevent the engine of your forklift from overheating or freezing, as well as to fend off corrosion. There should be an equal ratio of water and antifreeze in the reservoir as a higher concentration can instead damage the engine of the forklift and lead to other problems.

Having minimal or zero levels of antifreeze would cause several incidents of overheating, and it can happen at any time, even in the middle of heavy operations. To prevent this from happening, check the reservoir and radiation for possible leaks that would reduce the levels in the antifreeze. If found, plug the leak immediately or replace the radiator.


6. Check the gauge

Lastly, always pay attention to the gauges and lights which are located on the instrument panel of the forklift.  These gauges and lights will give you an indication if a part of the forklift is malfunctioning so you can have it fixed right away, saving you from more expensive repairs in the future.


Do these six steps regularly and save yourself from future problems while ensuring that you get to use your forklift for a longer time.