Introduction to Preventative Forklift Maintenance

Simple forklift checks to improve operational efficiency and decrease downtime.

Forklifts are built tough. They have to be for the kind of work they do. Despite their reputation of being rugged and reliable machines, you still have to look after them if you want it to last.

If you regularly perform regular maintenance on your forklift, you’re going to keep it running at an optimal level and come across any minor issues that can be rectified before they become much bigger and costly problems.

If that’s not a selling point, then this is – maintaining saves you money, not only in expensive repairs, but time lost due to a forklift that is malfunctioning.

If you regularly use a forklift for your business, then read on! In this blog we are going to look at schedules and tips relating to preventative forklift maintenance.

Make an assessment

Before starting a maintenance schedule, you need to determine how often you need to check the unit. While manufacturers will stipulate time frames for this to be done, you should only take that as a recommendation as it might not be appropriate for your situation.

In fact, your forklift may need to be inspected more regularly than what is recommended for a range of factors that include:

  • Age, condition and value
  • How often it is used
  • Susceptibility to wear, damage and getting out of adjustment
  • Service record

Make an assessment based on an analysis of the equipment.

Keep it clean

One of the easiest ways to keep your forklift running well is simply to clean it. You can imagine all the junk that it gets from day to day operations. It’s not surprising that it’s the biggest cause of forklift downtime.


General Maintenance Tips

It may be obvious, but it’s worth pointing out that any maintenance or repair work done on a forklift should only be carried out by someone who is qualified, this is especially relevant if parts or tyres need to be replaced.

Ensure gauges on the forklift are working at all times. Also check that all moving parts are well lubricated (this is best done right after a clean) and that the forklift is charged or fuelled. You should lubricate your forklift in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions, being mindful only to use quality lubricant. If applied at the recommended amounts, it will help all the moving parts move with ease and reduce wear

Book it in

Forklift manufacturers will recommend that new forklifts get a service done every 250 hours of operation. However, this figure will be influenced by work conditions. If your unit is not used a great deal, it’s best to get a safety check every 3-6 months.

When choosing a forklift mechanic, make sure they offer a logbook service. This is valuable because it gives you a history of the maintenance performed and repairs completed so you know exactly where your money is going. It also highlights any reoccurring issues.

As you see, preventative forklift maintenance isn’t hard and the benefits in terms of both money and time should encourage you to make it a regular part of your work practice.