Forklift maintenance is critical to the safe operation of your equipment. A regular forklift maintenance schedule is one of the best ways to preserve the life of your fleet, maximize uptime, and ensure the safety of your team.
Follow this forklift maintenance checklist to ensure your lift trucks are operating at peak efficiency.
Perform a Visual Check of the Forklift Exterior
A visual inspection of the forklift should be part of your daily maintenance routine.
- Check the oil, fuel and radiator fluid levels
- Check the battery plug to make sure it fits correctly
- Check the front and rear tires for pressure, cuts, chunks or shreds
- Check bolts, nuts and screws to see if any are loose or broken
- Check the carriage teeth of the forklift to ensure they are not broken or chipped
- Check the headlights and warning lights
Perform a Visual Check of the Forklift Interior
After the visual inspection, look inside the forklift for operation-related maintenance needs.
- Check the foot brake, hand brake, parking brake, clutch and gear shift
- Check any lights missed from the first visual check
- Check steering mechanisms, lifting mechanisms, tilting options and forklift cylinders
- Check any obscure or unusual noises when the forklift is on
Perform a Check of the Forklift Engine
After completing your visual checks, it's time to test the engine and prepare the forklift for operation.
- Run the engine to see if there are any coolant or fuel leaks
- Audit all belts under the forklift to see if they are worn or weak
- Adjust the mirror, horns, controls and safety devices as you sit in the forklift
- Change the seat settings so you can comfortably reach the pedals and steering mechanisms
These cover the basic checks you should perform before each shift.It is also important to know when a unit is unsafe or not operating correctly. The OSHA Powered Industrial Truck Standard lists a number of conditions under which a forklift must be removed from service. Stop, park the vehicle and get assistance if anything happens while driving.
Watch out for Potential Hazards
If your forklift needs maintenance, report repair problems to your supervisor and follow your company's procedures. This helps prevent possible hazards, such as:
- Forklift skidding or sliding due to grease, leakage and spills
- Mechanical breakdown due to poor maintenance
- Accidents and injuries due to improperly working equipment
Regular forklift inspection should be part of your fleet maintenance process. This ensures greater productivity and decreased costs over time.