Forklift Maintenance For Safety and Operational Optimization
What do you need to do to keep your forklifts functioning well and safely? There are a few steps you should be taking and with the new year about to roll in, now is a good time to assess how the past year went, with regards to safety and check critical areas for improvement.
What Is The Importance of Maintenance?
Forklifts are made of many moving parts. Over time, these parts grind into one another and become worn out, which makes maintenance essential to ensure that the forklift is properly functioning. Keeping up with maintenance has the added benefit of increasing the lifespan that a forklift can be in use. By solving little problems now, you are taking an essential step to preventing big and more costly problems down the line.
Cost Benefit of Maintenance
While maintenance is a cost you need to budget for every year, in the long run, by taking care of routine fixes and rotation you stand to save a lot of money. In fact, fleet maintenance can help to reduce inefficiency. With new technology, we can focus on moving maintenance from being purely reactive to proactively solving problems before they’ve even arisen.
All forklifts should be inspected on an annual basis and some need to be inspected on a more regular basis, like every six months. You will want to employ someone who has the proper qualifications and experience to inspect your forklift, since it will be their job to catch anything you might have missed during your own routine maintenance checks.
Maintenance Tips: What Can You Do?
Let’s quickly cover the easy steps you can incorporate into your routine to ensure proper maintenance of your forklift.
To keep a forklift in its best working condition, it is important to keep it clean, especially as forklifts are often used in dirty workplaces. They should be cleaned with water and flammable cleaning liquids should never be used.
All moving parts should be kept well lubricated, to keep these parts from wearing out faster than necessary. By regularly greasing these areas, you will effectively combat the detrimental effect of friction on moving parts.
Another category of ‘moving parts’ are the tires, which are a key component of a forklift. Check that they are properly inflated before you use the forklift on that day. This is important not only for maintenance, but also for the safe use of heavy lifting equipment.
Always ensure that engine fluids are at the appropriate level for the machinery you are operating. Some fluids you should check are the motor oil, coolants, hydraulic fluid and the transmission fluid. If the forklift is in regular use you don’t have to check it daily, but it is a good idea to come up with a schedule for how often you will check the fluids so that you don’t forget.
When you are performing a maintenance check, make sure that the various gauges on the dashboard of your forklift are working properly. If a light is out, get it fixed as it can provide you an important warning before a bigger problem may happen.
By taking good care of your equipment you are ensuring that it can take good care of you. Not only will you increase its lifespan, you will also ensure that you can use this equipment to its full potential and avoid unnecessary repairs or dangerous situations.
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