Forklift Maintenance Tips to Improve Safety and Performance

There are over 2 million work-related accidents in the United States each year. If you own a small business, one of your main concerns should be educating your employees about safety.

For most production-based businesses, the use of forklifts is a must. These machines making moving heavy objects and loading trucks much easier. While these machines are beneficial, they can also be dangerous if not maintained properly.

Instead of letting forklift maintenance be neglected, you need to work hard to keep these machines running efficiently. Teaching forklift drivers about proper safety and maintenance procedures can be helpful when it comes to reducing work-related accidents.

The following are some of the things you need to consider for keeping your forklifts safe and functional.

Forklift Maintenance is Easy When Reading Over the Manufacturer's Service Schedule

If you are like most business owners, you don't know a great deal about the maintenance that your forklifts require.

One of the best ways to increase your knowledge of this subject is by reading over the owner's manual that cam. Most forklift manufacturers will go into great detail when it comes to the service their machines require to remain functioning at a high level.

Your forklifts will need to be serviced once every 90 days or even every 100 operating hours. By keeping the parts on the forklift serviced, you will have no problem avoiding breakdowns.

Often times, those who ignore the maintenance needs of their forklifts will regret it. A forklift that is not maintained will break down on a regular basis, which means productivity levels will decline. Very often these repairs are very costly.

Developing a Forklift Inspection Checklist is Essential

Your first line of defense when it comes to catching forklift problems early on is your drivers. The people who operate these machines on a daily basis should have intimate knowledge into how they work. Developing a forklift inspection checklist is a great way to discover minor problems before they cause major damage.

Your forklift operators should use this checklist before operating the machine in question. The checklist should include visual inspections of the tires on the forklift, as well as the forks.

Simply hopping on the forklift without checking its condition can lead to many problems. Rather than driving a forklift that is unsafe, the operator needs to be in the habit of performing this type of inspection on a daily basis.

Checking the Hydraulic Elements of the Forklift

Every time a forklift driver raises and lowers the forks on their machine, the hydraulic system has to spring into action. Without a functional hydraulic system, a forklift will be unable to lift and carry heavy objects.

This is why forklift operators will need to check the various elements of the hydraulic system daily. One of the main things a driver needs to pay attention to during this inspection is the condition of the hydraulic hoses.

Over time, these hoses will begin to wear out and may start to leak. As soon as a driver notices problem or wear with the hydraulic hoses, they need to alert their supervisor. Allowing this problem to persist will not only damage the forklift, but it can also cause accidents and injuries.

Keeping the Forklift Clean

Some drivers fail to realize just how important keeping a forklift clean is. If a forklift is covered in dirt and debris, it can lead to overheating. Instead of dealing with the damage this overheating can cause, a driver will need to clean their forklift on a regular basis.

If the cab of the forklift is filled with trash, it can prohibit a driver from using all of the controls. The last thing anyone wants is for their unclean forklift to cause major accidents in the workplace. While cleaning a forklift on a regular basis may be time-consuming, it is well worth the effort.

Maintaining the Forklift's Tires

Being able to bring a forklift to an immediate stop is only possible with proper tire grip. Over time, the tread on a forklift's tires will start to wear out and will have to be replaced. Neglecting to replace these tires can lead to accidents occurring.

Forklift operators should check both the tread on their machine's tires and the tire pressure (if applicable). Underinflated tires will not be able to provide a forklift driver with the stopping power they need.

If the tires on a forklift are consistently losing pressure, then there is probably an issue with leaks. While some tire leaks can be fixed, there will be times when the only way to address this problem is by replacing the tire.

Charging and Changing Forklift Batteries as Needed

One of the main components to keep the forklift running efficiently is a fully charged battery. Failing to maintain and charge these batteries will make it nearly impossible to use a forklift.

You should also have the batteries on your forkliftsload tested on occasion. Generally, drastic changes in the temperature will lead to the cells in these batteries drying out. By load testing the batteries, you can stay one step ahead of a bad battery.

Proper Training is a Must

Another important part of reducing mishaps is properly trained forklift operators. Developing an adequate training program for new drivers will help you assess whether or not they are the right fit for the job.

Regularly testing the skills your forklift drivers have is also important. Keeping your drivers on their toes will help them perform better.

Choosing the Right Forklifts is Easy with Professional Guidance

Proper forklift maintenance will allow you to reduce accidents and increase productivity levels. If you are in need of a forklift but don't have a lot of money to spend, renting one is a good idea. Contact us today to learn more about the forklift rentals we can offer.