Why You Should Repair a Damaged Forklift Immediately

A damaged forklift can pose a considerable safety risk. While also increasing the amount of repair work required as the broken part creates more damage.

A forklift truck is a dangerous piece of industrial machinery. Every year, up to 100 people are killed in forklift-related accidents. An additional 20,000 have accidents where they are seriously injured. 

Do you have a damaged forklift that might be a safety risk? If you don't have a sense of urgency about getting it repaired perhaps you don't understand the risks. Read on to learn why repairing a damaged forklift immediately is the right thing to do.

Fire Risk

If the damage from your forklift truck has resulted in an oil or hydraulic fluid leak, this may represent a fire risk. Oil and hydraulic fluid are combustible.

If oil or hydraulic fluid gets on to other materials it can turn a low fire risk into a high one. Paper, cardboard, and other materials can easily catch fire with consequences for property and life.

Slip Hazards

An oil leak can quickly become a slip hazard. A pool of oil on a warehouse floor, especially in an area where people walk, can get on to people's footwear. The result can be slips and associated injuries.

The injuries from slips are not necessarily trivial. Many accidents result in serious injuries and even death.

If the oil leak is a continuous one and the forklift is still in operation, the leaking oil spreads all over the area of operation. This makes the hazard widespread. Take the forklift truck out of service and fix the leak.

Nip it in the Bud

Be aware that damage to a forklift truck could develop into a bigger problem later. A small amount of damage can hide a much greater problem.

An example of this is a simple oil leak. This may seem trivial, especially if the forklift truck seems to be operating normally. An oil leak could indicate a much greater problem or lead to a greater problem in time.

Oil from the transmission prevents overheating from friction. Lost oil will eventually lead to more damage and even failure. Better to resolve the problem as soon as you are aware of an oil leak than to have to resolve a much more serious mechanical failure later.

Damage Your Products

Some types of damage to a forklift truck can result in harm to the materials that are being handled. For example, damage to the forks could lead to a failure of the forks. This could result in dropping or damaging the load.

Increase Your Costs

The best way to prevent high repair costs is to do routine preventative maintenance. This keeps the forklift truck in good working order and stops faults from developing. This is a good opportunity to identify and act on small examples of damage.

In the long term, this maintenance will stop large problems from developing. Larger maintenance issues are generally more expensive.

Return on Investment

A forklift truck is a big capital cost. It's important to get the best return on such a big investment. That return is maximized when the forklift truck remains operational and has a long life.

Conducting repairs promptly and effectively keeps the forklift truck operational and extends its life. The result is long term effective operation and returns on investment.

Opportunity Costs

A forklift truck that is not operating may not be earning its keep but is it a cost too? Any costs associated with financing and operating a forklift truck are costs that are born by the truck whether it is working or not.

If the purchase of the forklift truck is financed by a loan, any time the truck is not in use still costs you money. If the forklift truck is leased, it is costing money even if it is standing idle or operating at less than full capacity. If the forklift truck's maintenance is covered by a service contract, the cost of that contract applies even when the truck is not serviceable.

For all these reasons you should fix a damaged forklift truck so that it can operate at full capacity.

Quality Matters

The work environment and especially the maintenance level of the workplace sets the tone for attitudes in that workplace. If you maintain your workplace to a high standard and equipment is well maintained, then the atmosphere is one of quality and care.

Is your business one that cares about quality? Perhaps this is part of the message you communicate to your customers. If you expect to deliver that throughout your operation, you must establish and maintain a quality culture throughout your operations.

If damage to a forklift truck is overlooked, it's easy to let other standards slip. Perhaps damage to your goods become more accepted. The result is falling standards of customer service, reputational damage, and ultimately a drop in profitable sales.

Safety Culture

Safe forklift truck use is best maintained when there is a culture of safety. This is when there is a widespread concern, among everybody in the workplace, for safety.

Damage to equipment is often associated with a safety concern. It may be that the damage occurred because of poor driving.

Poor driving is unsafe. Investigate any damage of this sort and take action to prevent any further accidents.

Damage to a truck is not acceptable. An accident that damages a truck is as likely to damage a person. A proper investigation could result in training for forklift truck operators, improved safety procedures, or discipline for drivers who don't show the correct care.

If the damage is the result of poor maintenance, it's possible that safety could be compromised.

If the damage is not fixed, it becomes difficult to identify new damage to a forklift truck. The new damage and old damage become confused and so no action is taken to address a potential safety problem.

Have Your Damaged Forklift Repaired?

Don't allow a damaged forklift truck to remain un-repaired. Act immediately to repair the damage and you'll be doing more than fixing an oil leak or straightening out a dent. You'll be protecting your investment, saving money, and keeping people safe too.

Talk to us about forklift truck maintenance by making contact now.