Forklifts are designed to be durable, reliable industrial tools. However, they are mechanical, and like anything with a machine, they need regular maintenance to keep running correctly and reliably. Ignoring the maintenance schedule on a forklift is pretty much throwing away good money.
These machines are built to last an incredibly long time and handle hard work if they are operated correctly. Once the breakdown, however, it can be a royal pain to get a forklift working again.
Maintenance is fairly easy to keep track of with the help of a forklift. It’s very much like a regular car, with a set schedule and key mechanical features that should be checked as well as consumables that should be replaced on a regular basis.
And since most facilities and warehouses don’t have a fleet of forklifts to fall back on when one fails, it’s a really good idea to follow the schedule and avoid the otherwise inevitable breakdown.
Typical Effects of a Forklift Meltdown
Unfortunately, because of the very nature of forklifts, a breakdown has multiple ripple effects on an organization and facility system. Most obviously, heavy materials, loaded pallets, and equipment can’t be moved easily without a forklift, if at all.
The warehouse team or facility operator is practically hamstrung, especially on extremely heavy lots or packages. That in turn delays loading until an alternative to the broken forklift is resolved.
Delays in transport trigger more problems at the destination end, which ends up costing more in losses. Then, of course, there is the expense of the emergency repair call to get everything working again ASAP. It’s a classic cascading failure scenario.
The first and most important maintenance is daily. Every forklift should be checked after and before each shift for mechanical safety and no obvious problems. Avoidance is far easier than recovering from a catastrophic failure with a heavyweight or the forklift tipping over. A Pre-Use system check is a must.
The monthly maintenance focuses on lubrication, engine filters, breather cleaning, battery checks, fluid level checks, and full mechanical testing for any signs of problems. Specifically, much of this maintenance phase is looking for leakages or loss of pressure as well as serious mechanical function problems or signs of them starting.
The annual maintenance check is a thorough going-through of the equipment. This includes consumable part replacement and safety checks for durability and long-term operation.
It typically involves a partial teardown by a licensed forklift mechanic and a repair sequence to get rid of starting problems. This annual check is essential for facilities that put their forklifts through hard use daily.
Of course, with any maintenance cycle, parts supply for consumables and durable replacements are essential. A vendor that doesn’t carry sufficient inventory only creates even more delays. Intella Parts solves that problem with a robust inventory, experienced specialist staff, and fast shipping channels. Partnering Intella with your forklift maintenance cycle is a smart business, and it will pay dividends in the life of your capital equipment.