Our guide to looking after and maintaining your Forklift truck

    Group|Forklift 21/06/2019
    Forklifts can improve warehouse productivity and eliminate strain on the body caused by heavy lifting however in order to do this they must be properly maintained to ensure maximum safety and reliability. Forklifts are an expensive piece of material handling equipment however if properly maintained by professionally trained engineers they can enhance efficiency and productivity of your workplace and save time and money in the long run.

    When good care is taken of a forklift it will require less repairs and parts replaced. The frequency of how often a forklift receives a routine maintenance check-up plays a large role in the performance and longevity of your equipment. All forklifts will have scheduled services in place that are essential in order to discover minor faults, if any, before they become major issues. You should always refer to the proper maintenance procedures and ensure any repair work is done by a trained, qualified professional however there are steps you can take as a forklift owner to ensure less repairs and replacement parts are needed when it comes time for your next service.
    Daily Checks:
    • Forklift tyres should be checked daily by the operator as failure with the tyres could lead to an unbalanced ride and potential damage of the goods that are being carried. If the tyres use air it is important to ensure that the correct air pressure is maintained in them, if the tyres are solid rubber ones it is important to check for any gashes in the tyre.
    • Each shift the forklift operators should visually inspect for any leaks any leaks or damage to the forklift. Fluid levels should also be checked regularly and if the forklift is used on a daily basis they should be checked daily. There are various fluids that help the engine and other working parts of the forklift to run efficiently including the transmission and hydraulic fluids, coolants and motor oil. Depending on the make and model of your forklift it will require different types of antifreeze, oil and coolant. 
    • Each shift the forks, chains, anchor points and mast operation should be inspected by the operator and if any issues are found the forklift should be parked and a service engineer should be contacted.
    • It is important to keep your forklift charged or fuelled whether it runs on battery, liquid propane gas, diesel or petrol. If your machine uses a battery it is recommended that you ensure the battery is fully charged at the start of the day or if it runs on gas or fuel you should ensure the tank it always full at the start of the day. By allowing your battery to run down during the day, when the forklift is in use, and then putting in on to charge overnight you are keeping your battery in good condition. It is not recommended to charge the battery for short periods of time as this uses up a charge cycle and may deteriorate the condition of the battery.
    • Attention should be paid to Forklift Gauges as the gauges and lights on the instrument panel give an indication to something malfunctioning. The operator should check if all the safety lights on board are working and test the parking brakes, horn and steering. Appropriate measures should be taken when they indicate any faults and your Forklift Service Engineer should be contacted.

    How often should I service my forklift?

    Servicing is recommended based on usage intervals and time intervals, usage hours are measured using pedal hours or key hours while time intervals are measured in days and months. The more you use your forklift, the more often you should have it serviced by a trained service engineer. It is also recommended that every 1,000 hours of operation the brakes must be examined. Maintenance is occasionally needed with oil and oil filter changes for diesel, petrol or LPG forklifts and can be done by a Forklift service engineer. Changing the oil yourself rather than having it done by a certified professional will likely void any warranty on your forklift.

    A forklift that gets heavy use might require a forklift maintenance visit every 90 days. Other factors which should be considered when scheduling fork maintenance visits are the age of the equipment, working condition, history of maintenance, application type and the work environment it is in as if your work environment is dirty or rugged you’ll need to plan more frequent services.

    Heyn Forktrucks have a team of highly skilled on the road engineers who can service and maintain your forktruck to the highest possible standard. We can create bespoke service contracts to suit your business while taking into consideration all of the above factors. Our service engineers are trained and experienced in maintaining and servicing all makes and models of forklifts and we have a wide range of forklift parts available for many makes and models including Jungheinrich, Heli, Toyota, Hyster, Linde, Boss Lancer, Steinbock and Nissan-TCM. 
    If you would like to discuss your forklifts service needs further then please get in touch with us by phone on 028 9074 1000 or by emailing forklift@heyn.co.uk. You can also complete the Contact Us form here and a member of our team will be more than happy to help.

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