How to Maintain Forklift Parts


Although a lift truck is a hardy and durable machine, Forklift parts will need replacement at some time or other. One way to delay having to replace forklift parts, though, is through proper and regular maintenance. For many components of a forklift truck, proper maintenance is very much like maintaining your car. After all, a forklift is still a truck with an engine, axle, wheels, steering mechanism, ignition systems, lights and parts that function much like those of a car or commercial vehicle. It is only in the lifting and loading mechanisms that you need to follow special maintenance procedures.

Forklift maintenance must be done on a regular basis in a systematic way. Start with malfunctions which are immediately obvious to you. If you don't notice anything wrong, start with the easy stuff then go on to the more complicated mechanisms. Well, it is also advisable to have a clipboard with a checklist handy to guide you as you go along, which will help you do a thorough job and remind you which repairs or replacements are necessary.

First of all, check the engine by turning it on. Pay attention to the way it sounds and be conscious of any knocks or misses. Be aware of any squealing that might indicate loose or worn out belts. Check for leaks or holes in the exhaust system. Then, drive the forklift forwards, backwards and in circles and try to notice if there are any slips. Inspect the tires and see whether they are in good condition or need replacement.

A forklift, like your car, has gauges and devices which warn you if parts of your truck are not functioning properly. Make sure that warning lights and the horn are working. Check the bulbs, cab lights, back-up lights and outside lights. Go over the wiring, check for loose connections and see whether any of the wires are frayed.

The next component to check is the power supply. If your forklift is battery-driven, inspect the terminals, cables and connectors. Check the fill levels of the battery water. Next, inspect the clutch pedal, the steering cylinder and the drag links. Look out for any leaks in the system. Then, move on to the mast and look for any hydraulic leaks in the lines. See whether you need to replace any O-Rings or fittings. Inspect the forks for chips, cracks or rust.

After you've finished checking and testing your forklift, it's time to carry out the repairs or replacements listed in your checklist. Replace the filters and change the oil in the forklift. Top up the battery water and the anti-freeze in the cooling system. Replace burned out bulbs and wires. Lubricate all the fittings including the drive axle, tie-rod ends and the hoist mechanism. Make note of replacements that have to be handled by a professional technician. Finally, keep your forklift spic and span. Spray it clean and wipe it down.

Always remember that whenever you have to replace any forklift parts, make sure to choose the right ones if you want to keep your lift truck trouble-free.