6 tips to prolong the lifespan of your pallet truck

21 August 2018

Preventing your pallet truck from failing? Discover the points you can pay attention to in order to use your pallet truck longer and be able to repair it yourself. And this in an efficient and budget-friendly manner, as a result of which you prolong the lifespan of your pallet truck and your bank account. 

pallet truck

Preventive maintenance of your pallet truck is vital for a safe working environment. By means of a daily inspection of your pallet truck, you can intervene in time when it requires repairs. As a result, regular check-ups prevent unpleasant surprises and prolong the lifespan of the pallet truck. Discover what things you need to keep in mind to ensure an optimal use:

1. Check and top up the oil of your pallet truck

The oil level of your pallet truck is best checked every six months and oil must be topped up or replaced preferably every year. It is recommended to use hydraulic oil for pallet trucks. The oil must have a viscosity of 30cSt at 40 °C, with a total volume of approx 0,4 litres (ISO VG32). If other oil is used, the pallet truck may be hard to pump up, as this oil will most likely be too thick.

Follow below step-by-step plan to top up the oil of your pallet truck:

  1. Place the forks in the lowest position and turn the pallet truck on its side.
  2. Place the drain plug of the hydraulic cylinder at the top.
  3. Remove the screw plug.
  4. Add the hydraulic oil, until the level of the oil reaches the bottom of the filler opening.
  5. Install the screw plug and place the device upright.

Will the forks not raise when pumping with the lever in the RAISE position? This could be due to air bubbles in the hydraulic oil as a result of transport, or by pumping the tiller when the pallet truck is not upright.

How to bleed the circuit? Leave the operating lever in the LOWER position and move the tiller handle up and down a couple of times. This will expel the air, causing the forks to lift normally again while pumping.

2. Lubricate the pallet truck on a regular basis

All bearings and axles were lubricated by the manufacturer with long-life grease. Lubricate the pallet truck on a monthly basis and/or after each cleaning with long-life grease on the lubrication points, such as the wheels, axles and grease fittings.

3. Protect the wheels of your pallet trucks

A clean workplace makes working more pleasant. The surface on which the pallet trucks are used, is very important to the wheels. All types of dirt or wires can become stuck between the wheels, as a result of which they will wear considerably faster. This can easily be prevented by regularly cleaning the wheels and by removing this dirt before using the pallet truck.

It is also recommended to watch out for curbs and steps. Taking a short cut might seem like a good idea, but your wheels might not agree. Rather, take a detour and prevent your wheels from cracking in this way.

Overloading your pallet truck can also have serious consequences to your wheels. It is better to make two trips than to take everything in one go, even if this takes a bit more time. You prevent the wheels from forming a flat spot, so you can use them longer.

Read more about how you can protect the wheels of your pallet truck and find out when it is time to replace them.

4. Check the chain regularly for a correct position

Check on a regular basis if the chain of your pallet truck is still in the correct position. You can mainly notice this when operating the lowering valve no longer lowers the forks. You can easily solve this by re-attaching the chain to the lever.

5. Adjust the lowering valve if the pallet truck can no longer pump or lower its forks

The pallet truck no longer pumps or lowers its forks? This is probably due to the lowering valve. In this case you need to adjust the lowering valve, so that you can again pump or lower the forks. If pumping has no effect, slightly loosen the lowering valve screw. Do the forks of the pallet truck no longer descend? Slightly screw in the lowering valve screw.

Tip: after use, store the pallet truck unloaded and in the lowest position.

6. Use your pallet truck in a correct and safe way

With these 3 tips, your pallet truck lasts longer:

  1. Don't use the pallet truck on a slope: if let go, the pallet truck can reverse and hit something.
  2. To move the pallet truck, set the operating lever in the DRIVE position. As a result, the drawbar moves more easily and the pressure in the hydraulic pump section lowers. This protects the hydraulic seals and the components of the valve. This ensures a longer lifespan.
  3. Never overload the pallet truck: observe the maximum rated lifting capacity.

A longer lifespan for your pallet truck

Thanks to a couple of quick check-ups, you can easily extend the lifespan of your pallet truck. So definitely keep an eye on the oil level, the wheels, the grease fittings and the lowering valve. This will eventually save you a lot of time and unnecessary expenses.

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