Forklift maintenance? check!

13 January 2020

Keeping your forklift operating at its best once seemed like an overwhelming task. But those days are over! Meet the ultimate forklift maintenance checklist. Now it’s easy to check your machine daily and carry out regular forklift maintenance. Get ready to save time, save money, and keep your forklift running at its best for longer. 

ALL YOUR MAINTENANCE NEEDS ON A SINGLE HANDY CHECKLIST

The forklift checklist breaks up maintenance tasks according to the main parts of the forklift and how regularly the tasks need to be done. You can use this forklift inspection checklist to manage maintenance for electric as well as engine-powered forklifts. After 250 operating hours, you’ll begin minor maintenance on your forklift. You’ll repeat these tasks after 500 hours, when you perform intermediate maintenance. After 2,000 hours, it’s time for major maintenance, which includes repeating all minor and intermediate maintenance tasks. 

Of course, you’ll need safety gear and workshop supplies for carrying out maintenance. This guide includes lists of consumables you need for the job. Stocking up is easy, TVH offers everything from warehouse supplies and spare parts to cleaning products and PPE, so you’ll have everything right there when you need it.

Are you ready to get started?

CHAPTER 1: PREPARATION AND CLEANING

It always pays to be prepared. All the information you need to get started with your forklift maintenance is in this chapter. Before you begin, make sure you and your forklift are ready for action. We’ve included some handy links to the warehouse supplies you’ll need—from PPE gear to tools and cleaning products. 

CHAPTER 2: THE ENGINE (ONLY FOR ENGINE-POWERED FORKLIFTS)

The engine is one of the most important and expensive parts of your forklift. If you neglect it, it will cost you more money in the long run. In this chapter, you’ll learn how and when to perform maintenance tasks that keep your forklift’s engine running smoothly for longer. Different tasks are scheduled to be completed after 250 hours of use, 500 hours of use and 2,000 hours of use. Use the checklist to stay on track and keep your engine in top condition. 

CHAPTER 3: THE BATTERY OF AN ENGINE-POWERED FORKLIFT

You can’t start your engine without the starter battery. So it’s important to regularly check that it’s working properly. You should check the starter battery in your engine-powered forklift each time you perform minor maintenance - every 250 hours of use. The good news is: a starter battery very rarely needs to be changed. However, if you notice the starter battery going flat, it could indicate a fault with the alternator or electrical circuit and will require further investigation. Read this chapter to learn the warning signs to look out for. 

CHAPTER 4: ELECTRIC MOTORS

Do you use an electric forklift? Then you need to take care of the electric motor that powers it. This guide includes maintenance tasks to be performed every 250 hours of use, and tasks to be done every 2 000 hours of use. For AC motors, you only need to check the power cables once in a while. But if you’re using a DC motor, proper maintenance has a few more steps. Follow this schedule and keep your motor working at its best.  

CHAPTER 5: THE BATTERY AND CHARGER OF AN ELECTRIC FORKLIFT

Your electric forklift counts on its battery and charger, so it’s important that they’re always working properly. In this chapter, you’ll find weekly maintenance tasks for your forklift’s battery and charger, as well as minor maintenance tasks to be done every 250 hours of use, and intermediate maintenance tasks to be done every 500 hours of use. You’ll need some supplies, so we’ve included handy links to the products that will enable you to perform this maintenance. Use the checklist to stay on track.

CHAPTER 6: TYRES

Your forklift can’t operate without tyres. And yet, tyres are often disregarded and not given the upkeep they need. Did you know that in the operational lifespan of your machine, you will spend the most money on tyres and tracks? Regular maintenance will not only keep your machine rolling smoothly, it will also save you a lot of money. Small jobs can make a big difference. This checklist will help you get the most out of your tyres.

CHAPTER 7: MAST & FORKS

A lot of forklift drivers don’t regularly inspect the mast and forks on their machines. But neglecting this task is dangerous - working with worn or cracked forks can lead to accidents. Use this guide to give your mast and forks the attention they need to operate at their best. From tightening nuts and bolts to checking the tension of the chain, a little maintenance will go a long way towards keeping your machine safe and operational. 

CHAPTER 8: THE CHASSIS

Find out how to conduct a full revision of your forklift’s chassis and steering process. You’ll discover regular maintenance tasks that are repeated every 250 hours of use and some that you’ll do every 2,000 hours of use. We cover how to check nuts and bolts, lubricate ball bearings, check the transmission and differential oil, and more. 

CHAPTER 9: THE HYDRAULICS

How much do you know about maintaining the hydraulics in your forklift? Hydraulic systems are very delicate. This maintenance can seem tricky at first, but follow this guide and you will be rewarded with a well-functioning machine. Learn how to keep your forklift’s hydraulics well-sealed and flowing smoothly using this helpful checklist. 

CHAPTER 10: THE BRAKES

You cannot operate your forklift without brakes - it would be a disaster! Therefore, it’s vitally important that your brakes are always in excellent condition. There are several components to your forklift’s brakes: brake pedals, brake pads, brake fluid, brake drums, and more. In this chapter, you’ll learn when and how to maintain each of these components and keep your brakes performing well for longer. 

CHAPTER 11: LIGHTS, SEAT BELT AND OTHER ACCESSORIES

Every part of your forklift is important and has an impact on the safety of the operator, and other people in the workplace. Learn how to inspect and maintain your forklift’s lights, seat belt and other accessories. You’ll also make sure all the electrical components are working properly. Follow the checklist and you’ll always be performing the right maintenance tasks at the right time.

CHAPTER 12: PAINTING & DECALS

People often think that focusing on appearance is frivolous - but this isn’t true when it comes to forklifts. Repainting your machine makes it more resistant to weather conditions, as well as more pleasing to the eye. And it’s important to check your decals - are they in the right place and clearly visible? If not, the machine’s safety is compromised and it might not be able to pass inspection.

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