7 Essential Tips to Prepare Your Forklift for Winter

13 January 2022
7 Essential Tips to Prepare Your Forklift for Winter


Preseason maintenance is imperative for optimal performance. Cold weather can take a toll on everything from the machines to those operating them. Regularly inspect your forklift to detect damage, leaks and other problems. As temperatures drop, let TVH help you properly winterize your fleet by following these helpful tips to ensure better productivity and a longer lifespan.

1. Warm up your fleet for optimal performance

Diesel-powered engines need a longer warm-up time in the cold. Before starting any task, always allow several minutes for the forklift to sit idle without any load.

2. Cold weather is tough on batteries

The cold weather can cut the battery’s lifespan, as well as make batteries take longer to charge. For optimal performance, store the batteries indoors or in a heated charging station. Test your batteries often, then make sure that the cables and terminals are clean and tightly secured.

3. Change the oil and filters as recommended or sooner

Colder temperatures can result in the formation of ice, gelling or clouding in non-winterized fluids and lubricants. To minimize these issues, consider changing to winter-weight oil if you live in a colder climate. Have a technician check the forklift’s fuel, air, hydraulic, and transmission filters often.

4. Maintain proper tire tread depth and tire pressure

During the winter months, tire pressure should be checked regularly. Using the recommended tire pressure assures that the forklift is handled in the safest manner. The tread on your tires has to be deep enough to get through the snow, consider switching to special tires made for snow or using tire chains.

5. Clean, flush and replace antifreeze

In preparation for the winter, clean and flush out your forklift’s cooling system, then add the new antifreeze. Proper antifreeze levels prevent the engine from freezing during winter months and keep the engine cool in warm weather. It is important to check coolant levels and flow rate when the unit has been turned off and is sufficiently cooled.

6. Check your brakes

Inspecting your brake system is a must all year round but especially in the winter months. When you encounter harsh weather conditions, reliable braking can help prevent harm and injury.

7. Make sure all lights are working properly

Check the warning lights, work lights, head and tail lights to ensure they are working as they should. They need to be clean and functional due to low visibility levels during the winter months.

Winter can be an especially dangerous time of year to operate a forklift. Don’t let uncertain weather slow you down, and put your fleet on the sidelines. With over 44 million parts and accessories to choose from, TVH can help you successfully get your fleet ready for winter.

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