Anyone who operates a business understand the value of preventative maintenance. Whether it’s keeping your cooking equipment clean in a restaurant, your fleet of semi’s brakes inspected, or HVAC filters replaced, spending a few pennies now can save you dollars down the road.
This is especially true in the warehouse or logistics world when it comes to forklift maintenance. The basic act of routine inspections and cleaning/lubrication of moving parts can help reduce premature part wearing, which leads to fewer orders for new and used forklift parts online.
Forklifts are designed for constant use. However, OSHA has several regulations on routine maintenance or inspections based mainly on Hours of Service. This leads many warehouse managers and equipment maintenance managers to schedule forklift service prior to it’s required due date. This decision not only allows forklift mechanics to clean, lubricate, and inspect moving parts – but find components that are showing signs of premature wear.
However, forklift service is not an exact science – nor is it a black and white – one-size-fits-all solution. Each type and manufacturer of lift truck requires specific service guidelines. There are some general tips that all forklift owners can follow that can improve their forklift maintenance program. Some are safety specific, others operational or after-the-fact solutions.
Either way, take a few minutes to review these forklift service best practices and implement them into your weekly, monthly, or quarterly inspections.
Tips for Improving Safety During Forklift Inspections
Many forklifts have a daily safety inspection that is completed by the operator prior to service. During this quick inspection, it’s important for the operator to be proactive about wearing personal protective equipment to reduce the potential of exposure to acids, chemicals, and other toxic agents.
First – Always Wear PPE
The first step for any forklift inspection – whether completed by a driver or mechanic, is to wear protective equipment. Always ensure you have high-quality aprons, goggles, leather gloves, rubber boots, and/or face shields. If you are using cleaning or grinding equipment, handling batteries, or changing fuel tanks (LPG usually) – make sure all workers have the right access to clean and undamaged supplies.
Second – Consult with Forklift Manufacturer to Create a Product-Specific Checklist
Since all forklifts are unique, it’s important to customize your service and maintenance inspections based on its specific requirements. The best way to accomplish this is to contact the lift manufacturer or authorized repair/service center for that specific make and model.
Third – Proper Supplies for Cleaning
One of the best ways to reduce wear and tear is to keep the forklifts clean, neat, and free of debris. This is especially important when your lift truck operates outdoors and is exposed to constant dirt, dust, debris, and weather. Most moving parts have areas that are exposed and are coated with lubricants like grease. This grease can quickly be coated with dirt – which reduces its lubricity – and can lead to excessive heating or moving parts damage.
In areas that are lubricated, make sure to use the recommended cleaning agents. You’ll find most forklift manufacturers sell degreasing agents that help to remove lubricants easily.
*One helpful tip is to use good old soap and water to wash the exterior of the lift. Chemical agents can drip into nooks and crannies, and cause damage to some exposed electrical components or sensors.
Fourth – Maintain a Clean Inspection Book
Most States mandate facilities that operate forklifts to keep accurate records for forklift inspections, services, and of course – repairs. However, it’s crucial to keep your files organized, easy to access, and detailed. It’s a nasty habit of many forklift operators to simply check the boxes or draw that typical “line through the boxes”.
This should always be discouraged. Not only does the inspection serve as a crucial document to help trace damaged parts and simplify repairs, but it’s also a possible legal document. The inspection book should be easy to locate, simple to add new pages, and filled with new sheets for drivers to easily access.
Keeping your lift truck in great shape is always a constant struggle for the busy warehouse, fulfillment center, or manufacture. Replacing parts that are designed to wear out can also help to avoid damage to more expensive parts. If you’re in a situation where those heavy and pricey parts require replacement, consider buying freshly refurbished and professionally inspected used forklift parts through Atlanta Lifttruck Salvage.
The forklift and lift truck experts at Atlanta Liftruck Salvage have been dependable providers of high-quality reconditioned, salvaged, and repaired used parts for more than 25 years. All used parts are fully inspected, refurbished, cleaned, and painted – which ensures they are safe and ready to install.
If you need help locating the right used parts for your forklift, our customer service specialists are on standby. And in the unfortunate situation where you may have ordered the wrong park, you can have peace of mind knowing that we offer a 30-day No-Hassle guarantee.