Forklift Preventive Maintenance
The level of maintenance a forklift receives is a crucial factor in its performance and longevity. Forklifts are among the most rugged and reliable of machines and are designed to operate in tough conditions. However, forklifts need to be regularly serviced; there is no substitute for good maintenance. It ensures forklifts can perform at optimum levels; it can detect and rectify minor problems before they affect productivity, and will prolong a forklifts life.
This week’s blog will look at the importance of maintenance and will provide maintenance schedules and tips.
The first step in determining the frequency, in which a forklift needs to be inspected, is to make an engineering analysis of the equipment, considering the following points:
• Age, condition and value
• Severity of service
• Safety requirements
• Hours of operation
• Service record
• Susceptibility to wear, damage and getting out of adjustment
• Past maintenance work order
It is also helpful to conduct interviews with maintenance personal and operating supervisors.
A maintenance schedule should specify tasks to be performed daily, monthly, quarterly, semi-annually and annually.
Adherence to a maintenance program will help keep a forklift in good condition, prolong its useful life and minimise downtime and costs associated with major repairs.
Forklift operators should perform daily maintenance at the beginning of each shift.
They should visually inspect for leaks, obvious damage, and tyre condition, the operation of safety lights, service, parking brakes, horn, and steering. They should then check the mast operation by raising and lowering the forks both with and without a load, and finally check the levels of engine oil, fuel, radiator water and hydraulic fluid.
Performed after every 200 hours of operation by a trained mechanic and can include:
• Lubrication of chassis and mast components
• Replacement of engine oil
• Cleaning of the air filter element
• Adjustment of engine idle speed and ignition timing on engine powered trucks
• Inspection of lift and tilt cylinder operation, drive belt tension, and for engine powered trucks, spark plugs, distributor point, cap and rotor