Forklift downtime can truly be crippling for businesses. When the machine goes down, warehouse operations are stymied. Goods and materials stop moving and employees become frustrated. But how are your customers affected? Are your orders being fulfilled in a timely manner? The bottom line is this—forklift downtime is something to be avoided. But don’t worry, Equips has your back. We have put together a free forklift maintenance schedule so you can decrease downtime. Equips has also put together a series of daily maintenance tasks specific to the type of forklifts you use. Enjoy!

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Forklift Maintenance Checklist

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Forklift Maintenance Schedule

Forklift downtime is extremely hindersome to businesses, and expensive. In fact, Amazon values forklift downtime at $180,000 per hour loss. Even if you are a small business with much less inventory to move than Amazon, you still end up losing a significant amount of money in a day. Follow this forklift maintenance schedule so you can minimize your losses as a result of extended downtime.

Monthly Maintenance

  • Examine spark plugs, distributor points, caps and rotors for damage
  • Ensure that appropriate drive belt tension
  • Inspect the lift and tilt cylinders
  • Ensure that chassis and mast components are properly lubricated
  • Change oil
  • Clean air filter of debris and dust
  • Adjust the idle speed and ignition time if necessary

Quarterly Maintenance

  • Adjust the following as necessary:
    • Clutch release
    • Mask support
    • Tilt cylinder pins
    • Chassis links
  • Replace the following as necessary:
    • Fuel filter
    • Hydraulic filter
      • Drain the water separator if using a diesel truck
      • Examine hydraulic oil pump for leaks and damage
      • Ensure appropriate lift chain tension
      • Clean out the radiator
  • Inspect the following:
    • Hand brake
    • Pedal free play
    • Mast operation
    • Carriage rollers
    • Lift cylinder operations
    • Tilt cylinder operations
    • Differential oil
    • Transmission oil
    • Fuel filter
    • PVC valve
    • Hose

Semi-annual Maintenance

  • Ensure that the brake booster operation is in good condition
  • Replace the following:
    • Brake fluid
    • Wheel bearing grease
    • Engine coolant
    • Fuel filter
    • Fuel strainer element
    • Water separator if using a diesel truck
  • Inspect engine bolts and manifold nuts

Daily Forklift Maintenance

One of the best ways to limit forklift downtime is through everyday inspections. Don’t worry, this checklist is not time-consuming. You can perform this simple checklist in less than five minutes. I mean, what is five minutes compared to days-worth of unplanned downtime, anyway? First, follow the Universal Daily Checklist while the machine is turned off. Then, follow one of the three following checklists according to the type of forklift you use. Lastly, turn on your machine and go through the final Driving Checklist.

Universal Daily Checklist

  • Inspect safety devices, including seatbelts, finger guards, overhead guards, and horn
  • Check fluid levels, including fuel, brake fluid, hydraulic fluid, and coolant
  • Inspect the condition of the tires, tire pressure, and ensure that the treads are in good condition
  • Walk around the machine and look for damage to the exterior
  • Ensure that the operator’s compartment is clean, free of debris, and in good condition
  • Ensure that the fork is in good condition
  • Lastly, make sure that stickers and decals are both legible and in the correct location per OSHA requirements

Daily Electric Forklift Maintenance

  • Ensure that the hood latch is secured properly to prevent damages and accidents
  • Inspect battery restraints
  • Check for frayed cables and replace any that are
  • Inspect electrolytes and make sure they are at the proper levels for your machine

Daily Internal Combustion Forklift Maintenance

  • Check the engine oil and coolant levels and add more if necessary
  • Ensure an adequate amount of brake fluid
  • Inspect the hood latch—make sure it is secure
  • Inspect the condition of the belts and hoses and replace any that are damaged

Daily Liquid Propane Forklift Maintenance

  • Check for damage or leaks to the propane tank (indicated by a white frost, foul odor, of hissing sound)
  • Ensure that propane tank is mounted properly and is secure
  • Ensure that hoses and belts are in good condition and replace any that are not
  • Check to make sure the pressure relief valve is pointed upwards

Daily Driving Checklist

  • Make sure the horn, lights, and backup alarm work properly
  • Check to make sure the lift works, both tilt and hoist
  • Ensure that the machine’s gears work, and that the vehicle can move forward and backward
  • Check that the accelerator, brakes, and steering work

Decrease Forklift Downtime with Equips

The usual cause of forklift downtime is a lack of preventive maintenance. This is as true for banking equipment as it is for construction equipment. In other words, it is crucial that you stick to a diligent preventive maintenance schedule. We have found that businesses that utilize a technology solution to help them schedule preventive maintenance have the easiest time sticking to it. That is why we built the Preventive Maintenance scheduling tool into the Equips web app. This tool allows you to simply set it and forget it. When it is time for preventive maintenance, we will route a work order to the person within your company responsible for your machines. Or, if you use external service vendors, we will dispatch them directly to your location. Either way, it is guaranteed to get done.

To learn more about how the Equips web application can simplify preventive maintenance for your business, book a free demo below!

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