Forklifts are powerful machines with many working systems and moving parts. When a forklift and its various systems are not properly cared for, the resulting repairs can cost you thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars. And not only are repairs themselves expensive, but performing forklift repairs can also mean time off the floor, resulting in decreased productivity for your operation.
Luckily, there are ways you can prevent large repair expenses from incurring and keep your forklift operational. The following are tips for preventing the most expensive forklift repairs.
Perform the proper checks
Before every shift, forklift operators should perform preliminary checks on the lift. By performing these checks, forklift operators can identify potential repairs early and avoid causing further damage to the lift during operation.
The operator should perform both a visual and operational check. During a visual check, the driver should look out for fluid leaks, make sure the battery is charged, check for any missing or loose nuts and bolts, and check for general damage and conditions.
During an operational check, the driver should test that the forklift’s mechanisms are operating properly, from the brakes and steering to lift mechanisms and so on. If the operator encounters an issue during either the visual or operational check, they should not operate the forklift and immediately notify a manager or supervisor.
Keep the warehouse clean
Inspection of the warehouse facilities and floor is also important to a forklift’s operation. A forklift and its parts, especially the tires, can be severely damaged by debris on the warehouse floor. Operators should also look out for potential obstructions that could cause an accident, either on the floor or overhead.
Repair costs incurred from a disorganized or untidy warehouse are perhaps the most easily preventable costs, so make sure that your facilities are optimized for proper forklift operation.
Pay attention to fluid levels
A very important aspect of a driver’s daily preliminary checks is to check and fill the lift’s fuel levels, including the fuel level, transmission and hydraulic fluids, coolants, and more. These fluids are essential to proper, safe forklift operation.
Fluid checks are especially important for making sure the battery operates efficiently. Ensuring that fluid levels are correct is another easy way to prevent expensive forklift damages.
Practice regular maintenance
The best way to prevent expensive forklift repairs is to catch problems early on. And while daily inspections can help, you should also have regular, comprehensive maintenance checks performed on your machine. A forklift technician can catch early signs of trouble that will prevent larger expenses in the future. Small repairs can often be serviced on site without much down time, saving you money without affecting productivity.