As simple of a machine as they are, forklifts tend to be under a great amount of stress. The forklift is one of industries hardest working pieces of machinery, and as such, it requires a lot of attention to continue to run efficiently from one day to the next. Here are just a few simple ways to prolong the working life of a forklift so that your machine can remain reliable for the long haul.
Education and Training Comes First
Without the proper understanding and fundamental education, your staffing and manpower will not be able to operate your forklifts. If they do, then it will be a very basic understanding without proper instruction.
For it to be a thorough and fulfilling training, your staff needs to understand how the machine operates, right down to the mechanical function. That way, they can operate on the machine whenever breakdowns and problems occur, which are subject to happen. By having working technicians on your team, everyone will have a working knowledge of not only how to operate every forklift, but also how to get it off the ground and running to its best capacity in no time flat.
Forklifts tend to operate in dangerous conditions inside warehouses and at plants and facilities that generally cater to the industry. Thus, it might also be a good idea to hold frequent meetings for training and refreshers on how to operate the machinery correctly and effectively.
Maintenance Is Equally as Important
Preventative maintenance keeps most engines and machines from failure daily. Without daily checks and repairs, machines could not withstand the high tension, stress, and pressure that they are under for long periods of time.
If maintenance is truly a priority, then things like the battery will be inspected alongside tire pressure and general operation outside of the engine to make sure that the machine is fully functional. With battery maintenance, it is good to keep an eye out for corrosion that can happen around the grounding towers that the positive and negative power cords are clamped to.
If you notice any kind of corrosion like this, then that means that your batter will need to be replaced as it might be leaking battery fluid that could lead to internal problems if unchecked. You will need to make sure to clean both clamps individually after replacing the battery to have a secure connection without the corrosion present.
Another thing to pay close attention to is moving parts. You will want to keep them highly lubricated and look at them daily to make sure that they are still functioning properly as intended. While you’re doing this, you will need to also check all your fluid levels to keep things running as usual without locking up any mechanical devices in your internal engine.
Storing Your Equipment Is Essential
It will also be important to keep up with the storage of your forklift. If the storage facility is not kept clean and sealed off properly, then you could have further problems with your forklift.
First, your machine could collect dust that could get in the internal compartments of the engine, which could cause it to run less efficiently and thus give you problems with your startup and general performance. Secondly, if the storage facility is not sealed off properly, then the elements could seep into the facility and further affect the machinery inside the compartment.
Things such as moisture and dirt could easily make their way in and slowly eat away at your engine and all its working parts, leading to the eventual breakdown of your machine. This could turn into an expensive endeavor to upkeep your machine if you’re having problems like this.
Servicing the Engine Is a Must
Preventative maintenance and full servicing are slightly different in nature from one another. One is a generalized daily routine maintenance to keep it going, while the other considers the longevity and lifespan of the machine and works to keep it alive if possible.
When having your vehicle serviced, it’s very similar to having a tune-up, and yet they are two separate check-ups. Therefore, making sure to have your forklift serviced is very important because the focus is on internal items and issues within the engine that not only require maintenance but could also cost you your business if not checked routinely every three months.
You will also need to check the tires and the brake shoes to determine if both the wheels and brakes either need adjustment or replacement. If you need any assistance with internal components for your forklift while servicing, you can always check with Toyota forklift parts dealer for the parts that you need when you need them.
Proper Management of Your Business
Possibly one of the most important aspects that you cannot go without in your business is proper management. You might be asking yourself what that entails, as not everyone has a straightforward understanding of what this means.
If the leadership is present in a business, then you can be sure that all the employees will have a firm understanding of how to do their jobs flawlessly. Not only will they know how to operate the machinery they oversee, but they will be well educated and know how to maintain the forklifts daily.
They will give them routine maintenance and servicing exactly when the machines need it. Therefore, leadership is important so that things not only get done, but so that they are done properly and efficiently. By having an open line of communication, you can be sure that things never get missed.
In proper leadership, communication is key, and by having daily open lines of communication, information can be passed along from employee to manager and from shift to shift so that there can always be an even flow of work without any major disruptions.
Always Follow the OSHA Guidelines for Proper Operation
Every machine has limitations, and forklifts follow this rule as well, as they are no different. The OSHA system is put in place to keep the workplace safe and free of any obstructions, be that due to lack of instruction or mechanical failure on the job site.
Whatever the case, these rules are put in place to ensure safety against hazards and so that staff can have an operational place of work and ensure that all the equipment runs functionally and as intented. Just like having a manual of operating procedures in the workplace, OSHA steps in for additional aid in helping with this kind of compliance so that safety always comes first.
Alongside this, by having a functional working environment, you can be sure that forklifts are always kept to the highest degree of operation and checked frequently.
With all of that in place, these are just a list of simple ways to prolong the working life of a forklift that all industrial facilities that use heavy machinery should practice. With proper procedures in place, you can be sure that things are done orderly and correctly daily.