Forklifts are like any other piece of machinery. If one part isn’t working well, the entire machine is put out of commission. That leads to costly downtime for the company. The best way to stay on top of the damage that can leave your forklift down for the count is to be aware of the most common forklift parts that need replacement and then monitor them on your company’s fleet.
When looking at the forklift’s thick masts, it’s easy to forget that a chain actually bears much of the load’s weight within the mast. Because of that, it’s also easy to forget to examine the lift chain. A lift chain going out while lifting or transporting materials can cause broken merchandise and injuries to those nearby, as well as further damage to the forklift.
Forklifts employ several hoses running throughout the machine, such as mast hoses, power steering hoses, and reservoir tank hoses. These hoses contain hydraulic fluid and oil essential to the machine’s function and can become a hazard if spilled. During routine inspections, examine the entire length of the hoses for cracks or breaks in the jacket.
Most agree that driving a car with worn-out or faulty brakes poses a significant safety threat. The same is true of forklifts. If brakes are making noise or not stopping the machine as quickly as they used to, they must be inspected immediately. Even if brakes haven’t been acting up, it’s important to check them regularly. To slow down wear and tear, avoid “riding the brake” or driving with the parking brake on.
Like brakes, quality tires are essential to a vehicle’s successful operation. This is especially true when a forklift traverses uneven or rough terrain. When the tread of the tires is worn down or you see damage in the form of cracks or tears, it is time to look into getting new forklift tires.
Filters remove contaminants from both the oil and air that is circulating in your forklift’s engine. Although a forklift will still run with an older filter, not replacing it will cause problems for both your machine and the workplace. Old filters put a greater strain on the vehicle, hampering your forklift’s fuel economy and possibly decreasing its longevity. Forklifts that run with old filters may also begin to emanate bad smells and expel fumes that can impact operators and other workers’ health.
Facilities looking to create more efficient maintenance schedules can benefit from identifying what forklift parts most commonly need replacement. This way, they can identify likely hazards before they occur rather than after they have caused an accident, and they can contact a forklift repair service when damage is still small.