The Most Important Fluids To Check on Your Forklift

Running a machine always requires maintenance to keep it operating functionally. So, having a basic understanding of how the components within the engine work is something that anyone operating the machine should be fully aware of. Along with this working knowledge, you should also keep the most important fluids to check on your forklift always topped off. This will ensure that it has what it needs to properly maintain itself day after day.

Motor Oil

Above all else, the main parts and cylinders within the engine could not function without being greased with oil. Every time before use, it would be a great idea to check and make sure that the minimum amount of oil is present. When you check your motor oil, you should wait at least thirty minutes before checking to get an accurate read, as oil becomes thin and expands whenever it is heated. Once you remove the dipstick from the reserve, wipe it off with a clean towel or cloth and return it to the reserve and remove to show the true level of oil in your engine.

Brake Fluid

Maybe one of the most important pieces to the puzzle of a working engine is brake fluid. If you are unsure of where to find your reserve under the hood, then remember you can always reference your vehicle’s manual for the location of your brake fluid reserve. Before most other components, this should be checked weekly along with the hoses and the brake line itself to prevent any kind of injury or fatality.

Power Steering Fluid

There was a time when power steering was non-existent, but it took an act of congress to turn the wheel. Having to manually force your wheels to turn takes quite a bit of upper body strength. You too will have to engage in this process if your power steering fluid runs dry, or if the power steering quits on you. This is one of the most important fluids you can have next to brake and motor oil.


Your coolant is something of a miracle, to put it lightly. Having the ability to run your radiator on water alone in the winter and coolant in the summer provides the driver with the ability to move fluidly between exchanges as you refill your reservoir throughout the year. The radiator provides a cooling capability for the engine while it runs so that it will not overheat.

Otherwise, you will be on foot without it. Generally, the radiator is on the front end of the engine and is easily accessible via a cap in the front. If the engine has been running, you especially do not want to open the radiator, as it will be heat pressurized and all that coolant or water can spew out and burn you if still hot. There should be a reservoir present close to the radiator, but again, you will need to check your manual first.


While the battery itself is not a fluid, the cells within the battery contain battery fluid. Now, this is not something that is generally checked as often, as it is typically a matter of cranking your engine and reading the odometer to tell what the percentage of charge the battery is. Sometimes, it is a wise decision to check it manually to get an accurate reading on it.

In order to do this, you will need to ensure a few things. First, your engine will have to be turned off, and the plugs to your battery will need to carefully be unplugged. Once those things are all to the side, you can open the cylinders on the top of the battery that should be covered with plastic flaps.

Once removed, you will need to have a flashlight ready and then look into each cell individually. These cells are simply filled with water, so if they are low or empty, you will need to top each one of them off. Once this is complete, rewire your battery and crank the engine. If it starts right up with no issues, then you will be sure that you now have a working battery that is ready to go at a moment’s notice.


The single greatest fluid you can have in your vehicle is what powers it completely. Without fuel, where would we be? Do not always wait for the engine light to come on to refill. Some machines work much harder than others, meaning they require more fuel to operate. There have been engines known to shut off earlier than expected, but it is doubtful that will be the case if you choose a Toyota forklift dealer (in Ohio). Therefore, you should know your gauges but always keep a little extra on standby if you run out. It might also be a great idea never to let the gauge fall below a certain limit before you refill.

Hydraulic Fluid

We have gone over the mechanics of the engine and the fluids needed to make it run successfully, but what about the hydraulic pumps themselves? The purpose behind having a forklift is to have the lifting and carrying power enough to move extremely heavy loads that you would otherwise not be able to lift on your own. So, just like everything else in your manual, you will also find where to look for your hydraulic and fluid gauge. In addition, this should be under the hood as well. Without the hydraulic, you could not make your forklift do its job.

You should never operate a vehicle of any kind without first taking the proper preventative maintenance steps by checking all the fluids and gauges that provide your vehicle with the means to run efficiently. By making a checklist and following it every time you operate your vehicle, you can ensure that you are following safety protocol. In addition, by actively making a regiment while at work, you’ll be able to keep your machine in its best shape for the longevity of the vehicle. Therefore, it is necessary to check the most important fluids on your forklift for a productive work week every week.

The Most Important Fluids To Check on Your Forklift