Lift trucks are the workhorses of warehouses, but all forklifts eventually reach their limit. What’s the best way to extend the life of your fleet?
Maintaining your lift truck properly is the best way to prolong its lifespan. This is especially true when working in extreme temperatures or handling corrosive materials.
The engine of any internal combustion forklift is subject to wear and tear. Maintaining your lift truck’s engine with routine servicing and high-quality replacement parts helps maximize its lifespan.
Maintaining maintenance schedules also cuts repair costs, minimizes downtime, and boosts your equipment’s resale value. Investing in a quality planned maintenance program is one of the best ways to get the most out of your forklift’s total cost of ownership.
Experts agree that it’s typically time to replace your forklift after 10,000 operating hours and six to seven years, depending on the model and amount of use. Continuing to operate a lift truck past that point is expensive and can be dangerous for workers.
The transmission is responsible for shifting gears, a significant part of what powers your car or truck. When fuel (gasoline) ignites inside a combustion chamber, miniature explosions propel an array of pistons that turn the crankshaft, turning the wheels.
The main goal of the transmission is to produce power and control it at the right speed and with the correct load. To accomplish this, it continuously lubricates itself with transmission fluid.
The best way to prolong your lift truck’s life is to adhere to manufacturer-recommended maintenance schedules and use only high-quality Yale forklift parts. Contact a local service provider to discuss your business’s best forklift maintenance strategy.
The battery is the soul of an electric forklift, and proper maintenance can increase lifespan. A hydrometer often checks the battery fluid level and adds water when needed.
While significant repairs are expected later in the life of a lift truck, they can be prevented with regular preventive maintenance. Inspecting a forklift regularly will uncover minor issues before they become lingering problems that cost more to repair and lower the truck’s resale value.
For example, recharging the battery after discharging it to 80% will reduce hard sulfation that shortens lifespan. Also, designate a battery charging area with adequate air circulation.
Solids won’t squish when you press on them. Still, liquids will create a multiplication of force that allows hydraulic systems to move heavy weight with less effort than mechanical or electrical systems. This is why they are popular in manufacturing and construction.
Hydraulic cylinders are found in various industrial machines that power construction, transportation, and many other types of machinery. Hospital beds, automotive lifts, and elevated work platforms are all examples of hydraulic equipment. Keeping a good supply of hydraulic fluid, and using the recommended fluid levels for your particular lift truck, will help extend its life.
In addition to avoiding collisions and safely transporting loads, lift trucks need reliable brakes. A grinding noise indicates metal from the brake pad’s backing has touched the rotor, indicating that the pads need replacing.
A master and wheel cylinder control hydraulic pressure through pistons, allowing the vehicle to stop quickly. If these parts aren’t replaced, brake hoses and lines can rupture, leading to catastrophic failure.
Older lift trucks often lack modern safety features, putting operators at risk for injury and musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). Replacing them with ergonomically designed models reduces fatigue and absenteeism while boosting productivity.
Tires aren’t the most glamorous part of your vehicle, but they support a quarter of its weight. They enable it to grip the road, turn and stop in a reasonable time.
In addition, they help keep operators safe and comfortable. Tires should last for their intended service life. However, poor maintenance and utilization can send them into retirement early.
Reputable technicians can perform regular inspections, check for proper air pressure, and rotate tires to extend lifespan. They also use genuine, high-quality parts for repairs and replacements. This minimizes maintenance costs and ensures optimum performance.
Forks on any forklift are constantly in contact with loads and will eventually wear down. Replacing them before they break can wring more work hours from a lift truck, but only if doing so makes sense for your business.
Batteries — especially lead-acid batteries — can be stretched out with proper maintenance. Ensure the electrolyte level is correct (ideally, distilled water), and remove any spilled battery fluid.
Electrical components like wire harnesses should be replaced to protect against exposure and deterioration. Also, consider maintaining a spare parts inventory to buffer against long wait times on crucial components like batteries.