Our Guide to Forklift Maintenance - Barek
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Our Guide to Forklift Maintenance

“BY LOOKING AFTER YOUR FORKLIFT, IT WILL IN TURN LOOK AFTER YOU”

Forklifts are an integral part of many organisations day-to-day operations. It is extremely important that any forklift, whether it’s powered by gas, electric or diesel, receives a regular maintenance check to ensure maximum safety and ensure optimum productivity in the workplace.

Furthermore, forklifts are expensive items of materials handling equipment and if regularly maintained by professionally trained engineers serve to enhance the efficiency and productivity of your workplace rather than a drain on time and resources.

All forklifts need to have scheduled services in place and there are no short cuts around having these checks duly completed on time. The well known saying “prevention is cheaper than the cure” is true in many ways and no more so than when applied to forklifts. It is often the case that during any of these routine services, you can discover a minor fault before it becomes a potentially bigger and more expensive problem.

Our ‘best practice’ advice starts with daily checks. Please see below our guide and a short video on how to complete your daily checks.

DAILY CHECKS

Prior to using the forklift each day / each shift, the operators should carry out a simple daily maintenance check. They should visually inspect for any leaks, damage, tyre / wheels / nuts condition, the operation of all the safety lights on board, service, parking brakes, horn, and steering. They should then check the forks, chains, anchor points and mast operation. Finally check the levels of engine oil, fuel, radiator water/coolant and hydraulic fluid.

HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU SERVICE YOUR FORKLIFT?

The frequency at which your forklift is serviced is determined by a number of ‘common sense’ factors.

  • The manufacturers recommended service intervals.
    • A forklift has shares many commonalities with cars / vans / lorries in terms of engine, steering, brakes, electrical systems etc – but with the added complexity of a hydraulic lifting system. Therefore, just like your car, a forklift requires servicing in accordance with the manufacturers recommended guidelines. This ensures that essential components such as lubricating oils are refreshed and kept at their required levels.
  • The number of hours worked. 
    • The average annual mileage of a car today is 10,000 miles per annum. If your annual mileage was 30,000 miles per annum, it would make sense to have your vehicle serviced more often, given the added stress, strain, wear and tear placed upon it. The same applies to a forklift in terms of the number of hours it carries out.
  • The age, condition and value of the forklift. 
    • As we all know, with age comes wear and tear. The older you get, the more you need to look after yourself. The same applies to your materials handling equipment.
    • Forklifts are often assets in the business. The more valuable your asset, the more you’re going to want to look after it, both in terms of its performance and it’s residual value. The value of a second car that had never been serviced is likely to be much less the value of the same car that had a complete and fully documented service history. The same applies to forklifts.
  • The nature of the environment / application.
    • The more demanding the application, the more often the forklifts should be serviced to ensure maximum safety. This applies to environments where the components of the forklift may wear more quickly. For example; outdoor applications with uneven terrain will wear tyres, brakes and steering components more quickly.

At Barek Lift Trucks, we create service and maintenance schedules tailored to your application which take into consideration all of the above factors. Adhering to this schedule will improve safety, increase the performance output from the forklift, reduce long term costs, thus minimising downtime and prolong its life.

Our professionally trained mechanics regularly maintain and service all types of forklifts around the Hull, Harrogate, York & Grimsby area. If you feel your forklifts are not getting the attention they need, please get in touch and we’d be more than happy to help.

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