Are your forklifts ready for a cold spell? - Barek
01482 218151 |

Are your forklifts ready for a cold spell?

Although the weather has been pretty mild so far this winter in Hull, a cold spell could creep up on us at any point. Year after year, when the cold weather strikes, we receive calls to attend to ill-prepared forklifts that have broken down, seized or got stuck in the ice or snow.

When it comes to preparing for the winter season, forklifts are sometimes overlooked, yet expected to perform during this busy period in the run-up to Christmas. The performance and reliability of even the very best forklifts can be affected by extreme weather, particularly snow and ice.

When it comes to getting ready for cold weather in Yorkshire, it’s best to be proactive, rather than reactive. And also, prevention is definitely cheaper than repair. The repercussions of poor winter preparation are not only limited to the direct monetary cost of forklift repairs but also indirectly in terms of lost productivity and penalties for failing to fulfil orders.

We’re already taking steps with our customers to winter-proof their equipment, yard and loading areas, so here are our top tips:

Simple maintenance checks

1. Start by checking all the lights work on the trucks.

2. Make sure the coolant system in diesel engine trucks has a suitable concentration of anti-freeze.

3. Ensure oil and other lubricants are kept topped up to keep the truck running smoothly in the cold

4. Check that the service schedule on all trucks is up to date and carry out daily checks on significant components

5. Ensure that operators know how to use the equipment safely in adverse conditions and provide extra training if necessary

6. Check tyres have enough tread and that they are suitable for the weather (studs/chains).

7. Check hydraulic hoses connections for leaks

Your operating environment

In addition to the equipment, we also advise checking your working environment thoroughly. Snow, ice or heavy rainfall can hide the visibility of potential hazards. Carry out more frequent risk assessments of your warehouse or operating area to ensure everything is safe.

Be prepared to react to adverse weather conditions 

The first step in planning for adverse weather is to keep an eye on the forecast. Although it’s not always 100% accurate, it usually gives a good indicator of any cold spells moving in.

Should adverse weather finally arrive, we also advise customers to plan for the removal of snow and ice from operational areas. A plough will help to remove snow from the yard, parking and walkway areas. You could also use a salter or sander to grit your parking, loading and working areas to increase overall safety.

If you would like any further information or advice on how to prepare for winter please feel free to call us on 01482 218151 or email us on

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