Is your forklift ready for winter? Can you afford the downtime? - Barek
01482 218151 |

Is your forklift ready for winter? Can you afford the downtime?

It’s coming up to that time of year again, “Tis the season to be jolly”, “the goose is getting fat” and the newspapers are all predicting that we’re in for the worst winter in decades….. again!

For many businesses, it’s their busiest time of year, and yet, year after year, when the cold weather strikes, we receive desperate calls to attend to ill-prepared forklifts broken down, seized or even stuck in the snow.

When it comes to preparing for the winter season, we often find that forklifts are overlooked, yet expected to perform at the turn of a key! The performance and reliability of even the very best forklifts can be affected by extreme weather, particularly snow and ice.

Our advice on preparation comes in the form of yet more phrases, “be proactive, not reactive” and “prevention is cheaper than the cure” 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:

1) Keep on top of your daily simple maintenance checks.

    • Check all the lights work. Can additional floodlighting be arranged to ensure adequate visibility
    • Make sure the coolant system in diesel engine trucks has a suitable concentration of anti-freeze.
    • Ensure oil and other lubricants are kept topped up to keep the truck running smoothly in the cold
    • Check that the service schedule on all trucks is up to date and carry out daily checks on significant components
    • Ensure that operators know how to use the equipment safely in adverse conditions and provide adequate training if necessary
    • Check tyres have enough tread and that they are suitable for the weather (studs/chains).
    • Check hydraulic hoses connections for leaks

2) Check your Operating Environment

In addition to the equipment, we also advise our customers to check their working environment as snow, ice or heavy rainfall can hide visibility of potential hazards.

3) Have an effective plan in case the adverse weather hits!

Should the worst weather finally arrive, we also advise customers to plan for removal of snow and ice from operational areas. A plow 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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