Your forklift is the workhorse of your warehouse; it carries heavy loads from one location to another and raises or lower materials to different elevations. It’s an invaluable tool that facilitates productivity and an efficient work environment.

But it cannot last forever—and without knowing the basics of forklift maintenance, it will fail before its time. Keep your forklift operational and your employees safe with regular and thorough upkeep.

Have a Daily Maintenance Checklist

Before anything, you need to formulate a daily list of preliminary inspections a worker must complete before the start of the day. These inspections are designed to spot any faulty processes in the forklift before it’s put into use. A few of the items on the inspection list include:

  • Hoses
  • Tire condition and pressure
  • Seatbelt function
  • Fluid levels
  • Brake performance
  • Forks and overhead guards

Know The Manufacturer’s Specifications

Your forklift may have its own special considerations. You can find these in the manufacturer’s manual. The information included is the general lifespan of the vehicle, time in between oil changes, and routine maintenance. This can help you form your own maintenance procedure.

Are the Tires in Good Condition?

Tires are one of the leading causes of problems in any vehicle. The tires are subjected to daily stress that can cause any number of issues. You need to make sure that they’re fully inflated, have no punctures, and that the treads are not worn down.

When Tires are Noticeably Worn

When it’s obvious a forklift has damaged tires, OSHA regulation dictates they must be taken out of service on the spot. Until they’re fitted with fresh tires, then they aren’t safe to be handled around the warehouse.

Deal With Issues as They Arise

When problems inevitably arise in your warehouse’s equipment, you need to take care of it immediately. Ignoring problems, or procrastinating to repair them, will lead to disaster and can cause damage to property and workers. These situations can be avoided by observing the basics of forklift maintenance that any worker can be trained to do.

Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for Patch.com, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.