As a warehouse manager, you know that your forklifts are some of the most important vehicles for your operation. How can you avoid unnecessary costs and replacements, making sure your forklifts are running in tip-top shape? Review our forklift maintenance checklist to be sure you and your daily operators are doing everything you can to extend the life and condition of your equipment (all while ensuring the safety of your operation!).
Before Each Shift
In addition to regularly scheduled maintenance, you’ll want to have your forklift operators do daily checks to make sure that everything with your forklift is functioning properly.
Before each shift, OSHA suggests that operators perform the following daily checks; if anything is marked as not functioning properly, you’ll want to be sure to have your forklift serviced by a qualified mechanic.
Below is what OSHA lists on their daily checklist:
Performed with the engine off:
- Check for leaks: Whether it’s hydraulic oil, engine oil, radiator coolant, or fuel, operators will want to be sure their forklifts are leak-free.
- Check tire pressure and condition.
- Check the condition of the forks, top clip retaining pin, and heel.
- Ensure that the load backrest is securely attached.
- Do a visual check of the hydraulic hoses, mast chains, cables and stops, to be sure everything appears as normal.
- Make sure finger guards and overheard guard are attached.
- Check the propane tank for any damage or rust corrosion.
- Check for any safety warnings.
- Be sure the battery has balanced water/electrolyte levels and a good charge.
- Visually check all engine belts and use a dipstick to check the engine oil and transmission fluid.
- Check the hydraulic fluid levels, radiant collants, and brake fluids.
- Squeeze rubber dirt trap to check the engine air cleaner is functioning properly.
- Be sure the operator’s manual is in the container.
- Check the nameplate and be sure that the information matches the model, attachments, and serial numbers.
- Be sure the seat belt is functioning smoothly, and that the hood latch is securely fastened.
Performed with engine on:
With the engine on, you’ll then want to check for any unusual noises. If you hear anything tripping or making an unusual sound, you’ll want to pause and make sure to take the forklift in to be serviced. OSHA recommends making sure all of these parts are functioning smoothly:
- Accelerator or direction control pedal
- Parking brake and service brake
- Steering operation
- Drive and tilt control (both forward and back)
- Hoist and lowering control
- Horn and lights
- Attachment control
- Make sure the heater, defroster, and wipers are all functioning properly
- Make sure all of your gauges are also functioning properly (i.e. engine oil pressure, hour meter, fuel level, instrument monitors, temperature, fuel level, ammeter).
Having operators perform these quick inspections before their shifts ensures that you catch issues before they become big, costly ones. Always raise a flag and take your forklift in for service if you spot something unusual.
You can use sample checklists from OSHA’s website and modify them for your specific warehouse needs.
Monthly & Annual Maintenance
Depending on your needs and level of usage, you’ll want to perform more thorough maintenance checks on a monthly basis. It all depends on the wear and tear your forklifts get on a monthly basis. Be sure to check with your licensed service technician to see how often you’ll need to have your forklift serviced based on usage. Replace filters and oils regularly, and report any issues early. Performing regular in-house inspections will ensure that small problems don’t become big ones, and will lessen the amount of times your forklifts need to go into the shop.
Here at Papé Material Handling, we have a wonderful team of expertly trained and experienced service technicians available to check and fix any possible issues with your forklift. Regular maintenance extends the lifespan of your forklift and improves the safety of your operation. Reach out to us today to ask us about your service options.