How to reduce overall maintenance overheads.
No machine is built to perfection. Sooner or later, it will wear out or break down. And forklifts are no exception.
On top of that, forklifts are subject to heavy lifting and non-stop operation, making them more vulnerable than any other machinery in the warehouse. Not only it requires more care but also more frequent servicing as compared to the static machinery.
But you can reduce the overall maintenance overheads while still ensuring the smooth running of your forklift. Here’s how you can do that.
Replacing worn-out parts
Over time and with use, major forklift parts will wear out and will need to be replaced. Buying brand new parts is the most convenient option, but here’s a better alternative if you want to save a few bucks.
Replace the worn-out parts with remanufactured parts, which offer decent performance and life without burning a hole in your pocket.
For instance, using remanufactured parts for forklift transmission repairs is an excellent way of saving money without compromising performance.
Remanufactured vs rebuilt parts – there’s a slight difference that you should know about.
Remanufactured parts are almost as good as new parts since every broken and worn-out component is replaced to ensure optimum life, performance, and high tolerance against everyday use.
On the other hand, it is often advised against buying rebuilt parts, because these parts are not refurbished completely. While the broken components are repaired or replaced, the worn-out pieces are left as is. Which means, there’s no guarantee that the part will sustain the heavy abuse for a long time.
High-quality filters make a huge difference.
A forklift usually operates in an environment filled with pollen, dust, and other contaminants. These contaminants can be sucked into the engine through the air intake.
Trivial parts that they may seem, the air and oil filters keep contaminants from entering the engine’s combustion chamber and thus prevent major breakdowns.
If you operate fuel-injection forklifts, you must know that these have very little tolerance against dirt and contaminants. Therefore, to avoid an expensive engine repair, you must invest in high-quality air and oil filters. An ounce of prevention can save you from a pound of forklift problems.
Replacing air and oil filters regularly is also crucial to maintaining peak fuel efficiency and throttle response. So, never skimp on this affordable yet essential maintenance procedure.
This is a regular procedure that a skilled forklift operator can and should carry out once a week.
The first step is to check the engine oil.
Pull out the dipstick, check the oil level, and run the oil over your fingers. If you feel any particles in the oil, it’s a clear indication that your engine is sucking in dirt and debris.
The next step is to check the color of the oil. If it has a milky appearance, chances are you have a blown gasket, which is allowing the coolant and the engine oil to mix. At this point, you must call in a specialist for repairs.
Also, check if the oil has lost its viscosity or smells burnt. These signs can reveal a lot about the engine’s condition so that you can take necessary measures in time to avoid breakdowns and unnecessary downtime.
Inspecting the mast at regular intervals can also alert you to imminent breakdowns and can help you avoid accidents due to a forklift collapse.
Are there any worn spots or metal shavings inside the channel? If the mast doesn’t move up and down smoothly or chatter on its way down, there’s a structural issue that needs to be looked into by a professional mechanic.
A visual inspection of your forklift can help you identify cracks and rust problems in the body, which can be prevented from getting worse if called in on timely.