Four Effective Strategies to Make Your Forklift Last More Than Ten years
Heavy machines and vehicles are the backbones of many industrial companies in Singapore. They are mainstays when it comes to construction, repair, and transportation, making them the lifeblood of these businesses.
The forklift is one prime example. Capable of carrying heavy loads quickly and efficiently across distances, a forklift can easily do the job of more than ten men in an instant! Depending on the kind of forklift you're using, this equipment needs a varying amount of care. Being able to keep your forklifts working properly over many years can give you the most return on your investment.
But like most equipment, forklifts can break. They may get bogged down by wear and tear, break down due to improper use and mishandling, or break during on-site accidents. The safety of your personnel can also be an issue if they don't work properly, resulting in damage costs and liabilities.
Fortunately, there are ways to prevent these breakdowns to ensure that you get to use your forklift for more than TEN YEARS STRAIGHT (wouldn't that be ideal?). So here are FIVE EFFECTIVE strategies to give your forklift a long life.
1. Make sure your forklift users are properly trained.
When talking about heavy machinery maintenance, try not to forget about those handling them! Some on-site accidents occur due to poorly trained forklift drivers. There are many ways you can do this, and one would be implementing a thorough screening for your applicants to review their background and experience. Your personnel must have the correct licenses and proper training before they even step foot inside the vehicle.
Your forklift drivers must also be knowledgeable about the ins and outs of the forklift. This includes basic to advance maintenance, repair, and troubleshooting. Having a professional handle your equipment can significantly boost productivity and efficiency on-site.
2. Do daily maintenance checks.
A Pre-Shift Inspection is a regular maintenance schedule done before any operating shift. The forklift driver and your technicians must go through the unit's different parts and systems before actual use. Here are some things you can check before the shift starts:
- Forks – Lower and raise it without a load to see if it is working correctly
- Tires – Observe if the tires are without damages or missing rubber chunks
- Pistons – Should have no leaks or drainage
- Hydraulic hoses – Check for holes or punctures in the tubes
- Chain – Tension on the chain should be tight and secure
- Carriage – Any breaks in the weld should be reported immediately
- Seat belt – Ensure it is in good condition
- Propane tank (if it has one) – Make sure it's securely fastened
- Radiator – Check if the radiator is clean and free from debris or clutter
- Emergency brake and accelerator – Test acceleration and breaks before use
- Controls – Run through control systems for proper response
- Safety lights, battery, alarms, & horn – Indicators should all be working
- Fluid levels – All fluid levels must be in good capacity
These safety checks ensure that the next shift will go without a hitch, and your equipment will be working fine. However, if there is an issue with one or more systems, do not use the forklift and immediately undergo repairs.
3. Keep a regular preventive maintenance schedule.
Aside from daily checks, a regular maintenance schedule can prevent wear and tear and ensure that your vehicle is working properly. A trained mechanic should look at your machine once a month or every 200 hours if the unit is used regularly.
These checks include:
- life and tilt cylinder operation, drive belt tension, chassis, and mast lubrication
- replacement of engine oil and other fluids
- cleaning the air filter
- checking of spark plugs, cap, and rotor
- inspection of ignition timing and idle speed's adjustment
There are additional maintenance checks that need to be done every three months and six months for a more comprehensive look at the status of your machine.
4. Be sure to purchase the correct parts from a reliable vendor.
It is also unavoidable that your machine breaks down and would need parts replacement or repairs. While going for quick and easy solutions may be faster and cheaper, we do not recommend this. If you want your machine to perform efficiently, you must go for quality parts and products.
There are plenty of good options to choose from, both OEM and after-market spare parts. Take some time to study the background and feedback of suppliers so you can make the best decision on which parts to get and which supplier to purchase from.
In summary: Taking care of your forklift through these FIVE EFFECTIVE strategies will allow your forklift to last a very long time, giving you a great return on your investment.
Scantruck is your one-stop solution for all your commercial vehicles and material-handling equipment needs. With over 36 years of experience in selling, distributing, maintaining, and repairing material-handling equipment in Singapore, you can be confident that you're getting the right quality parts from a reliable partner.
Our company will help you:
- choose the correct replacement parts
- purchase or rent a forklift
- maintain your commercial vehicles and forklifts
Contact Scantruck today at 6305 6600.