Moving cargo and products throughout the warehouse can be difficult if you don't have a forklift at your disposal. A forklift is not only capable of handling large loads, but will also greatly improve the overall productivity of your workforce, making it a worthwhile investment. To make sure that your investment lasts, set daily maintenance routines for forklift operators to follow. In particular, here are 3 inspections or maintenance tasks that can greatly increase the expected lifespan of each forklift and reduce the need for repairs and professional maintenance.

Ensure That All Parts Are Greased

Before you turn the forklift on, make sure that all of the parts are properly greased — especially the moving joints. By ensuring that all of the parts are properly greased, you are able to prevent the harmful effects of friction, which can build up and end up damaging the parts permanently. You can also minimize joint wear, improve the corrosion resistance of all of the parts, promote a smooth and quiet operation and also lower chain tension. 

Lubricants and grease that are applied to the external surface will also prevent rust. In particular, you want to make sure that the lift chain is properly greased and lubricated. The lubrication will penetrate into the lift chain and prevent it from breaking. Keep in mind that the lubrication becomes a type of glue that will gather dirt. As a result, it is also important that the parts are properly cleaned and re-greased regularly.

While you are checking to make sure that all of the parts are properly greased, you also want to take the time to check to see whether there are any warn out ball bearings present that need to be replaced as soon as possible.

Check the Wear on the Tires

One of the most important aspects that should be inspected on a regular basis is the tires. If the tires are not properly balanced or maintained, you can expect an unbalanced ride that may potentially lead to accidents and damaged goods. You must first be able to determine the type of tires, cushion tires or pneumatic tires, that you have on your forklift, as different tires exhibit different warning signs.

Cushion tires wear slowly although they are susceptible to damages, such as punctures. It is not uncommon for cushion tires to possess 50% wear lines; however, these tires need to be replaced when the top of the tire meets the wear lines, as the tires will not have any grip. You also want to periodically look for flat spots. Flat spots are an indication of improper forklift usage when the forklift comes to a sharp halt, which causes the tires to misalign. In comparison, pneumatic tires need to be replaced when they are worn down to only 2 inches or if there are any signs of balding.

Check Fluid Levels Regularly

Last but not least, make sure to check all of the fluid levels before operating the forklift, especially if it is used on a daily basis. Proper fluid levels are required to make sure that the forklift will run smoothly and properly. In particular, you want to check the fluid levels of the transmission and the hydraulics. Don't forget about the motor oil as well. Top the fluid levels up if they are running low. Don't wait until they have run out, as the forklift will have suffered from a considerable amount of damage by then.

Conclusion

By making sure that you have set up strict daily maintenance routines for all forklifts that are being operated within your warehouse, you can prevent the forklifts from becoming damaged prematurely. In addition, the forklift's performance will also be maintained.

Click here for info on forklift services in your area if your forklift is in need of repairs or heavy duty maintenance. 

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