Although forklifts are incredibly tough and durable, they do need to be serviced in order to remain effective and safe. For instance, as a forklift goes unrepaired, it can lift less efficiently. More important than efficiency is the fact that a deteriorating forklift can become a hazard. Loads can often weigh hundreds or thousands of pounds, and if you do not have your forklift serviced by someone in forklift repairs & sales, it can injure a driver or workers at the worksite.
In addition to the personal dangers that result from an improperly operating forklift, OSHA, and other organizations that monitor workplace safety can impose fines or halt operations if a forklift fails inspection. Consequently, it is important to consider a variety of visual and auditory signs that indicate a forklift is no longer able to safely or profitably be operated.
1. Stained Floor
When you pull your forklift away from its parking space in your warehouse and you notice residue on the concrete, your forklift likely is suffering engine problems due to an oil leak. An oil leak can represent a simple problem with an O ring. However, it can also indicate problems with the transmission or pump.
Stains might also mean that your forklift has a leak in the hydraulic system. This type of problem can prove disastrous as the hydraulics are what power your forklift’s ability to safely lift or lower a load. If the pressure in your hydraulic system goes out as you are driving, you could end up injuring others should an accident occur.
2. Faulty Forks
Forks come into contact with concrete and metal on a regular basis. As a result, if any cracks appear in the forks, it is time to have them replaced. In addition to the structural integrity of the forks, you need to always note if the forks are level and equal in height to one another. If one fork is higher than another, the hydraulics might be slipping in pressure.
Another sign of bad forks is when they show a significant amount of wear. As the forks are used, the metal will be worn away. If the overall wear and tear exceed 10 percent, the forks are no longer structurally able to support heavyweight.
Of course, a light that goes out indicates that a replacement is needed, but a light that works intermittently is a sign of something worse because the electrical signal is not continuous. As such, the forklift might have a short somewhere between the light and the battery, or the battery, itself, might have a faulty connection.
4. Squishy Brakes
If you step on the brakes and it takes a long time for the foot pressure to translate into stopping power, you need to have a service company look at the brake system. A simple fix might be that the brake fluid needs to be topped off. However, other problems might include a problem with a brake hose. Another problem might be that there is air in the brake line, which means the entire brake system needs to be professionally flushed.
5. Raising Or Lowering Problems
The forks on any forklift should raise and lower evenly. If the left or right fork catches, there could be a problem with the hydraulics. A more major problem, however, is that the shank is bent or dented. If this is the case, a heavy load could cause the forks to seize, which could result in the load becoming unbalanced and crashing to the floor.
6. Problems with The Engine
An engine that is slow to turn over can indicate a problem somewhere in the starting circuit. One problem is when you hear a clicking noise as you try to start the forklift. However, other indicators might include the following.
– spinning starter
– engine will not crank
– clattering sound when trying to start
7. Ride Quality
Although a forklift is not built for comfort, a bumpy ride might indicate a problem with an axle. Additionally, an uneven ride might indicate that the tires are unevenly worn. Finally, if the tires on a forklift spin, they might be worn too much, which can create a safety problem when driving or attempting to stop.
Eric Reyes is a passionate thought leader having been featured in 50 distinguished online and offline platforms. His passion and knowledge in Finance and Business made him a sought after contributor providing valuable insights to his readers. You can find him reading a book and discussing current events in his spare time.