Forklifts are indispensable for any warehouse. They are some of the most used tools in operation. Therefore, maintaining your forklifts in tip-top condition allows you to avoid possible headaches in the future. In particular, electric forklifts are the most energy-efficient type of forklift trucks, but only when taken care of. Proper forklift maintenance ensures the efficiency of work and safety of both personnel and goods. It will lengthen the lifespans of your equipment and reduce unnecessary costs.
Here are some great tips to help you maintain your electric forklifts!
Check for physical damages
Cleaning will always be part of equipment maintenance. Forklifts must be cleaned, especially when exposed to workplaces with a lot of abrasive particles. Check the forks regularly for wear and tear. They are often dragged on the ground that causes early damages.
You should also regularly inspect the hydraulic system to see if they are in perfect working condition. Check the seals of the gaskets and the pipes for signs of wear. After all the cleaning and inspection, apply the correct lubrication to protect the machine.
Take care of the batteries
Electric forklifts need their batteries checked regularly for safety. Forklift operators should carry out this task daily. They also need to have a routine for charging, cleaning, and checking the battery, as well as the electrolytes.
There are guidelines you should follow when charging your forklift batteries. Refrain from unplugging the charger until the battery reaches 100% and draining the battery below 25%. If the battery is completely drained, charge it up as soon as possible. Schedule stabilizing charges after several uses.
After charging, make sure that the batteries have the correct levels of deionized or distilled water. Maintaining proper electrolyte levels is a must. It will avoid sulphation of the plates, which reduces the batteries’ capacity and causes damage over time.
It is important to keep the batteries clean. Dust, gunk, and dirt build-up can damage them and shorten their lifespan. A damaged battery can lead to more serious problems eventually.
Check your forklift tires
Forklifts tires are the only parts of the machines that make contact with the ground. The tires provide the necessary grip for traction and braking. If the tires are in bad condition, it will significantly affect the trucks’ maneuverability, which can lead to accidents. The tires also serve as damping elements for the ground and the truck. Forklifts, unlike conventional cars, do not have suspensions. The tires bear all the truck’s weight and its load combined, so it is essential to replace worn or damaged tires to ensure safety.
Prepare for downtime seasons
If the forklifts are not going to be used for a long period, you will need to take proper measures to protect the equipment. You should disconnect the batteries from the trucks to avoid discharging. However, you still should not let the batteries fall under 20% capacity since it will risk irreversible damage.
For seasons that you only need a few forklifts, and some will be left unused, try rotating them every once in a while to avoid long periods of inactivity.
Invest in staff training
Your staff is your partner in keeping your forklifts properly maintained. Training your staff in proper handling and caring for the equipment is worth the investment since they are the ones to use them.
Training your staff increases safety in the workplace. Aside from that, it motivates your staff to take better care of the equipment. Increased understanding of the equipment can make operators feel more responsible for their use.
Make sure that your staff understands that forklifts are electrical equipment and need to be handled as such. Implement policies and SOPs regarding maintenance. These things will allow your fleet to last longer.
Final Thoughts About Electric Forklift Maintenance
No warehouse can operate efficiently without functioning Forklifts. To maximize the efficiency of your business, keep your equipment in the best condition.
(Source: SHD Logistics)