A business that needs a forklift to maneuver heavy loads in warehouses and loading trucks will struggle if the forklift isn’t running in tip-top shape during working hours. Here are some tips to maintain the forklift for continuous use during business hours:
- Keep a maintenance schedule – Just like any other automotive vehicle, follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule for oil changes and replacing specific parts. Post this schedule – and the dates each item is completed – in a well-trafficked area of the business to ensure it stays top-of-mind.
- Have replacement parts available – A flat tire, damaged hydraulics or something else breaking can stop profits immediately, and for a long time – especially if you have to order repair parts. Keep spare parts and an extra set of tires on hand. Consider purchasing a used forklift of the same make and model from which you can take parts needed for a quick repair job. Use online auction sites like Copart.com to find used forklifts listed, allowing you to stay within budget but also to gather a good set of spare parts.
- Battery vs. gas – Many businesses using forklifts are switching to battery-operated machines to help save on fuel costs. If your company is using a fuel-run forklift, be sure to keep extra fuel available on site every day of business. And if you have a battery-run forklift, experts in the industry recommend keeping the battery above 20 percent charge, only plugging the battery in when needed, and never doing a “fast charge.” All of these are to help extend the life of the battery. In addition, be sure to add the battery to the maintenance schedule noted above.
With the forklift operating, business can continue without delay.