Daily and Weekly Checklists for Routine Forklift Maintenance

Daily and Weekly Checklists for Routine Forklift Maintenance

Dec 29, 2017

Forklifts are very important pieces of equipment for the operations of a business, and they are also expensive to purchase and repair.  The last thing a company needs is to spend money repairing or replacing a forklift, especially for damage that could have been prevented.  Fortunately, you can help ensure that your company’s forklifts stay operational by doing daily and weekly inspections of the equipment.  Performing regular checks of the forklifts will help you notice any issues and deal with them before they become bigger, more expensive problems.  This will help your forklifts stay functional and prolong their lives which will save your company money in repairs or the purchase of new equipment.  The following forklift maintenance checklists will help your operators routinely inspect the forklift equipment and prevent serious issues.

Forklift Daily Checklist

Daily and Weekly Checklists for Routine Forklift MaintenanceForklifts should be inspected every day before each use, and even between shifts to ensure that they are operating properly.  These daily inspections will ensure that the forklift is ready for use which will help prevent serious damage or accidents.  Your daily forklift inspection should include the following:

  • Check the oil: Make sure the engine oil is at the right level which will help improve fuel efficiency and protect the engine block from wear and tear.
  • Check the fuel: This seems obvious, but it is important to make sure you have enough fuel for daily operations.
  • Check the tires: It is very important to check the tires to look for damage and ensure that they are properly inflated. Operating the forklift on under or overinflated tires is dangerous.
  • Check the brakes: You must inspect the brakes to ensure that they are functional. Check brake fluid levels as well as the brake lights.  Make sure you replace brake pads that have become worn down.
  • Check the battery: The battery must be properly attached and have enough juice to power the forklift.
  • Check safety features: It is important to ensure that the safety features, such as alarms, sensors, lights, and indicators, are functional for safe operation.

You must stress the importance of these daily forklift inspections to your operators so that they are done before each use.  By inspecting your forklifts on a daily basis, you can prolong the life of the equipment, reduce the risk of workplace accidents, and stay in compliance with OSHA standards to avoid fines or sanctions.

Weekly Forklift Inspection Checklist

Weekly forklift inspections are more in-depth than daily inspections, and they should be done at least once each week.  Your weekly forklift inspections should include the following:

  • Check hydraulic and transmission fluid: The hydraulic and transmission systems are crucial for the operation of the forklift. If either fail, the repairs can be very expensive.  Each week, make sure you check the fluid levels for each system and look for any leaks or damage.
  • Check oil lines: Inspect the oil lines carefully for any leaks and patch the leaks you find.
  • Check fluid levels: Check all fluid levels including power steering fluid, brake fluid, oil, and others to ensure that they are at the right levels.

Weekly forklift inspections are crucial for avoiding major issues that can put the equipment out of use or cost your company money in repairs.  Designate one day each week to these forklift checks to ensure that they are done on a regular basis.

You can avoid many common issues with your forklifts and save your company money on forklift service by routinely following these checklists.  All of your forklift operators should be familiar with these checklists and understand the importance of these daily and weekly inspections.  While being proactive will reduce the risk of malfunctions with your forklift, there is still a chance that you could experience any number of issues that require professional maintenance.  RHI Lifts provides forklift maintenance and repair services to resolve any issues and get your forklift back up and running.  Contact our forklift service experts at (847) 447-0700 if you need professional maintenance for your equipment in the Chicago area.

Counterbalance Forklift vs Reach Forklifts: The Main Differences

Counterbalance Forklift vs Reach Forklifts: The Main Differences

Dec 1, 2017

Buying a new forklift for your business is not a light endeavor.  Forklift equipment is a major purchase, and there are many types of forklifts available with different options to serve a variety of purposes in different working environments.  You must consider price, capability, weight capacity, and even forklift type when making a purchase.  Once you determine your budget and decide on your price range, the next biggest decision to make is what type of forklift you need.  There are several types of forklifts, the most common are counterbalance forklifts and reach forklifts.  This guide explains the main characteristics and differences between these two types of forklifts.

Counterbalance Forklifts

Reach_forkliftThe most commonly used forklifts for handling materials are counterbalance forklifts.  These forklifts are the first that come to mind when people generally picture the equipment because they resemble what many consider to be the typical forklift.  The fork is on the front of the vehicle and it operates without the need for additional outriggers or reach.  Therefore, operators can drive right up to the load to lift it and right up to the racking spot to off load it.

Counterbalance forklifts get their name from the presence of a counterbalance weight, usually on the back of the forklift, that off sets the weight of the lifted load.  These forklifts can be powered by gas, diesel fuel, or electricity, and the size of the counterweight may differ depending on the weight of the battery.  Electric counterbalance forklifts can have batteries that weigh up to several thousand pounds which means that they generally have smaller counterweights.  The other main features of counterbalance forklifts include driver cabs, sideshifts, and mast tilt facilities.

3 Wheel Counterbalance Forklifts

One drawback of counterbalance forklifts is that they are tough to use in limited spaces.  The design of 3 wheel counterbalance forklifts makes maneuvering through tight spaces easier with a single rear wheel in the center of the forklift.  This rear wheel gives the forklift a better turning radius to handle racking and loading in small spaces.

Reach Forklifts

Reach forklifts have the capability to “reach” beyond their stabilizing legs, giving them much more lift height capacity than counterbalance forklifts.  These forklifts also have better maneuverability and they are designed for operation in tight spaces.  Reach trucks are most commonly used in warehouse settings because they can fit in tight isles and reach loads that are stored high in the racking.  They perform poorly in outdoor settings because uneven surfaces can cause damage to the low clearance undercarriage.  These forklifts are stabilized by the legs and battery, which means they do not need a counterbalance weight.  Some reach trucks can reach and lift loads as high as 30 feet.

Another common feature of reach trucks is a tilting cab mechanism to help the operator better see the load.  Many cabs on reach forklifts have an open overhead guard to help increase visibility, and some reach trucks may also have cameras for even better visibility.  The image from these cameras shows on an LCD screen inside the cab.

If you are considering a new forklift for your fleet, you must consider what you need out of the new forklift to help decide which type of forklift you should buy.  Both counterbalance forklifts and reach forklift are useful in many scenarios, but their different capabilities make them each better suited for different environments.  Professionals that offer new forklifts such as RHI Lifts can help you decide which type of forklift is better suited for your working environment.  Give RHI Lifts a call to learn more about your options for a new forklift.