Electric Forklift Maintenance Tips to Protect Your Equipment

Maintaining your electric forklift fleet is essential to ensure the longevity of your equipment, maxi mise up time and keep costs down. Read on to discover the top four electric forklift maintenance tips you need to know.

1. Identify your forklift maintenance goals

Knowing your safety/maintenance duties and priorities, then setting a clear plan and schedule will help you keep on track with essential upkeep. Many larger fleet operators will have maintenance schedules in place, but for smaller operators especially, this is an area to watch out for. It’s recommended that forklifts are usually serviced at least every 6 months. You’ll also find that your truck and its battery have warranties that require service by an authorized engineer. It’s a good idea to be aware of  – and to schedule – the services required by your contract, since failing to carry them out can invalidate it.

Day-to-day, there are regular maintenance processes that need to be followed to protect equipment and maximise uptime. Find out more below.

2. Take care of batteries to reduce the risk of damage

Forklift operators should carry out daily checks to ensure their forklifts are safe to drive. Checking, cleaning, and charging the battery should be part of that routine, along with checking the electrolytes.  

Cleaning batteries regularly is essential. This will remove any build-up of dust or dirt, which can damage the battery and reduce its lifespan.

When charging, batteries shouldn’t be unplugged before this is complete. Like many aspects of electric forklifts and battery maintenance, you may not see the effects immediately, but opening too early actually chips away at the life of the battery. 

Once fully charged, you will need to ensure that the batteries are topped up with deionized or distilled water to the correct level.

Checking the electrolyte levels should be done frequently, as well as topping them up when needed. This avoids sulphation of the plates, which can reduce the battery’s capacity and cause damage over time. 

3. Prepare for periods of downtime correctly

If you’re likely to have a period of closure (or a quieter period with fewer trucks in use), there are a couple of measures to take to protect your equipment. When preparing for downtime, be sure to switch off or disconnect batteries/trucks from the mains supply to prevent the battery discharging. Batteries should never be allowed to discharge to less than 20% since they risk irreparable damage. If possible, avoid leaving the forklift inactive for long periods.

4. Invest in staff know-how

A top tip for protecting your investment is to ensure that your staff knows how to look after forklift batteries. Good training and education are key. 

The right training can keep your workforce safe, but it’s also a great motivator: understanding the equipment can make operators feel more responsible for it and take better care of it.

In essence, forklifts are a piece of electrical equipment, but often, they’re not looked after with this in mind. Getting staff into the right mindset can go a long way to helping your fleet last longer.

Day-to-day, an important rule of thumb to remember is, “if it doesn’t look right, report it”. Make sure staff know who to turn to if they notice a problem. 

Since its foundation, Xiamen Impetus Industrial Co., Ltd has ranked as one of the world’s leading manufacturers of material handling equipment and solution providers for intralogistics. The company is located in the Xiamen, Special Economic Zone in China, with a production base of 30,000 square meters and an annual output value of more than 20 million dollars. We are proud of the talented and experienced technical team from international top brands which always makes it possible for us to serve our clients with value-added proposal. Integrating our stable supply chain and high-quality resources, we have full confidence to offer you optimized solutions with best cost performance.

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References

  • “Forklift Operator Safety Training”. MASCO.NET. Archived from the original on 26 August 2012. Retrieved 8 December 2012.
  • OSHA’ Website – Frequently Asked Questions about Powered Industrial Truck Operator Training – Retrieved 2 September 2015.
  • “Electric v Diesel or LPG / Gas? What Power should I choose for my Forklift?”. www.bendigomitchell.com. Retrieved 18 January 2020

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