Ensure your forklift is in for the long haul with these 4 tips for top material-handling equipment in Singapore.
The forklift can be considered the backbone of many industrial companies in Singapore. Capable of carrying heavy loads quickly and efficiently across distances, a single forklift can easily do the job of more than 10 men in an instant! It’s no wonder these vehicles have become a mainstay when it comes to construction, repair, and transportation.
But as they say, with great power comes great responsibility. Despite their impressive capabilities, forklifts can still break due to wear and tear, improper use and mishandling, and even during on-site accidents. If they are not kept at their best state, they may become safety hazards for your personnel and result in damage costs and liability. That’s why it’s important to remember that forklifts require varying care to keep them working in top condition.
Fortunately, with the right care and maintenance, it is possible to keep your forklift working properly over many years–even more than 10 years straight! So here are four effective strategies to give your forklift a long and productive life:
1. Make sure your forklift users are properly trained.
When talking about heavy machinery maintenance, don’t forget about those handling them! Some on-site accidents occur due to poorly trained forklift drivers. To prevent this, implement a thorough screening for your applicants to review their background and experience. Your personnel must have the correct licences and proper training before they even step foot inside the vehicle.
Your forklift drivers must also be knowledgeable about the ins and outs of the forklift. This includes basic to advance maintenance, repair, and troubleshooting. Apart from workplace safety, having a professional handle your equipment can significantly boost productivity and efficiency on-site.
2. Do daily maintenance checks.
A Pre-Shift Inspection is a regular maintenance schedule done before any operating shift. The forklift driver and your technicians must go through the unit's different parts and systems before actual use.
Here are some things you can check before the shift starts:
• Forks – Lower and raise it without a load to see if it is working correctly
• Tires – Observe if the tires are without damages or missing rubber chunks
• Pistons – Should have no leaks or drainage
• Hydraulic hoses – Check for holes or punctures in the tubes
• Chain – Tension on the chain should be tight and secure
• Carriage – Any breaks in the weld should be reported immediately
• Seat belt – Ensure it is in good condition
• Propane tank (if it has one) – Make sure it's securely fastened
• Radiator – Check if the radiator is clean and free from debris or clutter
• Emergency brake and accelerator – Test acceleration and breaks before use
• Controls – Run through control systems for proper response
• Safety lights, battery, alarms, & horn – Indicators should all be working
• Fluid levels – All fluid levels must be in good capacity
These safety checks ensure that the next shift will go without a hitch and that your equipment will work fine. However, if there is an issue with one or more systems, do not use the forklift and immediately undergo repairs.
3. Keep a regular preventive maintenance schedule.
Aside from daily checks, a regular maintenance schedule can prevent wear and tear and ensure your vehicle is working properly. A trained mechanic should look at your machine once a month or every 200 hours if the unit is used regularly.
These checks include:
• Life and tilt cylinder operation, drive belt tension, chassis, and mast lubrication
• Replacement of engine oil and other fluids
• Cleaning the air filter
• Checking of spark plugs, cap, and rotor
• Inspection of ignition timing and idle speed's adjustment
Additional maintenance checks need to be done every three months and six months for a more comprehensive look at the status of your machine.
4. Be sure to purchase the correct parts from a reliable vendor.
It is also unavoidable that your machine breaks down and would need parts replacement or repairs. While going for quick and easy solutions may be faster and cheaper, we do not recommend this. If you want your machine to perform efficiently, you must go for quality parts and products.
There are plenty of good options to choose from, both OEM and after-market spare parts. Take some time to study the background and feedback of suppliers so you can make the best decision on which parts to get and which supplier to purchase from.
If you’re ever in the market, check out Scantruck’s wide catalog for genuine and quality material-handling equipment and spare parts here.
In summary: Taking care of your forklift through these four strategies will allow your forklift to last a very long time, giving you a great return on your investment.