Is Your Forklift Sick? 3 Ways to Know It Needs Professional Repairs Right Now

Forklifts are 'workhorses' that aren't just durable and well-built, but also can work in any environment, including the rocky, muddy or marshy places. But if you ignore professional maintenance, servicing and timely repairs, the forklift won't be fit for any construction project. If forklifts are inspected and serviced regularly, they won't have to be repaired frequently. However, you shouldn't delay any repairs, including minor ones, since you might have to replace some parts later, and this could be more expensive for you.

If you own or operate a forklift, here's how you know it's time to repair it.

The Mast Can't Lift or Lower Loads

If the mast of your forklift can't tilt, lower or lift loads, it has developed a problem that needs a professional to fix. Most masts don't function when the forks or carriage attached to them is defective or when the hydraulic piston that powers the carriage is faulty. For the mast to lower or lift loads, the piston must release the hydraulic power it requires. Although most masts use gravity when lowering loads, they require more power to lift them, and this happens in multiple stages that could be plagued with several problems—such as jerky lowering or lifting, slow lifting or not lowering or lifting at all.

Low hydraulic fluid and faulty chains also cause mast problems in most forklifts.  If the minor problems aren't repaired in good time, they can aggravate into complex, expensive problems.

The Engine Defies Your Efforts to Start It

When a forklift fails to start, it delays the project, attracts expenses you hadn't budgeted for and leaves you annoyed. You spend more 'driver time' fixing the problem and can lose money because you won't beat the agreed project-deadline.

The forklift, especially the electric one, might fail to start if you haven't charged the battery for a while or if you charged it the wrong way. Ignition issues are even more complex when internal combustion problems are the cause. Leaking fuel or fuel that has been in the tank for many days might make the engine fail to start. Starting problems could also occur if the radiator is blocked or rusted or if the coolant is too low, which causes overheating.

Steering Isn't Smooth

Difficult steering indicates that the forklift's steering mechanism is in bad shape. The steering hitches could occur due to damaged gears, faulty pressure valves or misaligned tires, and might also occur if the steering pressure is not properly regulated. A certified forklift repair expert will not just repair the defective hydraulics and gears, but they will also find out if the transmission fluid is gunky and change it. If the steering problem isn't fixed quickly, the forklift could be dangerous to the driver and other workers on-site.

If your forklift has developed any of these issues, contact a repair professional immediately to troubleshoot the cause and offer timely forklift repair services. The repair expert shouldn't just be reliable and skilled, but they should also meet OSHA standards.