How to Extend the Life of Your Forklift

How to extend the life of your forklift
Author: Small Business Expert | June 29, 2020 | Topic: Used Equipment

How to Extend the Life of Your Forklift

Your forklifts are invaluable pieces of your fleet. While their versatility makes them essential in a wide variety of applications, frequent maintenance and repairs can drive up your operational costs.

On the other hand, forklifts can live long, productive lives if they’re properly cared for. All it takes is a few simple strategies to potentially prolong the life of your forklift by months or even years!

Keep a Regular Maintenance Schedule

Although it's easy to skip maintenance procedures for the sake of convenience, this negligence often sacrifices efficiency in the long run. By committing to a routine maintenance schedule, you can catch issues before they turn into costly system failures. Your preventative maintenance strategy may include a variety of safe practices, including:

  • Oil changes
  • Regular battery charging sessions
  • Brake, fluid and tire inspections
  • Component lubrication

Train Your Drivers

One of the best ways to increase a forklift's lifespan is to ensure that everyone on your team knows how to use it. A worker without the proper training is more likely to make mistakes that can both endanger the driver and lower equipment performance.

Before letting your employees get behind the wheel of a forklift, it’s crucial to provide training so that they understand all associated functions, risks and safety protocols. While the average lifespan of a forklift is variable depending on the manufacturer and user, many of these machines can last for five to 10 years if they’re handled with care.

Abide By Forklift Operating Guidelines and Limits

If a forklift has a capacity of 5,000 lbs and you frequently use it to try to lift objects that exceed this specification, your machine will likely deteriorate much more quickly. Overextending your equipment’s power or capacity limits is both a safety hazard and a drain on the machine’s efficiency.

Meanwhile, following the guidelines and respecting the limitations of your equipment will help you maximize its capabilities and keep it in good shape for much longer. If you’re planning to buy a piece of equipment, you'll reap the most benefits if it's built to fit your application.

Store in Clean, Healthy Environments

Most types of industrial equipment are designed to operate under harsh conditions, but they shouldn't be stored in them. Forklifts can be vulnerable to corrosion damage if left in damp, dirty or hazardous environments.

Prevent the spread of rust on or inside your forklift by storing it in a clean, dry space while it’s not in use. This habit will offer long-term protection that keeps your machine operating smoothly for years to come.

Learn More From Your Cat® Dealer Today

The depreciation of a forklift depends heavily on user practices. If you're willing to follow safety guidelines and provide the optimal level of maintenance, you may be able to increase uptime while saving thousands of dollars in repairs and replacements. To invest in a well-maintained, long-lasting forklift option or to learn more about preventative maintenance tactics, contact your local Cat® dealer.