Use This Forklift Maintenance Checklist to Prepare for Fall

A warehouse forklift in the fall

It’s best to have a few different types of forklift maintenance checklists. OSHA recommends implementing daily, seasonal, and annual inspections. This is all part of routine maintenance.

Regular maintenance will increase your equipment's reliability. It also prevents serious accidents from occurring. Using a checklist can prevent sudden forklift failures, employee injuries, and equipment overuse. Both daily and quarterly maintenance are essential to safety.

We’ve already covered how to care for your forklift in the spring and winter. Now it’s time to prepare your equipment for the fall. Learn more below.

Forklift Maintenance Checklist

Fall is an exciting season. The holidays are just around the corner. However, it’s also a time where the weather changes significantly. This affects forklift operations in many ways.

First, fog increases significantly during the fall, which affects driver visibility and forklift safety. You’ll need to take the proper precautions to stay safe. Consider adjusting operators' PPE for the colder weather.

Make sure that operators are wearing their bright safety vests over any jackets or coats. Think about providing gloves to operators who use outdoor forklifts. Operators are more likely to keep both hands on the wheel if they're warm, rather than constantly removing them in an attempt to warm them up. Keep in mind that comfortable operators are more efficient operators.

Also, be sure to account for the extra time it’ll take to warm up the equipment.

External Forklift Maintenance

During fall, the air has a higher level of moisture. This leads to fog and dew.

The first step of your forklift maintenance checklist for the fall is to check for any scratches. Excess moisture in the air can seep into external scratches and rust or warp the machine. Corrosion can also damage vehicle surfaces. Rain acid, which often occurs in the fall, is a common cause of corrosion. 

Examine any impact or damage from the hotter summer weather and perform forklift maintenance to rectify it before the weather changes. Be prepared ahead of time. Otherwise, you compromise forklift safety.

Internal Maintenance

  • Engine: There are a few things to check when it comes to your forklift’s engine. The most important thing is the oil. Oil is like the vehicle’s lifeline. Always ensure there’s sufficient engine oil, brake oil, and antifreeze. Take the equipment out of surface and perform forklift maintenance if any issues are found. 
  • Brake System: Fall weather can cause shrinkage or expansion. This often results in the deformation of your forklift’s body parts. Check to see if your brakes have weakened or changed at all. Keep in mind that you should check your brakes daily as part of your forklift maintenance checklist. Be extra aware of this area during the fall.

Forklift Tire Maintenance

Keeping your forklift tires in good shape is essential for forklift safety. High summer temperatures can lead to increased tire pressure.

In contrast, lower fall temperatures can decrease your tire pressure. Supplement your tires with air to keep them at regular tire pressure. Consult the side of your tires or your owner's manual to determine your recommended tire pressure.

You’ll also need to check for scratches or lines on your tires. Rubber becomes more brittle in the autumn and winter months. This can lead to cracked tires and low tire pressure.

Cab Maintenance

A lot of dust from the spring and summer months linger into fall. Avoid dust deposits by cleaning up the inside of your cab. Otherwise, dust can accumulate and invade fine truck parts, like meters, keeping them from functioning properly. Keep your forklift free of dust and circulate fresh air when possible. 

Air Conditioner Maintenance

Fall air can impact your air installations. There’s also a greater risk of your equipment rusting. This is typically brought on by heavier rainfall. 

Your air conditioner and inlet are the most at risk. Make sure to regularly check and inspect them, blowing away dust or debris and performing forklift maintenance when needed. Dealing with a problem in real-time is the most efficient and cost-effective thing you could do. It’s much cheaper than trying to do damage control after an issue has already developed.

An outdoor forklift in use after undergoing forklift maintenance

Finding the Right Equipment

Follow a seasonal forklift maintenance checklist to create good habits year-round. You’ll get the most life and use out of your forklift. Prevent seasonal issues by consulting this list for the fall.

Forklift maintenance is beneficial to all forklifts. However, if your equipment is in the shop more than it's in use, forklift safety is at risk. It may be time for a replacement.

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