5 tips to extend the life of forklifts!

Even at first glance you can see that a forklift is a complex machine and also expensive. When you’re spending a lot of money to buy one of these high-performance machines, you want it to last a long time, and then a little longer.

Here we bring you the what, when, how and why of forklift maintenance, summarized in the following five tips for extending forklift life.

fluid change

If your forklift runs an average of 8 hours a day, the engine oil should be changed every three months. Some forklifts run more than 12 hours in a single day and in this case the oil should be changed every two months or sooner.

It is recommended that engine oil, brake fluid, transmission fluid and coolant be checked regularly for level and viscosity. If the level of any of these fluids has dropped, or if the fluid appears runny and burned out, there is a problem that needs to be investigated by a professional forklift mechanic.


As modern forklift transmissions become more comfortable for the operator, they are now also more complex to repair if something goes wrong. For this reason, preventive maintenance is strongly recommended. The transmission system takes its fair share of the abuse; Therefore, it is important to change the transmission oil every three months and overhaul every 10,000 hours. If you have a problem with your forklift transmission, contact a forklift transmission repair expert immediately.

A transmission problem is progressive, which means the longer you put it off, the worse it gets.

The service life of the transmission system also largely depends on the operator. Therefore, it is always advisable to hire a certified, experienced operator for your forklift operation.


Nothing does more damage than a malfunctioning brake. In order to protect your employees, property and goods from a speeding forklift on the loose, it is important to regularly check the brake fluid and pads. You don’t need any tools for this. Step on the brake to make sure the pedal doesn’t go down too far; if so you need new brake pads.

Besides, checking the parking brake is also important to keep your forklift firmly in place when loading or unloading.


When maneuvering through tight spaces just inches from the shelves, your forks should be arrow-straight. If it doesn’t, it means that stability is off. This can have serious consequences, such as B. the collapse of a fully loaded forklift.

Forklifts are built to move heavy loads, and stability is critical to their design. Therefore, fork straightness should be checked during routine maintenance.

Don’t forget tires

A forklift truck operating under a heavy load can lead to an accident if you don’t pay enough attention to the tire pressure. While low pressure kills your tires in a thousand cuts, high pressure can end it all in a single punch. However, both are dangerous.

Bad tires slow down your forklift truck and pose a serious hazard to the operator, so it helps to have a pressure gauge handy to check tire pressure on a daily basis.

Parting Words for Forklift Life – Never skimp on maintenance

Sometimes you might think your forklift is working well when it isn’t. Or you work on a tight schedule and forklift maintenance is the last thing on your priority list. In either case, you slowly and gradually damage your forklift.

This can result in major and frequent breakdowns that are much more expensive to fix compared to regular maintenance.

you do the math

Forklift Life Article and Permission to Publish Here Provided by Eada Hudes. Originally written for Supply Chain Game Changer and published on July 3rd, 2020.

Leave a Comment