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Material Handling Insights

Aug 25, 2021 1:03:33 PM // 5 min read

What You Need To Know About Forklift Servicing and Maintenance

By Marcus Turner
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Warehouse operations - forklift servicing and maintenance

Are you keeping the forklifts in your fleet well-maintained and fully serviced? It’s definitely easier said than done – your operators are using the trucks all day long, from the start of shift to the end of shift – but ensuring your vehicles are in tip-top shape should be written into your company’s daily routine.

There are multiple benefits to regular forklift servicing and maintenance. From health and safety to improved workloads, a healthy engine truck can make your life much simpler.

Be Proactive, Not Reactive

The first thing to remember is that prevention is better than a cure when it comes to maintaining your trucks.

If a forklift breaks down then the underlying issue obviously needs to be addressed. But by servicing and maintaining a truck properly in the first place you should be able to stop it from getting to that point.

You never want your machinery to be down. You want it out of action for the minimum time possible, because as soon as it stops working you will be losing money. This is particularly important if a truck is running around the clock or on multiple shifts across the day. More maintenance will be required as it is being worked so hard and parts are potentially going to wear down quickly.

There are application-based considerations too. Trucks working in hazardous environments or dusty places, for example, will need a little bit more TLC than those in less demanding workplaces.

Something else to take into account when assessing your forklifts is the age of the machine. A newer truck is going to have far fewer issues and cost less money to preserve than an old or used truck. Likewise, trucks with standardised parts that are simple to replace are easier to maintain as spares can be sourced and changed far quicker.

This proactive approach to monitoring and assessing your forklifts will allow you to spot issues early and minimise hassle.

Keep a Checklist

To really stay on top of the performance of your trucks, we recommend keeping a daily checklist.

This is considered best practice for fleet management, as the operator’s manual for the truck will generally include a list for checking over a forklift.

Having this physical daily checksheet that the operators can refer to before getting on a truck at the start of a shift allows them to tick the boxes that confirm everything is up to standard. It will also ensure that if anything is wrong it will be reported and fixed in good time.

Pre-operational checks on the tyres, oil level, and various other key components will also give more accountability to your drivers. Nobody wants to get blamed for something that was already damaged or broken, and they won’t want to use any machinery that is unsafe either. Giving your operators the tools to guarantee their own safety is key to this.

Improve Your Workplace Safety

Speaking of safeguarding, properly maintaining your trucks can also have positive repercussions on the overall safety of your working environment.

Driving around in unsafe vehicles will inevitably lead to workplace accidents and staff injuries. Operators should be able to get behind the wheel of a safe and secure truck without having to worry about it leading to a disaster.

Losing your best operators through accident or injury, even temporarily, will have a detrimental impact on your business output. Not to mention people will not want to work for a company that doesn’t place importance on the quality of their tools and machinery.

Protecting your workers is not only the right thing to do for them, but it will also stop your insurance from shooting through the roof and keep your operation on track.

Productive and Happy Operators

Keeping your operators not just safe but genuinely happy and motivated should be a key focus within your company – and it starts with the equipment they use.

Psychologically, if a driver likes his truck he will be more invested in it and want to look after it. No operator wants to drive a truck that they don’t trust to work properly.

This goes beyond ergonomics and comfort. Your forklifts should be kept in the best possible condition to make drivers’ jobs easier and to ensure they don’t end up injured and out of action (as mentioned above).

There are also personnel costs to ignoring safety regulations. It is a big investment to hire an efficient forklift operator, not just from overheads, wages and pension point of view, but in training them to be good at their jobs. But all of these costs pale in comparison to not providing adequate training in the first place.

Your Local TCM Dealer Can Help

Finally, if you have any doubts whatsoever about how often forklifts should be serviced, or if you require help with maintenance, your local TCM dealer can provide guidance and assistance.

You’ve got logistics, orders, staff and countless other concerns to worry about – so leaving the servicing and maintenance to us means one less headache for you.

Any major truck parts supplied and fitted by a TCM dealer will come backed by a TCM manufacturer’s warranty. If anything does go wrong for some reason, then we will be there to replace the faulty part so you can be back up and running in the shortest time possible.

Contact your local TCM dealer below to find out more about the 12-month warranty across our forklift range.

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