How to increase the life of a forklift truck? 

electric forklift in warehouse

The forklift truck, also known as a lift truck, is a permanent fixture in warehouses, ports or shops. The device is very popular and finds its use in various fields of industry. We most often encounter the forklift truck when unloading pallets, in this article you will learn how to take care of the device so that it will serve us longer and more efficiently. 

How does the forklift work? 

A forklift is a power-driven wheeled vehicle. In principle, all these machines have the same structure. It can be specified, for example, the forklift frame (usually made of steel), the chassis, the engine and the counterweights (additional load at the rear of the forklift). A typical forklift also has a vertically attached mast. This allows the load to be lowered, raised and tilted. Grippers can also be fitted. These will improve the transport of barrels, cardboard boxes or snow ploughs.  

Forklift truck operation 

diesel forklift outdoors

The forklift is steered by manoeuvring the steering wheel, using the accelerator and brake pedals, but also the clutch and gears. To be authorised to drive such equipment, you need to take a course followed by an examination. You will then receive a certificate issued by the Ministry of the Economy and a licence from the Office of Technical Inspection. This is known as a "must", and when you go to a new workplace, the employer is obliged to provide you with training in the operation of such a forklift. The operator is then given a personal licence to work with it. 

How do you look after your forklift? 

The basis for the good condition of a forklift truck is prevention, i.e. regular checks and inspections. It is equipment on which the safety of workers depends, so if it breaks down in the course of work or there is an unfortunate accident involving it, the consequences can be very serious. For this reason alone, it is important to pay particular attention to the condition of the equipment.  

There are three types of inspection that should be practised - periodic, i.e. inspection by the Technical Inspection Authority, maintenance, i.e. according to the date set by the manufacturer, and daily.  

forklift truck at rest

Daily review should be carried out, as the name suggests, on a daily basis. Before work, the operator must check that all functions are working correctly. He or she should also read the operating documents of the forklift truck to make sure that no faults are indicated. The steering, brakes and drive and attachment components must also be checked. In addition to this, the mast, or rather its lifting mechanism, the condition of the chains and hydraulic jacks should be checked. The condition of the tyres is also to be checked (bulges, protruding cords, potential faults that could affect grip).  

As far as electric forklifts are concerned, the battery should be checked daily. If its level is approaching 20%, it is advisable to stop using the machine until the batteries are recharged.

Questions and answers

How should I choose a forklift for my business?

Depending on what kind of business you are running. Whether it is an outdoor business (such as a construction site) or a warehouse business (such as a grocery shop) is a basic criterion. Electric trolleys are chosen for indoor businesses and motorised trolleys for those in open spaces. 

What types of forklifts are there?

The main division of forklift trucks depends on the engine - electric, internal combustion and gas. The types in question are further subdivided into a couple of branches, e.g. electric sideloaders - these forklifts are very compact and made to work in spaces with unusual dimensions.

Why are diesel forklifts designed for outdoor use?

Internal combustion trucks emit a lot of exhaust fumes that are harmful to people. In addition, they have thick tyres and are designed for outdoor work where the terrain is uneven.