A forklift is a material handling tool in the form of a small wheeled car that can walk and move and is accompanied by 2 iron forks that can lift material. There are many types of forklift that can be adjusted to your needs.
As a material carrier, the forklift has a flat area called a pallet. Material can then be placed on pallets and then distributed by forklifts to their destination.
These forklifts are often found in industries, especially in the warehousing section. By using forklift, the distribution of material will be easier and can reach high places. In addition, it can carry heavy loads that are difficult for people to carry.
But in its use, it is still necessary to pay attention to how to care for this forklift, because without proper care, this vehicle can be damaged. Because of that, it is necessary to do good and correct maintenance so that the forklift can last a long time. With good maintenance, the equipment will not be damaged, thus reducing the cost if the equipment is damaged.
With good care or maintenance, it will maximize the performance of this equipment. Here’s how to do maintenance on a forklift:
1. Inspection of Fuel and Other Supporting Materials
Apart from fuel, there are other materials or fluids used in forklifts, such as lubricating oil, transmission fluid, coolant, and hydraulics. Make sure that the fuel used is in good condition and in accordance with the forklift specifications. In addition, do not let the fuel run out too often and the forklift engine is still running.
For oil, we need to regularly check the oil level and the condition of the oil. When the oil level is below the standard limit, immediately fill it with oil again, or when the oil has started to change to a darker color, immediately replace it with new oil so that the engine does not experience damage or corrosion due to old oil. For other fluids, we only need to check the quality of the material and its availability during the use of the forklift.
2. Battery Care
Routinely check the condition of the battery or connecting cables to keep it in good condition.
Make sure the battery water is above the standard limit, if it is below the limit then immediately refill the battery water. Use gloves when filling battery water for work safety.
The battery also need to be charged. Do not wait until the battery runs out before it is recharged. Recharge the battery until it is full and let stand a few minutes before the forklift is operated again.
In addition, routinely check the cleanliness of the battery and its cables, don’t let it have small dirt or wet parts, at least this check is done once a week.
3. Lubricant Rubbing on Moving Parts
In a forklift, there are active moving parts such as chain joints on the front fork supports. Make sure this part is always in a slippery condition by regularly applying lubricating oil.
This is because if it is in dry conditions it will affect the performance of the fork movement such as slow moving or this part will quickly wear out.
4. Maintenance Tool Panel
The tool panel or also known as the controller is a component that controls the performance of the tool. For this reason, this section needs to be taken care because it is a vital part of the forklift.
Make sure the buttons or between the controllers are not exposed to water and remain dry and clean. The part of the controller that is exposed to water will cause an electrical short circuit or corrosion on the controller part so that it can interfere with the performance.
In this panel there are also forklift gauges that has a function to detect damage or non-functioning parts in the forklift equipment series. For this reason, make sure this section is in good condition so that it is easier for us to control and find out earlier if there is damage so that correct action can be taken immediately.
5. Hydraulic Check Tool
Generally, forklifts use a hydraulic system to move 2 forks. For this reason, it is necessary to check this section. Checks can be done by checking the lift and tilt of the cylinder so that there are no leaks. Check the ability of hydraulic pumps and hydraulic machines as well and do not forget to check the hydraulic fluid level.
6. Cleanliness Inspection of Tool Components
This should be done for all forklift components that are likely to get dirty, such as on the body of the tool, the air, and fuel filters. Make sure the forklift body is in clean condition by regularly cleaning it either with a rag or a duster. Even though it’s simple, this can affect the performance of the tool.
Meanwhile, for the filter we need to check its condition, if there is a lot of dirt, it must be cleaned immediately. If the filter used is a disposable filter, it needs to be replaced with a new one. A dirty filter will clog the air and fuel flow so that it can interfere with the performance of the forklift.
7. Use Forklifts Wisely
Furthermore, do not forget to use the forklift according to the specifications. Use a forklift to lift loads that are in accordance with their capacity, don’t use a forklift to transport objects that exceed their capacity.
If this happens it will cause the pallet to be damaged and the machine will be overheated. If it is done continuously, it will cause the forklift to be damaged quickly. So be wise in using a forklift.
Besides that, storage of this vehicle after use needs to be considered. After you use it, park the forklift in a place that is protected from rain and direct sunlight.
Try not to use the forklift outdoors too often. For this reason, most of the use of this tool is more in the warehousing area or the production packing section.
8. Pay Attention to the Condition of Tires
Tires are also an important component that supports the performance of a forklift. Make sure the tires are filled with pressure that matches their capacity. Based on the standard, forklift front tires should have a pressure of between 100-120 psi, while for rear tires is a pressure between 80-100 psi.
Tire thickness also needs to be considered, if it looks thin and appears streaks immediately replace the tire. This is very important because forklifts carry heavy objects, allowing the tires to explode and endangering the safety of workers.
Those are some of the maintenance that needs to be done to maintain the performance of the forklift itself. In addition, this maintenance is carried out as a form of self-protection and work safety for workers using forklifts.