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Forklift Maintenance Tips: How to Extend the Life of Your Truck

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In the industry, you might hear a common phrase: “Treat your forklift like you would treat your own car.”

That makes sense. Cars and forklifts have similar features – tires, signals, horns, steering wheel…you get the picture. But on the other hand, forklifts are often times put through much more rigorous work than cars. And really, forklifts do more in the workplace than a car could ever do. They help you be productive, efficient and safe and get a great deal of work done with ease.

It’s no secret that forklifts can be a major investment. And because of the value that they bring to an organization over time, it’s silly to ruin that investment through wasted repairs and replacement parts. That’s why we always recommend having regular forklift maintenance performed to avoid heavy spending in repairs or parts later on. It’s also great to ensure uptime and keep the equipment operating in the most productive way possible.

Here’s our list of the top 5 most important maintenance tips for your forklift:

Tires

To begin proper forklift maintenance, check to make sure tires appear to be in good standing. To achieve the most life out of tires, always be sure they are properly inflated or, if the tire is fully rubber, be sure there are no pieces missing or severe nicks or gouges. Uneven or improperly inflated tires can cause failure to turn the right way and heavy loads to be damaged during accidental shifts from an unbalanced forklift. Consequently, be aware that you will need to replace tires if they start to become bald, have flat spots, tears on the surface, or if the top of the tire now meets the wear line. Remember, tires are the only elements that are constantly touching the road or surface. It’s critical that they are in good standing at all times.

Fluids

Like a car, fluids are essential to keeping your forklift operating as it should, and with safe engine temperatures. Check motor oil, coolants, and transmission and hydraulic fluids regularly. For some, “regularly” might be daily if the forklift has heavy use — for others who use their forklifts less, you can check fluids weekly or monthly. Speaking of fluids, be on the lookout for leaky hoses. Be sure to fix a hose leak immediately as it will only get worse over time. With proper fluid levels and hoses to operate those fluids, your forklift will continue to experience optimum performance.

Forklift maintenance inspection

Fuel

Forklifts can be powered in a number of different ways. These include propane gas, diesel fuel, gasoline, and batteries. Always keep the forklift powered or charged with the proper fuel type, so that parts operate correctly. Don’t let gas levels get too low, especially during cold months. And consider higher quality gas types, depending on the make and model.

Lubrication

Be sure all joints and necessary parts of the forklift are greased to prevent friction or wearing out parts prematurely. This seems very basic but is often times one of the causes for many repairs to forklifts. Whether aerosol or grease, lubrication can be applied to a variety of parts within the engine or on the exterior, including the fork and/or extensions to ensure smooth, efficient movement at all times.

Regular Inspections

This is where the experts come in. Regular professional inspections should be performed to make sure all facets of the forklift are working properly. This can include testing signals, horns, checking fluids, making sure forks are aligned and lifting appropriately, testing safety features, and more.

Did you happen to hear a weird noise as the forklift turns? Does the alignment feel slightly off? Paying attention to problems when they’re small instead of waiting until things are worse can save you time and money in the long run. Likewise, it goes without saying, pay attention to the forklift gauges and lights found on the panel. These can indicate issues and alert you before they become severe. Regular inspections help detect issues early on and help get problems solved sooner rather than later – leading to cost savings down the road and a safer truck.

Every forklift has its own service requirements that vary in mandatory service checks from 250, 500, or 1000 hours. Know your forklift’s service needs, but also keep up on routine self-maintenance as it will lessen the cost of surprise service fees later on, and lengthen the life of your forklift investment.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team of forklift maintenance experts and repair technicians. We are here to help!

4 Tips For Buying A Used Forklift Around the Dallas Area

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with purchasing a used forklift – if you do it correctly. Don’t be
a sucker and fall prey to dealers looking for fast money. Instead, do your homework so you’re
prepared to buy the best-used forklift for your company.

Forklift Cost

Let’s be honest: this is the number one factor in why someone would buy a used forklift. Like
any product, new models are more efficient, powerful, etc. However, used forklifts can provide a
valuable resource to your company – if it’s the right price.

Before going to a dealer or auction, do some research. Understand the type of forklift you need
and compare some prices. Don’t be afraid to negotiate. The more knowledge you have coming
into a potential deal, the better off you’ll be when it comes to purchasing that perfect used
forklift.

The following three topics can greatly impact the cost. 

Forklift Wear and TearUsed Forklifts in Texas

Yes, you want to buy a used forklift. But how used is it? Be sure to see how many hours it has
been used. While proper maintenance and service can extend the life of a forklift, they still do
have a life expectancy. No sense in buying a piece of equipment that is on its last legs.

The first thing to check is the frame because every other forklift part is reliant on a sturdy frame.
Does it show physical damage? What about rust? New brakes, tires, and forks don’t mean
anything if the frame is faulty.

Speaking of wheels and tires, be sure to inspect them. Do you need pneumatic tires or cushion
tires? How’s the tread on them? If you have to purchase new tires within a month of buying the
used forklift, you may not have received a great deal after all.

The same goes for forklift attachments and extensions. The reason you’re purchasing a lift truck
is to, well, lift stuff! Check for cracks in forks, dents, bends and more. If the attachments can’t
perform up to standard, that’s more money you’ll have to spend in the near future.

Whatever you do, DO NOT purchase a used forklift without first inspecting the brakes, steering
and engine. These three are some of the most costly fixes. In fact, if you have to replace all
three, you could actually spend more money than the entire forklift! If you’re working with a
reputable dealer, they will gladly let you test drive the equipment.

Expected Forklift Usage

Buying a forklift is a business investment. Don’t expect a used forklift to last you 20 years – that’s
just not plausible.

The best way to approach this is to understand how long you need the forklift to last. Do some
research and see how long certain models last (with proper maintenance and service). If the
forklift you’re looking at has already exceeded that time frame, it’s probably not wise to think it
has five years left in it.

Also, keep in mind your daily lift truck usage. Understand that if you plan on using the
equipment for eight hours per day, the life expectancy is going to come up much quicker than if
you only used it sparingly throughout a day.

Finally, where do you need the forklift to operate? Indoors, outdoors, perhaps both? Will it be
traveling across rugged terrain or mostly flat surfaces? Will rain and other precipitation affect
your equipment? These factors can impact the life expectancy of a used forklift.

Forklift Financing and Warranty Options

Certified dealers (seems to be a common theme) usually offer financing and warranty options
for used forklifts. Financing is valuable, but be wary of high-interest rates and other
cash-grabs. Warranties are also important because dealers must stand behind the products
they’re offering. Again, used forklifts can be extremely valuable and last long with proper
maintenance and service. Many dealers keep track of regular service appointments and can tell
prospective buyers how often a piece of equipment has been serviced.

Local Forklift Parts & Service Matter!

There aren’t many car services that are more appreciated that roadside assistance. Think about it: if you break down, how can you get your vehicle to a shop to get it fixed? Towing costs are expensive, and you don’t dare drive.

What about house call doctors? They let you stay in the comfort of your own home and provide treatment and medicine to get you back on your feet.

The team at Sunbelt Material Handling consisted of certified technicians and more, aims to do the same when it comes to forklift parts and service. How many forklift companies in the Dallas area can say the same? (hint: not many!)

On-Site Forklift Repair & Service

STOP!

Do not continue to use a forklift or other industrial equipment that needs repair or service! Doing so can result in employee injury, inventory damage, and much more.

Instead, call your “roadside assistance.” That’s right. Sunbelt will come directly to you to inspect and document any equipment that needs repair. Then, our technicians will provide efficient forklift maintenance right in front of you. We’ll give you the green light to keep working as soon as possible.

Emergency forklift repairs help you meet strict deadlines. Rather than wait for your dealer or national service provider (who can take weeks), give Sunbelt a call.

On-Site Forklift Parts Delivery

Our inventory of forklift parts holds over $1 million worth of products. Sunbelt provides OEM forklift parts, meaning we have parts for every major brand, make and model! Our prices are the best in Dallas, as is our customer service team. They’ll help you decide which part is perfect for your needs to keep your equipment running smooth.

Even better? We provide on-site delivery and bring the forklift parts directly to you! Whether you’re at your warehouse, at home, or on the job elsewhere, Sunbelt wastes no time to ensure you can get the job done as efficiently as possible.

Sunbelt provides on-site delivery of OEM forklift parts and forklift repair service to not only Dallas, but also most of Northeast Texas, including: Sunbelt Parts Inventory

  • Fort Worth
  • Plano
  • Irving
  • McKinney
  • Belton
  • Weatherford
  • Sherman
  • Arlington

Not sure if we service your area? Give us a call! Chances are that our technicians can make it to your place of work today!

Quit waiting for your national supplier of parts who can take weeks to deliver a part. Instead, choose a local Texas forklift parts and service supplier. Choose Sunbelt!