The Essential Guide to Forklift Maintenance

Forklift Driver

The Essential Guide to Forklift Maintenance

Forklifts are a vital part of many warehouses, so maintaining them correctly and carrying out daily checks is essential to prevent forklift failure and ensure optimum safety for operators. Regardless of whether your forklift is old or brand new, preventative maintenance is vital for reducing downtime.

There are many factors which impact the life and efficiency of your material handling equipment, including repetitive overloading, dirt and debris, and general wear and tear. This guide will look at the measures you can take to reduce or avoid them:

Regular Checks

Daily checks and servicing should always be carried out before using your forklift truck or material handling equipment. These inspections are vital to assess any potential damage to your equipment. This will reduce risk and ensure issues are found as early as possible to prevent downtime. Any problems should be reported immediately and dealt with before operating the equipment.

Repair work and maintenance should be carried out by qualified engineers. Multy Lift offer its clients Scheduled Preventative Maintenance visits by our team of fully qualified engineers.

Cleaning can help identify problems such as blocked radiators, valves and any other issues affecting performance of your forklift truck. Regular cleaning will help keep material handling equipment at its most efficient.

Inspection frequency depends on the forklift hours of operation, age, condition and service record. They should be inspected at an absolute minimum of every 12 months, however, the more regular the better. Every three months is the ideal time period to ensure that any issues are found as early as possible. If you have any doubts then Multy Lift Forktrucks can help you assess the best Schedule intervals to suit the requirements of your business.

Certain maintenance should occur daily, monthly, quarterly and semi-annually. Here’s what to look for and when to check it:


Forklift maintenance by fuel type

Electric batteries:

If completely run-down, important battery components can be damaged and forklift batteries are expensive to repair or replace. This can also impair your truck’s drive and hydraulic system, which, in turn, will affect your workforce productivity. Chargers should also be kept away from anywhere they could be damaged to prevent cables and plugs from being crushed.

Excess water on the battery plates is a main cause of battery damage. White sulphate crystals form on the plates causing power loss, shorter battery life and longer charging times. This is an essential part of Battery maintenance and should be checked for daily.

Petrol tanks:

When refuelling, be sure not to overfill the tank as this can be detrimental to the performance of your forklift. If a petrol forklift is used outside in winter, check there is enough antifreeze in the coolant system and that it is well maintained to run efficiently in the cold.

LP Gas cylinders:

Ensure the fuel-isolating valve is shut off before attempting to disconnect the cylinders. Wear gloves and handle them with care – any damage to cylinders could cause a fire hazard. Make sure the new cylinder is correctly positioned with the safety relief valve facing upwards.

Long-term storage:

Forklifts should be stored on solid ground. When storing for long periods of time, make sure the truck is cleaned, checked for any damage and anti-rust grease is applied to any exposed parts beforehand.

If the forklift is electric, remove the battery and store in a warm place, continuing to charge it regularly and operating the machine at least once a week.

Once the forklift is called out of any storage period, be sure to arrange for a service by one of our fully qualified engineers to ensure everything is working correctly.

Safe practice

Ensure staff are properly trained before operating material handling equipment to ensure their own safety and the safety of others. Don’t allow the changing of fuel or removing of parts by someone who is not qualified to do so.


Multy Lift are the leading Mitsubishi dealer in the Midlands. We offer new and refurbished forklifts from some of the top brands in the world. We are able to supply parts for all makes and models of MHE and provide breakdown cover 24/7, 363 days of the year through our team of local, qualified engineers.

Call today on 01623 794094 or fill out our contact form for more information on how Multy Lift can help you.

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