How to Maintain Your Forklift 6 DIY Steps


Pallet trucks are powerful machines that people use to handle various materials. However, regardless of how strong and powerful your forklift is, it needs the right maintenance to continue operating efficiently. If you regularly use the forklift truck, you should expect its parts to get loose or even to wear out.

To avoid accidents and improve the performance of your truck, you have to make maintenance a priority. Besides, proper maintenance will keep the Pallet Jacks in shape for a long time. Here are the six DIY maintenance steps you have to follow.

Prepare the Forklift Truck Before Every Operation

Inspecting the forklift each morning or before any operation is a better way of identifying problems as they arise, and with this, you can fix them on time. You will locate the failing parts and repair them to avoid accidents and downtime during your workdays. Using standardized checklists from OSHA to implement the checks will help you avoid forgetting the key areas.

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Lubricate Every Moving Part

Lubricate every moving part and joint regularly and properly to prevent corrosion and abrasion. Ensure that the bearings are adequately lubricated. Clean the lifting chains and supply them with mini lube or light oil. You must use the right type of oil because thick oil can lead the machine to malfunction because of inner parts clogging. You have to avoid over-lubrication and lubrication of the inner channels’ tapered surfaces.

Remove the straddle loads at least twice in a year and remember to clean the bearings and heavily lubricate them. Malfunctioning bearings can be hard and expensive to replace or repair. If left un-lubricated for a long time, the bearings can rust and corrode. Replace the worn-out ball bearings with new ones for top-notch operation.

Check the Instrument Panel

The maintenance panel should be the first thing you check immediately after entering your riding pallet forklift. If there is something wrong with the forklift truck, it will beep and flashlights. Never ignore the two signs. Fix problems as they arise to avoid more damages and expensive repairs.

Check the Tires Each Morning

Tires wear out very fast, especially if your forklift traverses the paths around your warehouse more often. Due to the repetitive motions, tires may wear out more on one side than on the other side. Tires are also likely to deflate and lose their tread if neglected. So, you have to check them every morning as part of your maintenance schedule.

Your inspection should include tire pressure checks and visual examinations to ensure that the tires have adequate tread and are in proper condition. According to OSHA, you should remove any forklift from service if its tires have missing or damaged rubber pieces.

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Using pallet lifts with damaged wheels will force you to overexert your back, legs, and arms. The loads will seem heavier than they should because you will be straining to drag the loads when the pallet lift is not working appropriately. Replace the wheels if they appear to be damaged.

Battery Recharging

Use the manufacturer’s guidelines to recharge and charge the forklift battery properly. Maintain the battery water above the plate and at least ½ inches from the plate at all times. During the water replacement, never use regular water. Use the offered distilled water instead. Also, keep the battery compartment open when recharging it for proper airflow.

Never run the machine during a recharge process. Keep your hydrometer ready to test the charge level and to avoid overcharging. The hydrometer should register a level between 1,270 and 1,275 if the battery is fully recharged. Clean the battery and dry it properly to prevent corrosion.

Check the Hydraulic System

Never add oil to the hydraulic system, unless you have witnessed a leak. If you have to add oil, buy the BP-SHF32 or equivalent oil. Ensure that the oil is around ¾ inches below the tank top. When testing the level, ensure that the fork is down to the lowest level.

Your pallet lift is a helpful tool. It will save you time and avoid back pain problems. It will save you more time during construction work because you can move items from one place to the other effortlessly. However, if you want it to run efficiently for a long time, you have to keep it in the right shape. The above steps will help you maintain it in the right shape.


Eric Reyes is a passionate thought leader having been featured in 50 distinguished online and offline platforms. His passion and knowledge in Finance and Business made him a sought after contributor providing valuable insights to his readers. You can find him reading a book and discussing current events in his spare time.

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