5 Most Essential Forklift Parts You Need to Care for

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Forklifts require regular maintenance and daily pre-operational checks but let’s be honest here, we don’t always have the time and can sometimes skip a few steps on the checklist. You should however prioritise a few points and make sure the most important forklift parts are checked and double-checked! Some parts contribute more than others when it comes to safe use, and order of importance. It is therefore crucial that the parts listed below are properly maintained.

1. Tires

If your forklift tires are bald, cracked or worn you may be heading for an accident. You might think it is obvious to inflate a flat tyre or replace a punctured one however, everyday wear creeps up and must be carefully monitored. Without the correct tires with sufficient tread your driver risks losing control of the forklift, especially on smooth concrete floors. In addition, tires must always be inflated to the correct pressure. This pressure must be high enough to carry the load whilst maintaining a cushion between the truck and the ground since forklifts don’t usually have suspension.

2. Warning Indicators

The lights, signals, horn and more are taken to be a single part which works for accident prevention. The warning indicators are absolutely important and must be used to the high standards taught on training courses. Included in the warning indicators is the additional display used to inform the driver of the pressure and temperature of the transmission and engine. Taking the time to fix any faults with the warning indicators can prevent further costs down the line. There are many ways to approach the repair of a faulty indicator, but regular checks and maintenance prove to be the best solution on managing the system.

SEE ALSO: [Infographic] Forklift Safety Checklist

3. Forks

The most visually obvious forklift part is the forks, after which the truck is named. The forks are used to carry loads and can often have their width changed for picking up different sized objects. Stable forks which are damage free are also essential for handling heavy loads. It is simply not safe to control a forklift with damaged forks.  Many companies offer forklift parts including forks and attachments which can protect the original forks from damage and misuse or replace them when their service life is over.

4. Cockpit Controls

It goes without saying that the controls of the forklift are unquestionably one of the most crucial parts to correct operation. The controls are used to drive the vehicle, manipulate the fork width and height and signal. All the controls must be intuitive and do what the driver expects them to do. They must also be free of obstruction within the cabin and function fluidly to allow for smooth control of the forklift. The controls must be used by a trained driver.

5. The Driver

Above all the electrical and mechanical forklift parts, by far the most important part is the driver. Without a great driver, the properly functioning forklift parts cannot synergise to perform complex tasks safely. Forklift accidents happen every year in warehouses and the most common cause is driver error. Training courses are necessary for drivers to learn about the job however nothing substitutes good on the job experience. A good driver with an average forklift should be able to outperform a trainee driver with a great forklift. Allow your driver the time to learn safely before they undertake more serious tasks and if possible, give the most demanding jobs to your most experienced drivers.

SEE ALSO: Why You Need to Take Forklift Safety Seriously

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