Are you ready to get behind the wheel of a forklift, but are concerned about your familiarity with operating the device? The most experienced forklift operators will always say that their forklift is like an appendage, an extension of themselves. There are several initiatives you can take to gain this level of comprehension with your forklift! Forklifts are like any other vehicle or machine, they require precision handling and need regular maintenance and care. While each and every component of the forklift is essential, there are a few parts that one must gain mastery of to truly operate effectively and efficiently. Here is a list of three parts of your forklift you must know like the back of your hand, so you make the most of operating your forklift at all times to boost safety and productivity.
1) Fluid Reservoirs
This boils down to the radiator, engine block and trans axle. Before you engage in any form of driving, checking all fluids in these reservoirs is essential for safe operation. Checking the antifreeze, battery acid, oil, gas, transmission and hydraulic fluid is a keen part of preliminary safety check. All fluids must be at a sufficient level prior to operation or the effects can be calamitous. When your forklift has little to no antifreeze, it can easily overheat and or even freeze when temperatures fall below 32 degrees. Add whatever fluids are needed, doing so will help you gain familiarity with the inner workings of your forklift while assuring it is properly maintained. As for oil changes, they are comparable to regimes you would find in any automobile. Checking the forks for proper hydraulic fluid is also imperative, as it is almost always overlooked.
2) Moving Parts
Before you get out there for the first time, while you are under the hood take a look at the moving joints and parts of the forklift which are greased and lubricated to allow safe and fluid operation. It is important to be sure that these moving parts are lubricated to prevent potentially harmful effects caused by friction. While surveying these various components it doesn’t hurt to check for any build-up of rust, as oxidation is a known catalyst for breakdowns and mechanical failures. Learning the bells and whistles also makes you an expert not just on driving the forklift but taking care of it as well.
While it may seem cliché, many forklift operators are actually unaware of all the various gauges and lights located on the dashboard. Some operators are ignorant to certain indicator lamps or warning lights, which in turn can give an indication of a critical malfunction. Therefore, another great way to bolster understanding and comprehension of any material handling apparatus, starts with powering up the machine and taking a look at all the gauges and indicators. If you notice a malfunction indicator lamp (MIL) do not be alarmed as it is most likely the issue is in a very manageable phase. Nevertheless, procrastination can yield a slew of problems. Furthermore, it is important to make sure all gauges and instruments on the dashboard panel are fully functional just in case a problem were to arise while at work, you are properly notified. Take a moment also to consult your instructional manual to learn how to identify and recognize the varying warning signs and indicators.