Is that forklift truck covered in soot, grime and muck? For many forklift owners, they simply do not know where to begin with cleaning their vehicle. Forklifts are not typically like cars or vans, they get dirty easier and often. For those concerned with how to keep their forklift truck shiny and polished, there are some tactics to make that forklift sparkle. Here are three tips on how to properly clean any forklift:
1) Use A Pressure Washer
Unanimously, many experts and leaders agree that a pressure washer can help polish up even the dirtiest of forklifts. Soap and water simply does not do the trick. According to Toyota, using a pressure washer is also a safer way of cleaning any forklift as well. Why? Because soap and water requires intimate contact with the vehicle and sometimes it is not just mud and dirt that contaminate the surface. On some occasions, using soap and water affords the washer the hazard of encountering potentially dangerous and volatile substances that can be a direct threat to the washer’s well-being if there is physical contact. With a pressure washer, distance is put between the cleaner and these materials. Examples of these hazardous materials include, any chemicals spilled from a material handing operation, antifreeze or battery acid.
2) Remove The Loose Dirt, Rust and Dust First
First things, first. The obvious blemishes that can be taken off using a broom or duster should be removed first. According to Daimer, it is recommended to begin cleaning from the top and working downwards, so that the dirt and grime flow downward, making cleaning more convenient and faster. In addition, it is important to concentrate efforts on this same dirt, rust, sludge and rust accumulated on the chassis of the forklift, as if it is failed to be removed build-up can actually hurt performance in latter stages of the forklift’s life. After all the big patches and blotches are removed, detailing and polishing can commence.
3) Use Personal Protective Equipment
Safety always comes first! When cleaning a forklift, it is vital to don an appropriate ensemble of personal protective equipment to protect oneself from exposure to any form of hazardous materials. We championed using a power washer and/or spray gun to keep distance from these substances but that does not mean incidents cannot happen if some of these substances are sent airborne from the vigor of any power washer. While it is unlikely, it is still possible and thus it is important to don a set of goggles and work gloves to secure the most essential body parts. If at nothing else many of the soaps used to clean these material handling appliances are irritants. To prevent irritation to the eyes, hands and or exposed areas of skin, it is imperative to cover up and use these garments when cleaning any forklift. Furthermore, no employee should ever use sandals or complete the task barefoot. Ideally, work boots are the best choice to prevent any slip or fall.