How to Develop a Forklift Maintenance Schedule

It goes without question that maintenance is the cornerstone of forklift operations. Ranging from the routine repair to good old fashioned preventative care, every forklift truck needs the appropriate care and upkeep to enjoy a full life span full of efficient and safe operation. However, some businesses have troubling keeping up with the upkeep. Is your enterprise hoping to derive ways to enhance maintenance practices? Something as simple as implementing a forklift maintenance schedule can provide the foundation and support your organization needs for its material handling appliances. Are you looking to get started today? Here is a comprehensive guide on several steps you can take to develop a forklift maintenance schedule that optimizes the functionality of your fleet!

1) Keep A Vehicle Repair History Log – You can’t know where you are going without looking at where you came from. Keeping a vehicle repair history log itemizes all the different repairs that were conducted, how many miles were on the odometer, and when it was performed. These logs are instrumental in establishing continuity and getting into a rhythm for future initiatives. It is considered academic to change oil every 3,000 miles. However, if upon reviewing the log you see that a certain forklift is getting its oil filter changed every 5,000 miles an area of improvement emerges to be prioritized moving forward. Moreover, if an established schematic is already in place you can visualize when each vehicle will be in for service based on their current usage rates.

2) Prioritize Essential Projects – There is a fine line between a corrective repair and preventative maintenance. However, corrective actions given the severity of the issue must be prioritized as an essential project. This of course boils down to manpower and resources. If you have three forklifts due for service but only two mechanics, such a scenario warrants a prioritization scale. Determining utility boils down to a few key considerations. First, which vehicle is most important to the day-to-day operations. Niche machines such as narrow aisle forklifts may be used less commonly compared to a traditional electronic hydraulic forklift seen on the production floors. Moreover, if one vehicle needs a quick change of coolant versus another requiring brake pads, the latter would also need to be prioritized in that scenario.

3) Parts Availability – According to Life Cycle Engineering, this is another consideration that must be made. Thanks to backlogged orders, sometimes equipment inventory can be depleted rather quick. To attain the replacement parts can as a result take some time to acquire. This is especially true if you are dealing with more cumbersome components or materials made of exotic metals. In dealing with maintenance tasks, scheduling inspections of more complicated parts of the vehicle weeks in advance can buy any business enough time to re-up the appropriate supplies should they require any amendments. Furthermore, adopting such a proactive philosophy toward both preventative and predictive maintenance is known to stop little issues in their tracks before they become a big problem.

About Tom Reddon

Tom has been involved in the forklift industry since 1986. He loves doing research, blogging, and speaking about forklifts. You can contact Tom on his Twitter or Google+ profiles.

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