My Forklift Engine Won’t Start – Help!

Did you go to turn on your forklift and find that it won’t turn over? Does the mere thought of such an event send shivers down your spine? It goes without saying that forklifts are a vital part of any material handling operation or supply chain project. When you need them the most, it is important they don’t let you down in the clutch. The good news is many of the reason a forklift engine won’t start are self-explanatory and readily fixable. For the novice operators green around the gills learning how to prevent such an incident will save you a headache and anxiety. However, to even the most seasoned operators sometimes they too scratch their heads. Here is a comprehensive guide on why the forklift engine won’t start and how you can help yourself!


1) How Is That Battery?

Often we find dead batteries as the source of many automotive troubles. Whether it be the vehicle was left on overnight unbeknownst to the owner or if the part itself is dead, battery failure inconvenience is the same trouble for forklift drivers. In some instances, the terminals may also be weak which can provide a plethora of issues in the vehicle properly charging or retaining power. To ensure your vehicle is getting the adequate power it requires, check the terminals prior to every use and make sure all electrical parts are turned off at the end of the shift. Taking these two steps can assure that the engine has just the amount of pop it needs. For electric forklift operators, it is also imperative to make sure you plug in the apparatus once it is done being used.


2) Is There An Alarm Code on The Dash Display?

According to Health Safety Training Limited, forklifts are just like cars in that any warning light that indicates is never a good sign! If your forklift won’t start and there’s an alert code showing, a diagnostic test will have to be performed. From that point moving forward, a mechanic will be able to determine the causality of the fault. Then repairs will have to be assessed accordingly. The good news is that you can save time and money by determining what the root cause is to expedite the maintenance process.


3) Is It Cold Outside?

The cold weather can be a treacherous foe for any forklift. For the traditional forklift, many of these machines need the engine to properly warm up before they are put into use. Comparable to the scenarios we see with cars in the deep winter, making sure the forklift is generating enough heat will lubricate operations across the board. Failing to do so leads to forklifts failing to start or stall as they idle. Both of these can be overwhelming.


4) Emergency Power Off Button Pressed?

Sometimes as simple as pressing off the emergency power off button can solve the problem of why a forklift engine will not start. These buttons override the ignition block and are often activated by previous users as a safety measure. Before powering up, make sure that button is off as your forklift won’t start without it!

If your forklift is deemed unusable and officially on its last leg consider purchasing a used forklift. The forklift experts at National Forklift Exchange offer an expansive inventory full of a variety of top manufactures and forklift models for sale. When you invest in a used lift you save money and still get a great piece of equipment. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us today with any questions about our forklift inventory, we’d be happy to help!


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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