Forklift maintenance is the best way to extend the life of your machine and avoid costly repairs and downtime. However, even a comprehensive maintenance plan with a reliable dealer will not prevent every issue. When problems do occur, you need to know how to troubleshoot the issue and get the fastest and most reliable forklift repair possible. To help you get started, here are a few forklift repair and troubleshooting tips.
Forklift Repair Step 1: Take the forklift out of service.
When your operator comes to you at the beginning of a shift and tells you that the steering on one of your forklifts is a little slow, it’s tempting to hope that the steering holds out until the end of the day. However, ignoring potential problems with your machine is an easy way to end up with a catastrophic accident. For example, if the steering gives out entirely, you might end up with serious property damage or injured employees from an out-of-control forklift.
Instead, the first step in any forklift repair or troubleshooting situation is to remove the machine from service. OSHA regulations require this step under many circumstances, including seemingly innocuous situations, such as a tire missing a piece of rubber. The motto "better safe than sorry" applies to all potential forklift service situations.
Forklift Repair Step 2: Identify the source of the problem.
Without an onsite evaluation by a qualified technician, chances are that you will not be able to pinpoint the exact cause of the problem with your forklift. However, you should be able to identify the basic issue, based on how the forklift is performing. Knowing what the basic problem is can help you communicate more clearly with the technician and give you a better idea of what kind of forklift repair you need. The four most common issues with forklifts are the following:
● Electrical problems: Issues such as trouble starting the forklift or a battery that will not charge can indicate an issue with the machine's electronics.
● Mast problem: Forklifts that will not properly lift their loads may be experiencing fluid leaks or problems with their hydraulic systems.
● Steering problem: Any issues guiding the forklift through the worksite can indicate a steering problem. These issues may sometimes be caused by fluid leaks.
● Tire problem: Worn out tires, tires missing pieces of rubber, cracked tires, and other tire problems may look minor but require immediate attention to prevent larger issues, such as blown tires and worksite accidents.
Forklift Repair Step 3: Collect information about your forklift.
Before calling your technician to deal with your forklift repair needs, you will want to collect certain pieces of information about the machine. This information will help your technician identify the exact type of machine that needs attention, as well as allow them to pull up your machine's history of maintenance and forklift repair. In particular, you should find your forklift's model and serial number. Also, you should provide the technician with details about the machine's past problems, maintenance history, and what the current issue is. The more informed the technician is, the easier it will be for him or her to identify the problem and carry out the correct forklift repair.
Forklift Repair Step 4: Call a qualified technician.
Just about every issue with the operation of a forklift will require an on-site evaluation by a qualified technician. For example, low fluids may be easy to identify and fix, but underlying mechanical issues or damage to a hydraulic system from a long-term leak may be harder to identify. Having an expert on hand to locate the true source of the problem and provide a long-term forklift repair is essential in guaranteeing the safe operation of your machine.
To that end, you will need to call a qualified technician to look at your machine. The best step is to call the company with whom you have a maintenance plan. These professionals should provide high-quality forklift repair services in addition to their maintenance services and, since they are familiar with your machines, be able to provide speedy and knowledgeable service.
Here at Darr, we offer both comprehensive maintenance plans and forklift repair services. These services include repairs conducted at your worksite, as well as repairs completed in our shop. With qualified technicians continuously receiving factory training, as well as state-of-the-art diagnostic tools and a fleet of trucks equipped for on-site repairs, we can handle forklift repair for any problem or brand of machine.
Forklift Repair Step 5: Prevent future issues with forklift maintenance.
Once your forklift is repaired, you will be able to bring it back into service at your worksite. However, chances are that you do not want to risk losing the use of your machine in the future. Downtime can be costly, and you may even risk losing jobs or missing out on deadlines if your forklift is out of commission for long enough.
To that end, it is wise to continue or implement a forklift maintenance plan for your machine. These plans allow qualified technicians to perform the regular inspections and maintenance tasks needed to keep your forklift in top working order. Regular maintenance will not prevent all problems, but it can prevent many major issues and allow you to catch problems before they become catastrophic.
If you are in need of forklift repair, do not panic. While you may face some downtime, prompt action and reliable, professional support can get your machine up and running quickly. When you notice issues starting with your forklift, take the machine out of service immediately; identify the source of the problem, if possible; collect all relevant information about the forklift; call a reliable technician, and continue with regular maintenance after your forklift repair to prevent further issues.
If you need qualified and reliable technicians for your forklift repair (or maintenance) needs, do not hesitate to contact Darr. We can provide the expertise you need to minimize downtime and maximize the quality of work you receive to keep your machines up and running.