Logistics & Materials Handling Blog

How to Bleed Forklift Brakes and Why it is Important?

by Paul Hinz
Filed under: Forklift Maintenace

What is Brake Bleeding?

The term ‘brake bleeding’ refers to the process undertaken by which any air is removed from a forklift’s hydraulic brake system.

This process of bleeding air from the system is also used when purging the system of old brake fluid and replenishing with new, so therefore is often completed at the same time.

PXL 20220519 042427961

Why is it Important to Bleed Forklift Brakes?

When air enters forklifts brake lines and isn’t removed via bleeding it will negatively affect the unit’s performance.

Air in the braking system may cause a spongy brake pedal and decrease braking performance along with multiple other issues.

Due to the size and weight of forklifts and the loads they carry it is imperative operators can brake with confidence in emergency situations and know that the unit will come to a complete stop within a safe distance to avoid potentially dangerous situations including (but not limited to):

  • Operator or pedestrian injuries or fatalities
  • Lost or damaged loads
  • Forklift rollover, accident, or crash
  • Damage to the forklift
  • Damage to surrounding equipment or installations (e.g., racking)

To avoid any of the potentially dangerous situations mentioned above occurring we always recommended forklift owners and operators can recognise and act at the first signs of brake performance diminishing.

How to Bleed Forklift Brakes

We strongly recommend that forklift owners and operators engage the services of a trained professional such as our vastly experience field service technicians to carry out any repairs or maintenance such as brake bleeds on a forklifts brake system.

Our technicians have the experience and correct tools (e.g., brake pressure bleeder) to carry out brake bleeds safely whilst ensuring minimal disruption to a business’s operations.

PXL 20220519 042542729

They also have the knowledge to identify if any components within the forklifts brake system need adjusting or replacing and can quickly diagnose and troubleshoot any unforeseen problems that may arise from the brake bleeding process.

When repairs are required to a critical forklift system such as the brakes, the repercussions of carrying out the repairs incorrectly may pose a serious risk including (but not limited to):

  • High pressure oil causing burns or injury
  • Brake failure causing incident / injury / damage
  • Unit must be jacked up and blocked safely to avoid crush injuries
  • Uncontrolled release of stored energy

This post explains why having your forklifts brake system professionally bled and maintained is critical to ensuring optimal brake performance for safe operation.

For customers unable to perform brake bleeds as part of self-maintenance Adaptalift’s service department can organise one of our highly skilled and experienced mobile technicians to attend on-site to complete quick and efficient brake bleeds, maintenance or repairs with minimal disruption to operations.

Contact our service department on 13 22 54 to book your next service.