Logistics & Materials Handling Blog

Preparing Your Forklift for Summer

by Paul Hinz
Filed under: Forklifts

With summer fast approaching in Australia it is important for forklift owners and operators to inspect and prepare forklifts to cope with the increased temperatures.

A well prepared and maintained forklift allows owners and operators to detect any problems early on where it can be treated as a minor issue and not a fully-fledged breakdown, saving time and money on repairs.

This week’s post looks at eight key inspection and maintenance points to ensure forklifts are able to safely operate at optimum levels during summer.

1. Coolant

Regularly checking and topping up the level of engine coolant is imperative to ensure a forklifts engine doesn’t overheat.

Checking coolant levels on a weekly basis not only replenishes levels on a regular basis but also provides opportunities to check for any leaks from the coolant reservoir.

Using the correct type of coolant as recommended by the manufacturer is important, water should not be used as a substitute for coolant as it has a lower boiling point and can contribute to rapid engine overheating.

2. Fans

Radiator fans is an essential part of keeping a forklifts engine cool.

Fans assist with the regulation of engine temperature as they pull away surface heat generated by the engine.

Regularly inspecting fans for damage and corrosion is important as any defects can negatively impact its performance.

Forklift cooling fan

3. Belts

As an engine belt moves it draws coolant through the engine.

Extreme weather conditions such as the hot temperatures of summer can cause corrosion and damage to engine components including the fan belt.

Regularly inspecting the condition of belts allows for the early detection of any damage and the belts can be replaced to ensure optimal operation and cooling.

4. Wiring and Cables

Changes in weather conditions from the cool of winter to heat of summer can cause a forklifts wiring and the protective coating surround them to become brittle, crack and break.

Damaged wiring can cause to electrical components of a forklift malfunction or stop working all together.

Regularly inspecting and replacing damaged wiring will ensure a forklifts electrical components work optimally during summer.

5. Hydraulics

Hydraulics are a critical component of forklifts as they are responsible for steering and all lifting movements.

When hydraulic fluid runs low forklifts may experience a slowing in operation and operators may start to hear abnormal noises during operation.

During warm weather all fluids have the potential to evaporate meaning it is vital to regularly check hydraulic fluid levels to reduce the chances of a forklifts hydraulics systems from seizing up and breaking down.

In addition to checking fluid levels it is important to check the condition of cylinders, tubing and valves for damage and leaks.

6. Battery

For battery electric forklifts it is important to check the water levels in the battery cells.

Manufacturers recommend batteries are inspected and watered (replenished) once a week or even more frequently for older batteries.

Low battery cell water levels due to evaporation may lead to components corrode.

Forklift battery watering 3

7. Tyres

Tyre rubber can deteriorate and crack when exposed to the extreme heat of summer.

In summer the air inside a forklift tyre expands causing an increase in tyre pressure that heightens the chances of it blowing out.

It is important to conduct daily checks of tyre pressure to ensure performance and lifespan are maintained.

Old forklift tyre replacement

8. Maintenance

With potential increases in load volumes being handled during summer it is imperative routine forklift maintenance doesn’t stop.

A well maintained forklift will function at optimum levels meeting the increased productivity demands during warmer weather.

Regular maintenance can avoid a large proportion of the heat related problems previously outlined.

Adaptalift Group forklift service & maintenance

With over 200 fully equipped mobile service technicians and 11 service locations Australia wide Adaptalift Group guarantee industry leading standards in forklift service and repairs.

Our highly accredited technicians will keep your forklifts and materials handling equipment functioning at optimum levels during summer.

Never miss routine maintenance again by signing up your forklift and MHE to a tailored scheduled maintenance program.

To book your next forklift service or discuss a tailored scheduled maintenance program contact our service team on 13 22 54 or submit a service quote request online.