How Often Should A Forklift Be Serviced?

Published on 11/15/2021

how often should a forklift be serviced

Are forklifts critical to the operation of your business? Then you'll want to make sure they are always in operable condition. Often, business owners underestimate the importance of implementing a regular maintenance schedule for company forklifts. OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) has rigid guidelines in place that govern the upkeep of this machinery. According to OSHA guidelines, forklifts that aren't in safe, operable condition should not be used, and all repairs must be performed by authorized personnel.

Wondering how often should a forklift be serviced? Tired of frequent forklift repairs? Yes, regular maintenance of this machinery means more uptime. In this article, we'll explore how often a forklift should be serviced, what's involved in routine maintenance check-ups, and how you can make sure you are following OSHA safety guidelines for the upkeep of this machinery. You can learn more about our mobile fleet service here 

Understanding OSHA Daily Forklift Inspection Requirements 

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires that a lift truck is in optimal shape before its operation. OSHA recommends daily inspections of the vehicle, and if they are used on an around-the-clock basis, they need to be inspected after each shift.

If any defects or mechanical issues are found, personnel should not use the lift truck until a professional makes repairs. It is imperative to follow these safety guidelines, as failing to adhere to them can result in hefty fines. A daily inspection checklist includes but is not limited to the following:

  • All operable lights are working and free of dirt or debris that could affect their operation 
  • The mirrors are clean, mounted correctly, and reflective 
  • Make sure the lifts, chains, and hoses aren't leaking and there are no signs of damage 
  • Make sure the hub nuts are tightly secured and the tires aren't worn or damaged 
  • Check to make sure the air filters are in place and are clean

Regular maintenance of industrial forklifts will ensure that your fleet of lifts passes OSHA's mandated checks.  

How Often Should A Forklift Be Serviced? 

In industrial settings, forklifts are used frequently, if not every day. In this case, it's imperative to have them serviced quite often. For instance, a forklift that's getting heavy use might need to be serviced by a professional at least once every ninety days.

Forklift manufacturers generally recommended service intervals based on how many hours the machine was used or time intervals measured by days or months. However, we suggest servicing your business forklifts based on usage.

Here is a breakdown of what a full maintenance schedule looks like:

After every 200 hours of service, the following maintenance procedures should be performed by a qualified technician: 

  • Replace the air filter 
  • Change the oil and install a new oil filter 
  • Make adjustments to ignition timing and idle speed 
  • A thorough inspection of the spark plugs and distributor point and ensure that the drive belt tension is in good condition

After 600 hours of use, the forklift's hydraulic system will require maintenance. This includes: 

  • Changing the hydraulic oil and hydraulic filter 
  • Remove debris from the radiator 
  • Replace the fuel filter 
  • Readjust the clutch release bearing, chassis links, and the tilt cylinder pins 
  • Change the transmission oil 
  • Inspect the PCV valve and hoses 
  • Inspect the carriage rollers, lift chain tension, hand brake, and the carriage rollers

Besides hours of usage, the following should be taken into account when determining how often you'll need to have them serviced:

The age of the equipment.

Older equipment will likely require more maintenance than newer machinery since they have been in operation for several years.

Working environment.

Equipment operated in rugged environments is constantly under tremendous stress and will need to be inspected and maintained on a regular basis.

History of maintenance.

Every forklift is different. Equipment that has a lengthy repair history or breaks down quite frequently will need to be inspected more often than other equipment. 

Benefits Of Preventative Maintenance

Undoubtedly, keeping up with regular forklift maintenance can be a challenge for busy business managers and owners who have a packed schedule. However, regular maintenance offers numerous benefits.

Perhaps one of the most significant benefits of routine maintenance is that it helps prevent last-minute expensive repairs. When work equipment is inspected and serviced at intervals, technicians can spot potential defects and perform routine tasks that ensure the longevity of the forklifts.

So, how often should a forklift be serviced? The timeline varies based on how often you use the machinery, its age, and the working environment. Properly maintaining your company's forklifts will also prevent accidents resulting in severe injuries and steep OSHA fines. Enrolling in a maintenance program can make your business less vulnerable to expensive downtime.

We've Got The Experience

Our team of certified technicians has years of experience in forklift repairs and maintenance. A certified technician should only perform routine maintenance and repair on your company's industrial forklifts. Our maintenance program will ensure that your equipment meets OSHA standards. Check out our commercial fleet repair by All Bay Diesel and the other services we offer today.

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