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» Warehouse Lift Glossary

Idle Forklifts

When it comes to forklifts, when they sit idle, the company loses money. If the business relies on the production of a forklift and that forklift is simply not being used, then the business is not being operated at optimal level. While there are many reasons why a forklift would sit idle, the two most common is that the operator is abusing the equipment or regularly scheduled, preventative maintenance is being overlooked.

First, when it comes to operator abuse that could cause a forklift to sit idle, this could be caused by a number of things to include:
  • Not checking the fluids on a regular basis
  • Not using the inching pedal to shift from forward to reverse
  • Gunning or revving the engine
  • Loading the lift over the rated capacity
  • Using the forklift inappropriately, such as pushing the pallets, equipment, or trailers around
  • Trying to two things with the forklift
  • Using the equipment even when a known problem exists
To eliminate this type of abuse, specific things can be done, some of which include:
  • Make sure the operator follows a list of maintenance processes
  • Install special devices on the lift that detect various types of abuse
  • Install high visibility strobe lights that are approved by OSHA to reduce the chance of collision
This problem is very serious in that the expense associated with repairing forklifts is astronomical. For instance, to repair a forklift is very labor intensive. Additionally, in many cases, the parts are expensive. That means that often more than one mechanic will be needed to make the repair, therefore, the cost is staggering.

By taking the steps for regular maintenance, you can save money and labor time. The best things you can do are the following:
  • Replace the oil at regular intervals
  • Maintain proper transmission oil and drive axle levels
  • Lubricate any sliding parts to include components for the mast and steer axle
  • Maintain the correct battery water level

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