4 Common Pallet Truck Problems and How to Solve Them
If you’re having pallet truck problems and don’t know how to fix them, this article is for you. After frequent use over long periods, your pallet truck may start to show signs of wear and tear that can result in potentially risky working conditions.
In this article, we discuss the four most common pallet truck problems, from a faulty pump to leaking hydraulic oil, and detail the troubleshooting steps to stop them in their tracks.
A Broken Pallet Truck Pump
A faulty or broken pump can be caused by multiple factors. Given the number of components in the pump, there are only a few key areas you need to check before you’ll find the source of the problem.
Trapped Air in the Hydraulic System
The first step to releasing trapped air in the hydraulic system is to pump the handle repeatedly to essentially bleed the pump (like you would a radiator). The trapped air prevents the pump from lifting. So once it is removed, the truck should lift as normal again.
However, if you don’t notice a difference after 20 pumps, there may be something else going on.
Incorrect Hydraulic Fluid Pressure
Unusually high or low hydraulic fluid pressure could be the cause of your broken pump. If you suspect this is the case, prop up your truck and drain the fluid by loosening the screw that holds the cover over the reservoir and pumping.
Loosen the pin holding the lower level in place using a screwdriver. Once loosened, hold the tip of the screwdriver over the pin grove and hit the screwdriver with the hammer until loose enough to pull the pin out.
Then, grab the valve cartridge with pliers and pull out the old O-Ring to remove excess fluid. Then, replace the O-Ring, refit the valve cartridge and cover, and lock the cover in place with the pin.
Finally, fill the pallet jack with hydraulic fluid and see whether it functions normally again.
Leaking Hydraulic Oil
If you’ve noticed a hydraulic oil leak, the cause is probably a damaged or loose seal. If this is the case, you can easily fix the problem by replacing the seal and tightening it where necessary. Patchwork fixes like tape won’t be effective, so don’t expect the issue to wait at bay for long!
Lubricating your pallet truck is an easy task to forget. Fortunately, it’s also an easy fix. If this is the cause of your faulty pump, you can expect to have it fixed in just a few minutes!
The moving parts of a pallet truck should be lubricated once a month to prevent deterioration and ensure they continue to run smoothly. It may be helpful to create a checklist that includes the wheels, axle, and bearing, to keep track of it every month.
The wheels of your pallet truck can be the root of a series of problems. Including unstable load capacities or balancing, the necessity for physical strain and difficulty manoeuvring. Your wheels can be the cause of all sorts of pallet truck problems and are perfectly avoidable with vigilance.
Clean Your Warehouse
The most common way pallet truck wheels become damaged is by continually running over metallic litter. Which can get stuck in the wheels, create scratches, dents, and heavily reduce the smooth operation of your pallet truck.
Removing debris can avoid damage to your wheels, but there are other reasons your wheels might be damaged.
Overloading your pallet truck can lead to their gradual reduction. Flat spots, general wearing down, cracks and splits can occur due to pushing the limits of your pallet truck. Excess weight can result in unstable load capacities or even cause a broken pallet truck, depending on the length of time it remains unchecked.
Worn-down wheels are one of those common pallet truck problems that can be solved quickly and easily. So if you notice that your wheels are starting to slow your pallet truck down, it’s time to replace them.
Brake failure can result in a hazardous working environment and should be remedied as soon as they’re identified. There are several reasons why your brakes might fail. Including:
Wear and Tear
After long periods of consistent use, the breaks naturally wear down, which can result in reduced efficiency and even total failure.
Lack of Maintenance
If you fail to clean your brakes regularly, dust and debris can accumulate and affect the performance of your pallet truck.
If your brakes aren’t adjusted correctly, they may stay in a constant state of engagement, which will wear them down far faster than normal.
This could occur as a result of a hydraulic oil leak. If leaking hydraulic oil reaches your braking system, the friction between the brake pads and the wheels may be compromised and reduce the efficiency of your braking.
It is important to pay attention to the weight capacity of your pallet truck to ensure you don’t overload it and put unnecessary pressure on your breaks.
This problem won’t be as prevalent in indoor warehouses. But if your pallet truck is regularly used outside, moisture, rocks, and extreme temperatures may encourage the deterioration of your breaks.
If you’d like to try fixing your manual pallet truck on your own, follow these steps:
1. Park your broken pallet truck on a flat, stable surface, and block the wheels to prevent movement.
2. Wear safety gear such as gloves and glasses to avoid injuring yourself.
3. Inspect your braking system to identify damage, wear, and contamination. This includes the brake pads, levers, and cables.
4. Clean the braking system to remove contaminants.
5. Check the brake adjustment to ensure they engage and disengage properly. You can tighten or loosen the brakes accordingly.
6. Replace worn components with genuine parts for maximum performance.
7. Lubricate the moving parts.
8. Verify the capacity of the pallet truck and make a note so your employees are also aware.
9. Test the brakes.
If your brakes still don’t work after your adjustments, you should have a professional correct them so your brakes return to optimal performance.
What if Nothing Works?
If your pallet truck problems persist or your broken pallet truck seems unfixable, it’s time to purchase a new forklift. Fortunately, here at Trucks Direct, we have a range of new and used pallet trucks available at affordable prices to ensure no interruption to the workflow of your warehouse.
If you’d like to enquire about our pallet trucks, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Or visit our showroom to see the truck you want before you buy it.