Tips For Forklift Checks During The Winter Months
While we have published a blog on forklift chain inspection and maintenance advice, it is advised that regular overall forklift checks are conducted – especially now that winter periods are slowly approaching. Forklift checks cannot be sufficiently completed by doing a a simple observation (although some procedures do only require a quick view of its functionality) which is why in this blog we will discuss:
- How winter periods affect your forklift machines
- The different types of forklift checks
- What to do if your machine is degrading?
How Winter Periods Affect Your Forklift Machines
When it comes to operating forklift trucks during the colder seasons, it’s important to be aware of the risks that can arise. Not only for your operators, but to any pedestrians, the trucks themselves and stock you own. Harsher weather conditions such as snow and ice can also increase any risks and cause unique problems drastically. The lowered temperature puts more strain on the machine’s components. For example, batteries work harder to start and provide power. Similarly, freezing weather can cause paint to chip and seats to crack, which is potentially dangerous and less attractive on the eye.
As such, here at Trucks Direct, we’ve come up with suitable forklift check procedures to help you get your forklift prepared for the winter months.
Forklift Checks And Tips:
Conduct Pre-Winter Checks
To start our forklift inspection tips, we advise anyone involved with warehousing environments to conduct pre-winter checks. The last thing you want to do is have a problematic situation during the winter months when machinery is more prone to having issues. This is because key components of any forklift can often take some wear and tear during the colder months.
For example, during lower temperatures, trying to start a forklift can stress the internal wiring and other crucial components which can ultimately decrease efficiency and lead to breakdowns. Furthermore, winter periods can mean tyres on your forklift are not optimally heated enough to withstand the total capacity of your forklift. This could lead to cracking in your tyres (see our blog – signs your forklift tyres need changing for info on what cracking is) which is potentially dangerous.
Safe Space To Store
A simple forklift inspection tip to prepare your forklift for the winter months is to have a safe space to store the truck. If it is not in a safe and enclosed area, it can be prone to the harsh conditions, particularly at night and experience the symptoms as previously mentioned like tyre cracking.
Any vehicle, in colder weather, will be exposed to the possibility of liquids becoming frozen and there is no exception when it comes to forklift trucks. Diesel, in particular, can become jelly-like in extremely cold temperatures. This can have an impact on the performance of the machine, and more seriously, can cause expensive and sometimes irreversible damage.
Brakes are another example of fluid that needs to be monitored. Extreme cold can freeze machine brakes and prevent them from releasing. If you’re running a machine in the wintertime, and the breaks do not function properly, you can only imagine the sorts of disasters that can occur if this situation arises.
Another forklift check to implement for winter months is to inspect your front and rear lights. If you are operating a forklift truck in a warehouse setting, having a clear and a visible view of what’s in front and behind you is pivotal for minimising the potential for safety hazards to occur not just for yourself, but for the safety of others walking by. Similarly, if you were to take your forklift on the road, providing it is registered to do so, making sure your front and rear view lights are correctly functions will minimise risk of fatal accidents materialising.
Clean Your Machines At The End Of Play
Our last forklift check you should be conducting is to make sure to clean your machines at the end of the business working day. If some of the forklift components are muddy, and it’s below freezing temperatures, they’ll freeze overnight. Frozen mud can appear to have the same properties as concrete and can be incredibly difficult to break if attached to any part of the forklift. This will also make your forklift redundant if you cannot rectify the frozen component. As such, make sure you clean your forklift after use with correct anti-freezing chemicals or place them in a well heated area during the winter months.
What To Do If You Feel Your Machine Is Degrading
If you feel as if your forklift trucks are perhaps not dealing with the harsher winter conditions considerably well, it is vital to call a professional engineer to perform the correct forklift checks. Doing so not only protects yourself and others, but will save you a lot of money in the longer term as malfunctions or breaks can be rectified sooner rather than later.We hope we have supplied you with the appropriate methods to your forklift checks during winter months. If you are looking to purchase any new or used forklift perhaps because your forklift is beyond repair, be sure to contact us or give us a call at 0121 314 6648.