BEATING THE HEAT—PREPARE YOUR FORKLIFTS FOR SUMMER
It’s finally summer in NE Pennsylvania, and hot, humid weather is here. So, it’s a good time to talk about forklift maintenance as your lift truck will need some extra attention. Overheating is a common problem, so make sure your maintenance schedule is followed. Nothing ruins a shift faster than a broken-down forklift.
Although not all hot-weather specific, here are some maintenance tips for meeting the pressures of rising temperatures.
- Inspect your batteries. Extreme heat and cold are rough on a battery of any kind, and forklift batteries are no exception. Battery fluids evaporate, so make sure you have the correct amount of water.
- Check your fans. They can crack and are susceptible to wear and tear like any other part. They circulate air and help keep your engine cool. Their proper operation is especially important in the heat.
- Change cracked belts. Belts move the fans but also help move coolant through your system. Belts dry out and crack, so they need to be replaced periodically.
- Check your tires. Heat enhances the effects of cracking and deterioration in rubber. Pneumatic tires should have the pressure checked regularly. As the temperatures rise, so does the pressure in your tire so you may need to let a little air out in the summer. Doing these things should help prevent a blowout.
- Replace worn wires and cables. The increase in temperatures can cause damaged or corroded wires to break, and this can bring your forklift to a full stop. Make sure all your wires are whole, and not brittle.
- Check coolant levels. Doing this is more critical now than at any other time of the year. If your coolant level is low, you may have sprung a leak. Hoses, like belts and wires, can get brittle and crack so pay special attention during times of extreme weather.
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Also, be sure to take care of your forklift operators. Fans or other accessories can help make his or her time in the cockpit more comfortable. Encourage them to drink more water and take heat breaks when needed. In hot working conditions watch for these signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Be aware that heat stroke is a medical emergency. Call 911 immediately.
Located in NE Pennsylvania, Action Lift is ready to be your material-handling solutions partner. We represent some of the best product lines in the industry. Our goal is to provide our customers with the safest, most efficient, and ergonomic lift truck possible to lower total cost of ownership and increase uptime.