End of Summer Basic Forklift Maintenance

Now that the days are getting a little shorter and the temperatures will soon be dropping along with the leaves, it’s time to prepare for the end of the Summer and your seasonal forklift maintenance.

As always, every shift should begin and end with the routine internal and external maintenance inspection as required by OSHA.

In addition to that procedure, let’s check your forks and look for cracks, bends, blade wear and other extreme damage that could compromise the integrity of the forks.

Check the welds on the forklift to make sure they are intact and not showing any signs of failing.

Take a good hard look at your tires, check the treads and make sure they are filled properly and not missing any rubber.

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Forklift Attachments and OSHA

Your forklift operators have been trained on the appropriate trucks and know those units back to front, but did you know that if you add any attachments or alter the forklift in any way operators must be trained again?

OSHA has a list of requirements for attachments and any item that alters the truck’s center of gravity, visibility or capacity.

Some of the attachments commonly found in a warehouse might include slip sheet attachments that fit over the forks and allow shipping and receiving of materials without pallets; sideshifters that allow the forks to be adjusted to the right or left- either manually or mechanically; carton and barrel clamps; paper roll or carpet handlers- usually a long shaft that extends out from the forklift; bale clamps; rotators for grabbing and rotating the load; telescoping forks; and personnel platforms made for lifting and carrying people.

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Forklift Tires

Solid Forklift Tires

We got Don Haas to explain forklift tires. Why are there different options? Well think about all the different applications one could use a forklift and imagine each application having special tire needs.


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Preventative and Routine Forklift Maintenance

Maintenance is maintenance, right?

Not so fast.

There are two disciplines of maintenance- “preventative” and “routine.”

Think of brushing your teeth vs. going to the dentist. Brushing (routine) takes place (ideally) every day and keeps your pearly whites happy and healthy.  The dentist (preventative) takes place (ideally) annually and provides long-term insurance that your teeth won’t fall out of your head.

Routine maintenance, simply, involves small-scale things usually requiring little or no training and resulting in smooth day-to-day operation or preventing unusual wear and tear.  Things like oil changes, fluids, greasing chains and pneumatic systems and tire inflation.

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