Help, my forklift isn’t starting!

Your forklift operator has conducted his (or her) pre-shift inspection, climbs on board the truck, turns the key… and is greeted by silence. This is trouble as your forklift is an integral part of your operation.

Here’s how to perform an initial troubleshooting in the event your forklift just won’t start:

Check your dash display.  Is there an alarm? Forklift dash alarms are similar to a car’s in that if something is lit up, chances are something’s gone wrong. Perform a diagnostic test to work to determine where the problem might be. Your mechanics should be able to do this and pinpoint the problem in no time at all.  Check those dash alarms first, a quick assessment of the trouble can save you time and money.

Is it cold? Even simpler than the dash alarms, the thermometer can tell you where your problem is. Many forklifts just need time to warm up before they will turn over in extreme cold. Like your car, your forklift’s combustion engine must generate enough heat to keep oil flowing and lubricating and allow operation of the truck. Ideally, in cold weather situations, store your forklift indoors when it is not in use.

Check your battery. Extreme cold or heat can suck the life right out of a battery. Likewise, a truck that was left on overnight (or even a cab dome light left on) can drain a battery enough to prevent it from operating properly. Check the terminals of your battery as part of your pre and post-shift inspections and make sure all electrical functions are shit off at the end of every shift. Of course, if you are operating an electric forklift, follow the specifications when you regularly charge the battery after every shift.

What about the emergency kill switch?  Sometimes it’s the easy things that trip us up.  Your kill switch overrides the operation of the forklift and can cause a huge headache if you don’t think about it before you start diagnosing a problem.  While we’re thinking about it- go ahead and check this first.

If you check all these things and your truck still won’t start, pull it out of the rotation and call our technicians at 704-842-3242.  We’ll get you back up and running in no time at all.