Like any quality piece of machinery, you want to be able to maximise its life expectancy to the best of your ability. If your workplace is seasonal or demand is flexible, you may find yourself needing to store your forklift for extended periods of time. If this is the case, you want to ensure you apply strategies to give your machine the best chance of keeping its pristine condition.
To help you effectively store your machine, we’ve outlined our five top tips based on our experience with long-term forklift maintenance.
1. Location counts
There is no doubt that choosing the right place to store your forklift is essential. First and foremost, storing your forklift indoors is essential, especially if you own an electric forklift.
As a general rule, aim to store your forklift in a flat, dry area. A level area will help ensure that the unit won’t accidentally roll or move at any time. In addition, avoid areas that may be exposed to extreme temperatures. Please note electric forklifts need to be stored inside in dry conditions and around 20°C to ensure you maximise the life expectancy of your machine.
2. Thoroughly clean your machine
Prior to storing your forklift for long periods of time, ensure that you give your machine a thorough clean. Prior to starting the cleaning, disconnect the batteries. The batteries need to be cleaned at least twice a year or every six months to remove battery acid and residue. By cleaning your batteries prior to storage, you are giving them the best chance of working efficiently once the time comes to use your forklift again.
3. Park your forklift safely
When leaving your forklift, it’s important always to check the parking brake. Ensure that the brake is properly engaged, and remove the key. To remove the key safely, turn the key switch to the “off” position and remove the key.
4. Cover the forklift
When storing your forklift, it’s critical to cover any exposed metal surfaces with rust preventative. Over time, different elements can have a negative impact on your machine, therefore, ensure to protect your forklift from dust, water, sunlight, and moisture. You may shield your forklift from these elements with a sheet that is large enough to leave no parts exposed.
5. Continue maintenance as usual
Even though you may not be using the forklift all year round, regular maintenance ensures that your machine is safe and ready to use when you need it. Regular maintenance may involve anti-greasing all exposed parts, lubricating all joints and points and checking the tyre pressure. If you notice any issues, get them fixed immediately to avoid disruption at a time when you need the forklift most. The time you are storing your forklift is the perfect time for repairs.
Storing your forklift properly is more valuable than you think
While some people may assume they’ll find their forklift as they left it after months of storage, proper storage preparation and regular maintenance can go a long way. Applying effective storing techniques can help prevent defects and give you the peace of mind your machine is ready to go when you need it. Not to mention potentially saving you time and money from having to undergo a massive repair or service. By putting in small efforts along the way to properly store your forklift, you will be able to return to operations quickly and easily.
For help with applying these tips, contact our expert team today at 1300HYWORTH.