Maintaining Your Material Handling Equipment Serving Texas Since 1981

How To Keep Your Forklift in Peak Condition

Ask any forklift owner how to get maximum value out of your forklift investment and they’ll tell you – proper maintenance makes all the difference.

It’s easy to see why forklifts and other heavy-duty material handling machines require consistent, careful maintenance. After all, these machines routinely perform extremely difficult mechanical functions, carry enormous loads, and do their work in unforgiving, fast-paced environments.

Rest assured, your Shoppa’s equipment was built to endure such difficult conditions and will return value for years to come if it is operated and maintained properly. But knowing how to properly care for your forklift and being mindful of the importance of service-related matters can make a significant difference in your overall cost of ownership. This is true whether you have one unit or an entire fleet.

Here are some of the important service and maintenance guidelines to be aware of.

Service Your Forklift at Regular Intervals

Just like a car, there are some routine services that should be performed on your forklift at regular intervals based on hours of use (not necessarily based on days or months). As a general guideline, here are the services that should be performed based on your hours of usage:

Every 200-250 Hours:

  • Changing the oil and replacing the oil filter
  • Installing a new fuel filter
  • Lubricating the chassis and mast components
  • Installing a new air filter
  • Inspecting and replacing (if necessary) components such as belts, spark plugs, etc.
  • Inspecting the electrical system

Every 500-600 Hours:

  • Changing the hydraulic oil and replacing the filter
  • Changing the antifreeze
  • Changing the brake fluid
  • Inspecting safety components (seat belts, hood latches, lights, horns, backup alarms, etc.)

While the routine maintenance checklist is a little different for electric forklifts since they have fewer moving parts, you should service these machines just as regularly as you would internal combustion units. Check and replace (if necessary) critical components such as those listed below.

Routine Maintenance Checklist:

  • Contactor assemblies
  • Cabling and wiring
  • Switches and controls
  • Drive motors
  • Hydraulic motors
  • Power steering
  • Caster wheels
  • Brakes, tires and chains

Remember – proper, consistent servicing of your forklift isn’t just a smart financial move, it’s actually an OSHA Requirement. OSHA guidelines mandate that any vehicle that is defective, in need of repair, or in any way unsafe, should not be driven and should be taken out of service immediately.

Consider Purchasing a Maintenance Program

When you purchase a Toyota forklift, you’ll also have the ability to purchase one of two types of maintenance plans: A Planned Maintenance (PM) plan or a Full Maintenance Program.

Planned Maintenance provides service for your forklift at every planned maintenance interval for an affordable monthly fee. A Full Maintenance Program goes a step further and covers any maintenance need (with some specific exclusions) for a flat monthly rate. Shoppa’s offers three maintenance programs with an array of service options and monthly rate tiers, so whether you need the basics or extensive maintenance protection, we’ve got a maintenance program that’s right for you.

The most important benefit to these programs is the elimination of downtime, which is far and away the most expensive cost associated with forklift ownership. A maintenance plan is the best way to catch problems early and avoid unforeseen issues that take a unit out of service. Plus, a maintenance program ensures that your forklift will get the care it needs in a timely manner, which will extend its lifespan and ensure better performance.

Check Your Toyota Warranty Coverage

Remember, if you’ve recently purchased a new forklift, your standard Toyota warranty and included Toyota 360 Support give you access to service from any Toyota dealer in the country as well as guaranteed 4-hour on-site service requests. And all Toyota genuine parts are covered by a 2-year, 4,000-hour parts and labor warranty.

Ensure the Safety of Operators and Employees

Proper maintenance isn’t just about taking care of your equipment. It’s about taking care of the people who operate or use the equipment as well as anyone who works within the environment where the equipment is in use.

Worn out components can lead to accidents, such as a fall or slip caused by grease or fluid from a ruptured hose. Regular maintenance can help reduce accidents and mitigate situations that put your people at risk.

Avoid downtime. Turn to Shoppa’s.

Regardless of what your service needs might be, or when they occur, you’ve got a partner that’s ready to help. We stock a vast supply of quality parts and have more than 200 Toyota certified technicians ready to assist you with any maintenance or service need. We’ll also provide important insights and resources to help you keep your material handling equipment performing optimally throughout its lifetime.

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