Telltale Signs Your Forklift Needs to Be Replaced
Over time, keeping up with the cost of different types of forklifts can be more than parts and labor. Damaged forklifts can cause a loss in productivity as operators wait for their forklifts to be repaired.
Older forklifts may cost more than they’re worth to continue replacing parts over time, and keeping spare parts on hand isn’t a great solution to the increased cost of operating an old vehicle. It may be necessary to replace the forklift to ensure your company is working productively.
Continue reading to learn more about when a forklift should be replaced.
Equipment Damage and Malfunctions
The life expectancy of a forklift depends on the manner of use — extensive use in extremely hot or cold conditions is more likely to damage a forklift in a short amount of time. It’s essential to replace a forklift when components experience damage or malfunction. Operating a damaged piece of machinery can create a dangerous work environment and put employees at risk.
Some common types of malfunctions include:
- Electrical shortages: These present liability risk that puts a company in danger of being held financially responsible. A forklift electrical shortage can injure employees and be penalized by government agencies like OSHA.
- Stretched chains: Chains will stretch during forklift use and become less safe. Measure the amount of stretching to know when you need to replace the chains.
- Worn forks: The forks should be straight and free of damage without showing any cracks or bends. Forks need regular inspection to ensure they don’t wear out.
- External forklift damage: Worn-out trucks may have underlying surface issues. Bent parts or dents in the overhead guard may cause unsafe working conditions your team needs to address.
As maintenance costs continue to rise, operators must have professionals routinely service their equipment. Companies may also find themselves constantly replacing worn-out parts. Some consider it more cost-effective to replace a damaged forklift with a reliable piece of equipment, whether it be a rental or a new model.
To decide whether to replace a forklift, track the amount of money and time you spend on maintaining current equipment, routine service and serious repairs. Follow the trends of annual maintenance costs and track the rise and fall of repair prices. As forklifts age, the cost to maintain the vehicle will likely grow. It may be wise to consider this when comparing the annual expenses of replacement forklifts versus continual maintenance.
A worn-out forklift battery may have trouble holding its charge. When this becomes prevalent, it may be more cost-effective to replace the forklift rather than continue to replace the battery as the vehicle ages.
The average forklift battery should be long-lasting and correctly complete its charging cycle. A battery should also have good connections between cells and keep the right level of electrolytes. The usage will determine the battery’s life span, and going further than the discharge indicator allows can cause substantial damage.
Efficient Forklift Power Sources
An efficient power source can increase productivity and reduce the cost of forklift replacement parts. Some options for alternative power sources include:
- Lead-acid batteries: While these are an effective electrification alternative, be sure to consider laws about gas emissions, sustainability programs and air quality requirements.
- Internal combustion engines: These can power lift trucks that operate with heavy loads.
- Lithium-ion batteries: These offer a good power source when you need to cut expenses while adhering to regulations.
- Hydrogen fuel cells: These can help you move quickly on a tight timetable and keep up with consistent demands.
Avoiding Warehouse Accidents to Keep Your Employees Safe
Old, poorly maintained equipment can lead to accidents and injuries in the workplace. Medley Equipment Company can help determine if the problems a forklift is experiencing are fixable or require a replacement.
There are a few points to consider when maintaining a forklift and reducing the number of replacement parts a vehicle will need. It’s essential to look for signs of wear and tear in forklifts and either fix the issue or replace the vehicle completely.
Here are a few tips for inspecting forklifts to prevent constant maintenance:
1. Look for Damage at the Fork Heel
Use a flashlight, forklift caliper and measuring tape to inspect the fork heel. Look for damage near the heel of the fork, the fork tips or mast by examining the machine for cracks or gouges. If any damage is detected, have a professional replace the forks immediately.
2. Use a Caliper to Check the Fork Thickness
Using a forklift caliper, check each fork’s thickness and ensure they meet OSHA requirements. To compare measurements, first check the measurement of an area of the fork thickness that has yet to experience any damage and then measure the fork heel’s thickness. This will tell you if the fork is experiencing any wear.
3. Evaluate Forks With a Guage
Using a gauge, check the forks for uneven sections. To do so, place the gauge above the fork bend and touch each metal point to the fork’s horizontal and vertical lengths. The measurement should be near 90 degrees. Repeat this process, checking the second fork for bends.
4. Measure Distance Between the Fork and Ground
A sign of improper forklift use is if the forks aren’t wearing evenly. Measure the distance between the ground and each fork to check for excessive bends or wear. If one or both forks are worn, replace each part and discuss forklift safety with your operators.
5. Check the Positioning Lock
Ensure the positioning locks are working properly. If they aren’t, immediately stop the use of that forklift. A forklift that doesn’t lock is unsafe and requires replacement parts.
6. Examine the Fork Hook
Check that the fork hook doesn’t have a gap between the carriage and fork. The hook requires a replacement if an opening occurs.
Forklifts for Sale at Medley Equipment Company
At Medley Equipment Company, we offer a variety of forklift rentals, specialty forklifts and new and used forklifts for sale. We have several options for replacement equipment, with brands like Hyster, Yale, Mariotti and Combilift. Medley Equipment Company prides itself on providing customers with high-quality products and fast response times to help you find the best price on your next forklift.
We sell used forklifts at an affordable price, and our comprehensive inventory of new machines includes tow tractors, pallet stackers, lift trucks and electric pallet trucks. Our specialty machines, such as the Aisle Master-OP, offer extra power and more functionality for your workplace. Our rentals from Hyster and Yale include electric, diesel, narrow aisle, stacker and side loader forklifts.
With locations in Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Missouri and Arkansas, Medly Equipment Company is dedicated to providing solutions to all our customers’ handling needs. Our team of over 100 technicians prioritizes the customer experience and ensures you notice the quality of every service and product we provide.
Contact us online to request a quote or call us today at (877)-847-7289.