often than you might guess, forklift service isn’t a choice. Just because the unit is operating doesn’t mean it is doing so safely. As you read this your forklifts are developing maintenance issues that need to be addressed soon or that are already past the point where safe forklift operation isn’t possible. That’s where OSHA forklift rules come into play. The OSHA powered industrial truck standard [29 CFR 1910.178] lists a number of conditions under which a forklift must be removed from service. If the operator notes these conditions while driving, the operator must stop, park the vehicle and get assistance.

  • Any powered industrial truck not in safe operating condition shall be removed from service. All repairs shall be made by authorized personnel. [29 CFR 1910.178(q)(1)]
  • Defects when found must be immediately reported and corrected. [29 CFR 1910.178(q)(7)]
  • Any vehicle that emits hazardous sparks or flames from the exhaust system shall immediately be removed from service, and not returned to service until the cause for the emission of such sparks and flames has been eliminated. [29 CFR 1910.178(q)(8)]
  • When the temperature of any part of any truck is found to be in excess of its normal operating temperature, thus creating a hazardous condition, the vehicle shall be removed from service and not returned to service until the cause for such overheating has been eliminated. [29 CFR 1910.178(q)(9)]
  • No truck shall be operated with a leak in the fuel system until the leak has been corrected. [29 CFR 1910.178(p)(4)]

Wondering how to inspect a forklift? Here are some easy to spot conditions that help you identify when lifts need forklift service.

How to Tell When a Forklift Needs Service

Planned Mainteance ManualRegular service inspections can prevent big headaches. Here are a few tell-tale signs your forklift needs serviced:

  • Your forks are worn, cracked or bent. Damaged forks can lead to damaged loads. Take the forklift out of service and check the forks immediately. Replacement forks are readily available at your Toyota dealer.
  • The mast jerks or catches when moving up or down. The mast should function smoothly. If it does not, you may need to lubricate the mast surfaces and fittings. Failure to address this early can cause expensive hydraulic problems and potentially permanently damage your mast.
  • Your chain is worn, kinked or rusted. If your chain is damaged, you could experience chain failure and risk damaging product or other components on the forklift. Take the forklift out of service and check the chain for weak points. This is a common issue Toyota Certified Technicians face daily. Call your Toyota dealer to expedite the repair.
  • Your forklift is leaking oil. Check for internal and external leaks. You may need to replace the seals or the cylinder assembly to control the problem.

Make inspecting your forklift a part of your daily routine to help keep small problems from turning into big, and often expensive, problems later. If you are not already on a scheduled maintenance plan, make it a point to have your Toyota dealer out regularly to perform a basic service inspection.

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Original article was published by Toyota Material Handling U.S.A.

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