toyota up for maintnenaceTo maintain a proper level of efficiency and safety, it is important to know when you need to replace your forklift. Older, less efficient forklifts can become a burden to the warehouse. They can make it harder for employees to be effective in their jobs. Frustration over a forklift that is slow or in constant need of repair can increase maintenance expenses, slow productivity, and frustrate your staff. How do you know when it is time to replace your warehouses forklift?

Consider the Maintenance

Are you diligent in keeping your forklift properly maintained? If you do not have it serviced regularly, you can end up causing the forklift to age quickly. Business owners must be aware of the maintenance requirements to keep their forklift working safely and effectively. If the machine is always in need of repair, it can increase your costs as profits suffer while your staff has to wait for the machine to be repaired. It slows the productivity of the warehouse, and becomes a hindrance on your staff. Several companies use forklifts longer than they should. When a forklift is pushed too far past its lifespan, it can increase the risk of accidents. You can end up spending more money to continually repair your forklift versus investing in a modern machine.

Determine the Cost

How often is the forklift used, and how much weight is it moving around when it is in operation? Some forklifts will work well for a decade while others burn out after five years. If you find yourself spending more to maintain the machine than it would to buy a new one, it is time to trade in for a new forklift. Some of the things you need to consider pertaining to forklift replacement include the following:

  • Age of forklift and the brand’s estimated life expectancy
  • The amount of hours and weight the forklift has been in operation for
  • The frequency and type of maintenance it receives
  • The application of the forklift

The brand or type of forklift will have an impact on how long it will last. An electric forklift usually lasts longer than an internal combustion engine as they require more maintenance. The electric system has fewer parts, making it easier to maintain for most forklift owners. The application will determine how long the forklift is expected to be in operation. If the forklift is exposed to extreme temperatures, it can cause additional burden on the machine, causing it to age sooner.

used tired old tcm forkliftSigns of Replacement

What should you look for when you are maintaining a forklift? How do you know if there are warning signs that show you it is time to replace your machine? Here are some things to check as you follow proper maintenance procedures for your forklift:

  • Look for signs of cracks or distortions
  • Check for any broken or exposed wires
  • Check the fork blades for wear. If they are significantly worn, you need to replace the forks or consider replacing the forklift.
  • Check for distortion of the fork blades.

Proper training is essential to prevent accidents and injuries when using a forklift. It is important that your employees know the importance of how to load the forklift. Never overload a forklift as it can cause the machine to tip over. Overloading can bend and weaken the forks. Always contact a forklift supplier to help with replacement of forks and other parts. They will advice you when it is time to invest in a new forklift for your warehouse.

Plan On Forklift Replacement

One of the best options to replace a forklift is when you can plan for it. Most forklifts will last for around 10,000 to 12,000 hours, but this varies based on the maintenance and upkeep of the machine. If you know your machine is starting to get older, you should plan on a replacement in the near future. Saving for a new forklift will allow you to replace it as soon as your existing machine breaks down or starts to concern your staff due to safety reasons.

Our sincere thanks to Tom Reddon for this guest post. We are honored that he would share with us. Tom Reddon is a Forklift Specialist and Blog Manager for National Forklift Exchange. He also sits on the MHEDA Executive Dialogue team. Connect with him via Twitter at @TomReddon.

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