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Forklift Troubleshooting – Common Problems You Encounter

When you’re working with forklifts, any problem can be serious trouble. You need to know how to recognise the faults, and assess the risks, both in terms of onsite safety and downtime caused by mechanical or other failures. Regular forklift maintenance reduces the risks enormously, but be aware that problems will occur, sooner or later.

Let’s be clear about this – the very first sign of a problem is your alarm bell. Don’t ignore the warning signs; act fast. Mechanical and electrical problems don’t get better; they can be catastrophic, and almost unbelievably costly in some cases. Know the risks, understand the problems, and know how to get things fixed fast, and even major issues will be a lot easier to manage when getting forklift maintenance and repairs.

Common Forklift Problems

Lift or “Mast” Problems

The mast is the lift mechanism and frame of your forklift. If your forklift is not raising or lowering properly, or it is doing so erratically, this may indicate hydraulic problems. Hydraulic systems can be clogged with materials, or you may simply have low fluid levels. Overloads can also cause trouble, notably engine overheating.


Steering is a continuous operation in forklift work. Any difficulties of this kind can become chronic and risky onsite. One of the most common (and potentially serious) problems is low levels of steering fluid transmission. This problem can be fixed onsite, but please note that other issues, notably worn gears, require prompt attention. Best practice is to get forklift repairs done ASAP.

Electrical Systems and Starting Problem

These problems are potentially difficult, and can cause serious downtime. You may need forklift battery maintenance, and/or full spectrum servicing of the electrical systems.

Tyres and Suspension Issues

Like a car, tyres and suspension affect each other. Worn tyres aggravate all kinds of problems and can make a forklift handle poorly. A damaged suspension, however, affects the entire vehicle, and can be really risky. The suspension also reacts to the load, so problems can be aggravated very quickly. This problem can be almost completely avoided with regular forklift servicing.

Protecting Your Bottom Line

A healthy respect for these common problems can save you a lot of money upfront. Each of the above issues can cause problems that can be expensive if not fixed. A single accident or serious incident can turn in to a multi-million dollar “donation” to your stress levels, and do real damage to the bottom line.

Best practice is to have a do-everything local forklift service available for both servicing and expert advice to help you avoid risks. A combination of good experienced forklift operators who know the problems and good service will keep your forklift operations safe and productive.

If you’re in Sydney and looking for some help with managing servicing for your forklifts, Aussie Forklift Repairs is your local one-stop shop. Come and visit us online, see our full range of products and services, and just call us any time you need a hand. We’re only a phone call away on (02) 9679 8992 whenever you need us.