Skip to main content

The Anatomy of a Forklift – Service and Maintenance

The forklift is a combination of these core systems:

  • The mast – This is the lifting system and includes the fork and lifting mechanism, tied in to the hydraulic system.
  • Drive – This is usually an electrical drive system using batteries. (Outdoor forklifts may have petrol engines, but indoor forklifts are electrical.)
  • Hydraulics – This is the high-grunt power behind the lift, using hydraulic power for fast, efficient lifting.
  • Electrical systems – This is the main operating system, using battery powered electrical switches and power to operate the forklift. The latest forklifts include specialised features like auto-pick and articulated arms, etc. which also run off the electrical system.
  • Carriage and suspension – These are critical safety factors in load management. The suspension must be able to handle these heavy loads.

Servicing and Repairs Requirements for Forklift Systems

The best way to describe forklift service and repairs requirements is that they’re much like a car – If one system has problems, it will start to affect other systems and overall performance, so it’s best to keep an eye on any possible problems and fix them, fast. Also like a car, if you don’t carry out regular forklift maintenance and repairs, the costs mount, and so do possible safety risks.

Service and repairs requirements involve:

  • Mast servicing –Best practice is to ensure that the mast performance meets design specifications. Servicing includes checking for wear on mast components, sometimes including the hydraulic system, and checking performance.
  • Drive – The forklift’s drive system is basically an electrical system on a chassis. Drive problems directly affect load handling, so this servicing is crucial to overall performance.
  • Hydraulics – The hydraulics system is very tough indeed, but must be maintained and monitored for both safety and performance reasons. Servicing may include clearing out clogs in the system, or replacing worn parts.
  • Electrical systems – Servicing requirements include the transmission, on-board systems, and connections to the drive and lift operations. Battery maintenance is also part of this servicing.
  • Carriage and suspension – The frame and suspension need servicing to ensure they’re both in top quality condition and very stable. Adjustments to suspension and in some cases parts replacement may be required.

Getting Your Forklift Service and Maintenance Right

The best way to keep your forklifts in good condition, manage forklift repair costs, and minimise exposure to safety risks is to carry out regular forklift service and maintenance and create a forklift maintenance schedule and stick to it. Getting a service every six months can save you a lot of money, and a lot of downtime. Something as simple as tightening up the suspension prevents load stability problems and improves handling. A quick clean of the hydraulics keeps the lift mechanism in good working order.

If you need some help with managing your forklift servicing and repairs in Sydney, Aussie Forklift Repairs is right here to help when you need us. Visit our website, or give us a call on (02) 9679 8992, and we’ll be able to provide any services you need.