Four Reasons to Regularly Clean Your Forklift
Filed under: Forklift Maintenance & Upkeep
A part of forklift maintenance that is often overlooked is regularly cleaning the unit.
This week’s blog explores four important operational benefits and safety reasons why it is imperative forklifts are cleaned on a regular basis.
1. Prevent radiator overheating
A clean radiator is imperative for any forklift, the radiators main function is to dissipate heat away from the forklifts engine bay and to control the unit’s hydraulic oil temperature to prevent overheating.
Particularly when a forklift is operating outdoors or in warm weather dust and dirt can build up in and around the radiator blocking the escape path of the engines hot air reducing the radiator cooling effectiveness.
This can lead to damage or complete failure of the engine or hydraulic systems that would lead to expensive repairs or a full replacement being required.
2. Ensures all terminals and connections are safe and properly connected
Battery electric forklifts have a number of terminals and connectors that need to be properly connected for the forklift to function at 100% capacity.
Similar to the above radiator becoming blocked, dirt and dust can build up around terminals and connectors leading to connections becoming lose with the potential for the forklift to cease working.
Some forms of dirt may also begin to corrode connectors, terminals and even batteries, shortening their lifespan and operating capacity.
3. Easier visual inspections
As well as operational benefits, keeping forklifts clean provides a very important safety benefit the ability to conduct easy visual inspections.
Old dirt and grime build-up covers over potential fatal breaks, degradation or weakening of components
For important components of a forklift that need to be visually inspected on regular basis such as lift chains and mast channels cleaning the forklift on a regular basis ensures when it comes time for inspections operators have an unimpeded view of the component.
4. Longevity of components and smoother operation
Integral components such as lift chains and mast channels that move up and down on constant basis should be kept clean on a regular basis to ensure continued smooth operation at all times.
Dirt and grime build-up can reduce a components longevity leading to costly parts replacement sooner than expected.
General forklift cleaning tips
- Small areas of dirt or oil leaks should be cleaned/absorbed with cleaning rags
- General spot cleaning can be completed with a brush and soapy water
- Full scale unit cleaning can be completed either pressure cleaner for combustion engine forklifts and compressed air for battery electric forklifts
- When cleaning using a pressure cleaner ensure you do not directly clean any electrical components with water, it is advisable to mask these off with plastic and plastic covering
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