3 Ways To Reduce Costs When Maintaining A Forklift

Forklift downtime can cost you major bucks. We want to help you avoid these huge setbacks, save time, and increase your profits. Check out our list of the three best ways to reduce forklift maintenance costs.

Preventive maintenance

Preventive maintenance can have a return on investment of 545%. That’s a lot of savings.

Preventive maintenance means implementing timed, maintenance plans instead of fixing things when they break. Implementing a preventive plan can reduce downtime, decrease human repair hours, and also increase asset lifetime. To implement a preventive maintenance plan, you’ll need to know:

How old are the trucks?

How often/for how long are they used?

What is their expected lifetime (check your manual)?

What are the records of service and have they been serviced properly?

Answering the above questions will help you map out a plan for implementing maintenance on a scheduled basis.

Daily forklift checks are part of an effective preventive maintenance plan. The top things to keep repaired and in-check on your forklift include:

  • Oil and other fluids – Keeping your engine healthy is a great way to reduce expensive repairs and also keep other parts of your machine running smoothly.
  • Tires – Keeping your tires in good shape is essential in lowering fuel costs as well as accidents that occur because of poor traction.
  • Forks – You must keep this vital part of your truck in good shape.  Fork repairs can be expensive, and you want to avoid any drops or breakage caused by poor fork performance.
  • Battery – Keep your battery healthy to prevent unnecessary downtime and to prevent more severe problems like acid damage.


Keep your employees well trained and forklift certified, and you’ll minimize the risk of injury by 25%. OSHA standards are no joke. If your people don’t follow the rules, you’re in for increased maintenance costs, reduced productivity, and possibly hefty fines.

To avoid an undue headache, make sure your people can perform basic maintenance tasks. Here’s an excellent checklist for daily maintenance tasks that can be performed by forklift operators.

  • Check fluid levels
  • Alert managers to any new, physical damage
  • Check tire condition and pressure
  • Make sure the forks are working properly
  • Make sure stickers and decals are visible and in the right place
  • Make sure the operator’s compartment is clean
  • Make sure the seat belt, finger guards, and other safety features are working.
  • Check the battery, propane tank, or gas tank and make sure fuel levels are good


Keep your facility clean, and you’ll minimize the risk of downtime and risk of emergency maintenance, plus you’ll increase productivity.   Here is a full list of hazards from OSHA.

You can also enhance productivity by keeping your facilities clean, organized, and arranged with a layout that increases efficiency. Here are a few tips for keeping your warehouse or facility in forklift-friendly shape.

  • Establish clear and clean pathways – Forklift operators and drivers shouldn’t have to guess which lines they should travel within. Make sure your routes are always clear, free of debris, and not jammed up with pallets or product. Have your staff clean the floors daily.
  • Establish right-of-way – Work with your team to create a right-of-way system. Give priority to main routes (like ones that lead directly to the loading bay). Make the routes through aisles of product secondary to main routes.

Being mindful of preventive maintenance, people, and places are your 3 best bets when it comes to keeping your forklifts running at their peak.


Bio: Bryan Christiansen is a CMMS specialist and co-founder at Limble CMMS.  Limble providers a modern, mobile and easy to use CMMS solution that has helped companies across the globe keep their assets running at peak performance.

About Tom Reddon

Tom has been involved in the forklift industry since 1986. He loves doing research, blogging, and speaking about forklifts. You can contact Tom on his Twitter or Google+ profiles.

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