Tips for Winter Forklift Maintenance

Whether you’re a fan of winter or can’t wait to see the warm weather make its triumphant return, one thing is for certain: If you don’t want your operations to take a major hit, you have to be prepared for winter’s effects on your worksite. In particular, it’s vital to perform a few key tasks related to winter forklift maintenance to ensure your equipment is ready to weather the snow, storms or subzero temps that winter may bring our way.


Winter Forklift Maintenance Checklist

Getting your fleet tuned up and winter-ready may not be part of your typical workflow, so here’s a short list of items that can help you with caring for your equipment in harsh weather and basic winter forklift maintenance:

  • Check the battery: Cold weather can be a serious drain on forklift batteries, especially true for electric-powered lifts. Before winter weather hits, check that the battery is at full capacity and in prime shape.
  • Keep an eye on hydraulics: Low temperatures can cause the many moving parts of a lift to stiffen up, so ensure they’re well lubricated to avoid the need for repairs.
  • Test the lights: With shorter days and potential bad weather, it’s important that lifts, especially those being used outside, have fully functioning lights—both for safety and practicality.
  • Check the tires: Ensure air-filled tires are fully inflated, and check the depth of your threads to make sure you’re getting the best traction possible.
  • Test the antifreeze: Check the level to avoid any malfunctions caused by frigid temps.
  • Prep your workers: Your employees need to be just as prepared for winter as your equipment. Advise them on proper attire for the weather conditions, and make sure they know all safety precautions for working in inclement weather, as well as are aware of their own role in winter forklift maintenance.

Beyond this checklist, forklift operators should continually keep in mind the effect of winter weather on their work. Ensuring pathways are clear of snow, ice, salt, and other impediments can avoid accidents or work delays, as can being even more cautious than usual about speed and maneuvering. Drivers should also take the time to make sure equipment is properly warmed up—and not forget to allot time to keep themselves properly warmed. Paying attention to these reminders can keep worksites free from incidents, functioning properly and productively straight through until the return of spring.


Replacing Equipment after Winter

If your forklift fleet doesn’t make it through the low temperatures of the harsh winter that’s to come, consider purchasing a used forklift from National Forklift Exchange. Our expansive inventory has a host of models, makes, and manufacturers for sale all at great prices. Save money on a used machine that will still do the same job as a brand-new piece of equipment. We also ship internationally to work sites across the globe. Reach out to an NFE expert to help you choose the right forklift for the job today!


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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