What You Need To Know About Forklift Brakes

Are you new to operating a forklift and learning about the various features and parts of these sophisticated material handling appliances? Are you hoping to master how to operate these inventions? Being in the know about forklift braking systems is a great place to start. The brakes are essential to every operation be that they cause the vehicle to stop when need be. Understanding how this system works in its entirety promotes safety and ensures compliance with all regulatory guidelines across the board. The braking system is comprised of many parts and it is important that any operator knows them in and out. Knowing how to safely and effectively use brakes is also imperative. Here is the scoop on forklift brake systems and how it applies to daily initiatives and projects.

1) What Are Brake Drums and Brake Shoes? –The braking system is comprised of many parts and components. Each have a distinct role and purpose to fulfill. First, the drums and the shoes. The drums are forced against the shoes to stop the vehicle while it’s motion. However, there are many moving parts that contribute to this operation. Two pieces of steel compose the brake shoes. First is the item that is forced against the brake drum to decelerate and stop, this is known as the brake lining. These are typically activated by the brake fluid. Braking is a product of friction; thus, the brake lining is heat resistant. The shoes on the other hand are not.

2) Routine Maintenance is Essential – As is the case with many components of any vehicle or technological item for that matter, routine maintenance is essential. Considering the gravity of the role of brakes, they cannot be ignored. The good news is routine maintenance is not difficult when it comes to upkeep. Most of this can be done by proactive evaluation and assessment of all the parts of the braking system. According to Toyota, a pre-shift inspection can iron out of most of this. The good news about a pre-shift inspection is that it is mandatory and therefore must be done anyhow. The Operational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) have been adamant in enforcing this principle. Forklift operators must complete an inspection checklist prior to operation before their shift starts. Doing this will highlight areas where maintenance is required if need be. In addition to limiting liabilities this will also enhance the lifespan of your braking system.

3) Common Causes of Brake Damage – Whilst general wear and tear can be a source of break damage. There are a few behaviors in particular which can intensify damage. Driving with the parking brake engaged is a huge cause. In addition to this, driving too fast and braking too hard is another way to damage the braking system. The intense stress and heat weighs heavily upon rotors and calipers which in turn cause excessive grinding. Furthermore, driving two-footed is another common culprit.

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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