Increasing Your Forklift's Lifespan

No matter what task you put it to, you have to take proactive steps if you want your forklifts to deliver consistent, dependable service for as long as possible. Proper use and care are vital when it comes to keeping these trusty vehicles running smoothly, but what exactly can you do to maximize forklift lifespans?

Tips to Increase Forklift Lifespans

Ensure that you’re getting reliable performance for as long as possible while maximizing ROI and value by performing the following tasks:

  1. Factory-Recommended Oil Change Schedule
  2. Planned Maintenance
  3. Maintain the Battery
  4. Regular Facility Cleaning and Maintenance
  5. Make Sure Operators Are Well-Trained

1) Factory-Recommended Change Schedule

By changing your engine oil according to the manufacturer’s recommendation, you’re reducing wear on your machine and maximizing fuel economy. If you’re neglecting oil changes, you could face issues like sludge build-up, corrosion, and even catalytic converter failure. Ensure that oil changes are on your planned maintenance list to prevent these problems from occurring.

Pro Tip:

You can further maintain forklifts by ensuring they’re on a weekly greasing schedule. Learn More

2) Planned Maintenance

A regular maintenance routine will ensure that you have a plan in place to keep your forklift in peak operating condition. You can avoid wear and tear by keeping filters, fluids, forks, chains, and seals in good shape. A trustworthy material handling service can provide you with total maintenance and repair of your lift trucks.

3) Maintain the Battery

Keep your electric forklift batteries clean, properly watered, and develop a strict charging cycle based on the type of charger you employ. If your charger does not have sufficient Amp Hour throughput based on the configuration of your battery, or if you are charging sporadically without using a high-frequency opportunity-type charger, you could be causing long-term damage. This often results in reduced efficiency, shorter run times, and less longevity. As a general rule, it’s recommended to charge a traditional lead-acid battery after a full day’s work. However, High-Frequency chargers, Lithium-Ion batteries, and High-Voltage chassis are beginning to radically change the landscape of electric lift truck usage.

4) Regular Facility Cleaning and Maintenance

To reduce overall wear and tear on your equipment, ensure that your facility is kept free of debris and spills. Debris on floors is not only a safety hazard but also a threat to the internal systems of your forklift. If this debris enters these systems, it can cause major damage to your unit. By performing routine sweeping and cleaning, you’re eliminating the potential of encountering hazardous debris.

5) Make Sure Operators Are Well-Trained

Before anyone operates your forklift, it’s crucial that they are trained in safe practices and efficient operation. Most equipment damage is caused by user error or improper training, which can lead to impacts, tipping, and unsafe handling of loads. By ensuring that all personnel are trained and instructed properly, the risk of these incidents is greatly reduced.

6) Keep Forklifts Clean

Forklifts that are left uncleaned and uncared for can become dirty, dusty, and grimy. This dirt can quickly corrode parts such as the drive train, hydraulic lines, and the battery. Regularly cleaning your forklift with a pressure washer or soft cloth will help prevent buildup of dirt and grime, extending the useful life of your equipment.

7) Replace or Upgrade Parts as Needed

Another important component to increasing your forklift lifespan is to ensure that all parts are replaced or upgraded as needed. This includes not only the more visible parts, such as the tires and battery, but also smaller components like seals, hoses, and filters. These small components can make a huge difference in how well your forklift operates and can help extend its useful life.

8) Proper Storage

Proper storage of your forklifts when not in use is essential for increasing the lifespan of the equipment. By storing in a dry, secure space and away from extreme temperatures, you can help extend the life of your equipment significantly.

9) Consider Forklift Leasing or Rental

Another way to increase your forklift lifespan is to lease or rent forklifts as needed rather than purchasing them outright. Not only does this lessen the upfront cost of a new unit, but it also allows you to upgrade your equipment more frequently and ensure that it is properly maintained without having to do it yourself.

What Is the Average Forklift Useful Life?

The average forklift lifespan depends on the type of machine and its use. Generally, a well-maintained electric forklift should last for about 10,000 to 20,000 hours of operation. A gas or diesel forklift will usually last for about 8,000 to 10,000 hours.

Understanding Forklift Depreciation Life

Forklift depreciation life is an important factor in understanding how long one will remain useful before it needs to be replaced or leased. Simply put, it’s the period of time during which a piece of equipment can be used before its value significantly decreases due to age or wear and tear. This lifespan varies depending on the type of forklift and its usage, but typically ranges from 3 to 7 years. After this period, the cost of maintenance and repairs often outweighs any benefit from using the machine, so it’s important for warehouse managers to understand how long their machines should last.

Knowing forklift depreciation life of their fleet can help warehouse managers make informed decisions about the purchase and lease of their equipment. If you’re considering purchasing a used forklift, you should be sure to factor in its remaining useful life when calculating the total cost of ownership. Additionally, if you’re considering leasing, you should make sure that the lease period does not exceed the useful life of the machine.

Understanding forklift depreciation life can also help plan for replacement costs in advance by setting aside funds for when the time comes to swap old equipment with newer models. By proactively budgeting, you can ensure that your warehouse is always operating with up-to-date machinery while reducing any potential disruptions to productivity caused by equipment failure or breakdowns.

Increase Forklift Lifespan Across Your Fleet With

You can increase the value, ROI, and lifespan of your forklifts by using these tips on a regular basis, allowing you to get the most out of your equipment, warehouse operations, and bottom line.

Contact HTX today to learn more about how we can help you maximize average forklift lifespan across your fleet with our services and warehouse solutions!

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