Forklifts are a big piece of equipment, and they are a significant investment for any company. However, no matter how much money you spend on them, no heavy machinery lasts forever. Luckily, preventative, routine maintenance can help extend the life of your forklift and your investment. Daily forklift checks are an essential part of optimal forklift maintenance. These checks are an excellent way to ensure that your operators and staff are in tune with your forklift as it helps operators monitor performance and spot potential issues.
As technology grows each year, you likely want an advanced, newer forklift. These newer machines come with many benefits, including increased ease of use, substantially greater productivity, and more. However, there is a flip side. The more technologically advanced a forklift is, the more potential problems that can arise. When you put more systems and automation onto any machinery, it increases its potential points of failure.
Physical checklists are an excellent and essential way to keep your forklifts in good condition. Creating a checklist for your operators standardizes the machine parts that need to be observed and recorded every day.
This narrows the potential for failure as well as catches problems in advance. Checklists can help you prioritize vital components of your forklift. They can also help you keep records of failure points or inefficiencies that you might be worried about or track to improve in the future.
Forklift operators can carry a paper or digital copy of a checklist during their daily forklift check. Some examples of items on this list could include checking the wiring, forklift attachments, checking the computer system, assessing fuel levels and battery life, and more. High-priority items that require daily maintenance (such as fuel levels) should be placed at the top.
Each checklist item should require completion or sign-off by the staff member conducting the forklift review. This way, all staff knows which operator conducted the last checks and can contact that person if future problems arise. It also helps track when checks were conducted and how the machine has been performing in each check.
A daily check also helps any company or team keep a timely maintenance schedule. It is key to include a record of the most recent maintenance of the machine on each forklift checklist. This allows operators to be aware of past maintenance work and potential weak points of a certain machine. It helps them know to take extra time to check on those parts. It also helps operators be aware when a particular forklift is due for maintenance by having a consolidated information sheet on the machine’s condition and schedules.
Daily forklift checks give operators a routine and standardized way to report issues with the equipment. If problems with heavy machinery are not solved promptly, they tend to become worse quickly. Daily checks help catch problems fast and early. Reporting issues properly allows the machine to be taken out of rotation, ensuring the problem does not get worse by being operated under duress.
Additionally, operators are human. Sometimes, without standardized processes, they may forget to report minor issues that happen with the forklift. When you have daily checks, that helps to remind your team members to remember to report any problems they currently can observe or have experienced while operating the forklift. Timely reporting can save both time and money spent on forklift repairs.
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