7 Signs You Need to Replace Your Forklift

Forklifts are a crucial tool in any warehouse setting, and they need regular maintenance to ensure they’re running smoothly and safely. Sometimes, though, routine maintenance isn’t enough.

If forklift repairs aren’t getting the job done, it may be time to replace your forklift. Buying a new forklift isn’t cheap, though; how do you decide when the cost of a new forklift is worth it?

You could wait for your forklift to break down entirely, but that leaves you without a valuable tool until a replacement can be purchased. It’s better to monitor your forklift for signs that it’s time to get a replacement.

Keep reading to learn seven common forklift issues that mean it’s time to replace your forklift.

1. Your Forks Are Worn Down

The most important part of a forklift is, of course, the forks–they allow the machine to move your products safely. They’re also the part of the forklift that takes the most stress and gets the most wear and tear.

You should inspect your forks regularly to see how this wear is affecting them. A fork that has seen too much wear loses stability and could end up breaking or dropping a heavy load.

The tip and heel of the fork are the places that take the most damage. To see how worn they are, measure the thickness of the fork at an undamaged spot, like a vertical part of a fork. Then measure at the heel or tip.

Compare the two. If you find that the heel or tip has worn down by ten percent or more, you have a problem. You may be able to fix it by replacing forklift parts instead of the whole forklift, though.

2. Maintenance Costs Are Too High

The cost of forklift maintenance always fluctuates a bit; a small increase in price doesn’t necessarily mean there’s a serious problem. If your costs for a certain forklift keep going up, though, that could be cause for concern.

As the years go by, the maintenance fees for a forklift continue to climb. At a certain point, you’re going to be spending more on maintenance than the forklift is worth. That means it’s time for a new forklift.

When you buy a new forklift from a place like Princeton Forklift, you can cut down on maintenance fees, saving yourself money in the long run.

3. There’s a Malfunction

There are a variety of checks you should run on your forklift each day to make sure it’s functioning well. OSHA provides checklists to help you track important aspects of forklift maintenance.

If these checks are turning up problems, it’s time to replace your forklift.

Consistent battery issues, damage to fuel tanks, leaks, steering problems, and more are signs that your forklift isn’t doing well. If maintenance isn’t fixing these problems, buying a new forklift is your best option.

Any major malfunctions during operation are also clear indicators that you need a new forklift. A forklift that drops a load or begins moving erratically is too dangerous to keep on the warehouse floor.

4. Forks Are Bent or Cracked

Damage to your forks doesn’t stop at basic wear and tear. Forks can also bend over time, making them less effective. In extreme cases, a fork can even crack, weakening its lift capacity.

To check if your forks are bent, you need an angle measurement tool. Your forks should bend at a right angle; measure near the bend to see if that’s the case.

A slight deviation–three degrees or less in either direction–is fine. If they’ve bent more than that, though, you need to either replace the forks or the forklift.

Even if only one fork has a problem, you should replace both; your forks should be as identical as you can manage.

If you discover any cracks, that is also cause for replacement.

5. You Aren’t Using It

Do you have an older forklift that doesn’t see a lot of use anymore? Many warehouses end up expanding and buying new forklifts for their fleet without getting rid of older ones.

Don’t let an old forklift sit around and gather dust. By taking up space and getting occasional maintenance, that old machine is costing you money–more money than you can justify given how little use it gets.

Replace your old forklift with a newer model that you can actually use. Adding a new forklift to your rotation helps slow down wear and tear on the other vehicles in your fleet, too.

6. It Can’t Move Around Your Warehouse

Replacing old forklifts isn’t always about breakdowns and expensive maintenance costs. Sometimes, you need to replace a forklift because the model is a bad fit for your warehouse.

This happens a lot when a business expands. A forklift that could navigate your warehouse with ease a month ago might have a harder time now that you’re stocking more inventory and have a fuller warehouse.

If your forklift is too big or not maneuverable enough to get around your warehouse, you need a new one. Otherwise, your bulky forklift is an accident waiting to happen.

7. Its Capacity Is Too Low

In the same vein as the mobility issue, carrying capacity is an important factor in whether or not you can keep using your current forklift. As your business grows, you might start getting larger pallets or heavier products.

When that happens, you might need to buy a new, heavy-duty forklift that can carry larger loads.

Even if your current forklifts are getting by, a new forklift could still help you move products more efficiently. You might be able to move more at once, cutting down on loading and unloading times.

New attachments can also help you expand the utility of your forklift.

Know When to Replace Your Forklift

To manage your warehouse and inventory effectively, you need a functional forklift. If you spot any of the problems above, you should replace your forklift before it’s too late!

Just like your company’s forklifts, your home needs the occasional refresh! Visit our DIY ideas blog for ideas and advice about fun, creative ways to make your house a more welcoming, relaxing place.