Maintenance work on forklift trucks is essential in order to minimise the risk of accidents, ensure the efficiency and safety of the entire machine and improve its performance. All these interventions, be they ordinary or extraordinary, must be performed only by adequately trained and instructed staff. That’s why Baoli, a leading manufacturer of forklift trucks and warehouse equipment operating in more than 80 countries worldwide, draws up a complete list of all the periodic checks and maintenance procedures to be carried out for each truck in its range. These are clearly described in the user and maintenance manual, which is an integral part of the machine, while its own network is constantly trained so that each one, starting from the simple pallet truck jack up to the 10 t capacity trucks, is maintained at an efficiency level equal to the new one.
Proper maintenance involves careful cleaning, especially in the presence of workplaces rich in abrasive particles, such as those intended for metal or ceramic processing. A key factor is actually to check the state of wear of the forks, which are too often dragged on the ground resulting in early wear, as well as the lengthening of the lifting chains. The hydraulic system too must always be in perfect working order: you need to check the seals of the gaskets and, should the pipes show evident signs of wear, the latter must be replaced promptly. Correct lubrication after cleaning the machine is also very important. Many forklift trucks are equipped with lubricators to ensure optimal lubrication. Maximum attention should also be paid to the electrical connections, which must be kept clean, taking care to check them only after fully removing voltage from the trucks.
“Forklift truck maintenance is a fundamental practice to safeguard the full efficiency and functionality of this type of machine and the workers’ health – explained Paolo Poscia, Baoli EMEA’s after sales manager – These are inspections that must be conducted by qualified staff and in the most meticulous way possible”.
Battery maintenance also plays a key role: starting from the ordinary one, which involves periodic topping up of the water lost during recharging, checking the status of the connections and any acid leaks - often resulting in improper topping up operations - and controlling the density of the electrolyte. Maximum attention must then be paid during the battery charging phase, which must be combined with the correct battery charger and carried out in suitable premises. Furthermore, it should never be forgotten that batteries that are going to remain unused for prolonged periods of time must be stored fully recharged, and possibly recharged again after some weeks of inactivity. All ordinary and extraordinary maintenance operations must obviously involve the use of original Baoli spare parts so as to ensure the maintenance of its performance and of the CE certification according to Machinery Directive 2006/42/EU and to the specific European product standards.
Another priority aspect in the maintenance of electric forklift trucks lies in the tyres, which are the only part of the machine in contact with the ground. The tyres of a forklift truck not only provide the necessary grip for traction and braking, but are also an important comfort element of the trucks, as they represent the only damping element between the ground and the car. Forklift trucks, unlike cars, do not have suspensions. In addition, a truck’s tyre does not only have to bear the weight of the vehicle itself, but also the weight of the load being transported. It therefore becomes essential to replace worn or damaged tyres as soon as possible in order to ensure safe and comfortable handling for the operator.