Forklift Repair Tips and Tricks

mechanic repairing a forklift Forklift repair may seem complicated at first. But, with the right approach, your business can teach its workers how to identify and fix forklift issues in their early stages. Plus, your workers can verify that forklifts are safe to operate. As a result, your employees can lower the risk of forklift accidents. They can also help extend the lifespan of your forklifts and use these machines to achieve the best-possible results.

Is Forklift Repair Difficult?

Repairing forklifts on a regular basis is a must. By following instructions, anyone can take the guesswork out of forklift repair.

Performing forklift repairs requires patience and attention to detail. Moreover, it pays to be proactive with repairing a forklift. If your business empowers its workers with adequate forklift repair training, it can avoid costly and time-intensive forklift issues down the line. Your business can also provide its workers with insights they can use to keep your forklifts operational for as long as possible.

How Do You Service a Forklift?

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to service a forklift. Rather, a combination of daily and periodic inspections and meticulous planning is necessary to ensure a forklift consistently performs at peak levels.

Daily forklift inspections are key. The inspections enable forklift operators to identify any signs of wear and tear. If any issues are found, an operator can take a forklift out of service. And at this time, the operator can ensure the machine is properly repaired.

Along with daily inspections, periodic forklift servicing is crucial. It is generally a good idea to get a forklift serviced every six months or after 500 hours of operation, whichever comes first. Meanwhile, some companies require forklift repairs approximately every 90 days or more frequently, depending on how they use their equipment.

Furthermore, it pays to review a manufacturer’s specifications regarding forklift repair and maintenance. These specifications can be used to help your business develop and implement a forklift maintenance plan.

Common Forklift Repair Issues (and How to Address Them)

Certain forklift problems can crop up more often than others. These problems can affect the following in several ways, such as:

1. A Forklift’s Mast Malfunctions

The mast is connected to a forklift’s carriage and forks. It is used to lift, lower, and tilt a forklift.

A forklift operator typically lifts a load in multiple stages. If a problem occurs during any of these stages, it can cause the mast to malfunction. In this scenario, it can become tough to safely lift or lower a load. Or, it may be impossible to lift a load quickly or keep a load stable as it’s being raised or lowered

If a mast problem arises, it may mean that a forklift’s hydraulic fluid level is low. It can also be linked to an issue with the forklift chains. If these chains become rusted, misaligned, or damaged, they can affect the mast.

2. A Forklift Operator Cannot Steer Their Machine

Forklift steering problems can go unnoticed for an extended period of time. And the longer they go undetected, the more likely it becomes that a forklift operator could lose their ability to steer their machine. In this instance, the operator could inadvertently cause a tip-over or another type of forklift accident.

There are many warning signs that a forklift’s steering is not working correctly. Sometimes, strange noises can happen at the same time an operator turns their forklift’s wheels. There can also be hydraulics or pressure valve issues that impact a lift’s steering function.

For those who believe a forklift’s steering function has deteriorated, ensure the machine has sufficient steering fluid. And if the fluid is thick and full of gunk, it’s a good time to change it. In situations where a forklift’s hydraulics or gears have been affected, hire a trained and experienced forklift repair professional to fix the problem.

3. A Forklift No Longer Starts As Expected

Forklift operators may prepare diligently for work. However, if they try to start a lift and it does not work as expected, myriad problems can result. In these instances, work can get delayed. The result: forklift operators cannot work, and their employer loses money.

Both electric and gas forklifts may not start up right away. With an electric lift, the issue may be due to a malfunctioning or dead battery. Comparatively, with a gas-powered lift, the machine may need a fill up. The lift may also be leaking fuel.

If there are concerns about forklift repair, seek out a professional. This ensures a lift can be fixed by someone who knows how to handle any issues that come their way.

Want to Teach Your Workers How to Repair Forklift Issues?

FLC Can Help! Your workers can perform simple forklift repairs. In fact, with forklift certification training from, you can help your employees conduct forklift inspections and various lift repairs day after day.

FLC offers online forklift certification training for companies of all sizes and across all industries. We provide multiple certification training options, ensuring your workers can quickly and easily become OSHA-approved forklift operators. To learn more or enroll your workers in one of our programs, please contact us online or call us today at (888) 278-8896.