Signs That It’s Time to Replace Forklift Parts or Equipment

Signs That It’s Time to Replace Forklift Parts or Equipment

If your business uses forklifts, chances are they are absolutely necessary to carry out day-to-day operations. This means a damaged forklift could slow or bring your business to a complete stop. To avoid disrupting your business, monitor your forklifts for any signs of damage. Here are some indicators that you need to replace forklift parts or equipment.


Tires are one of the most important forklift parts and are typically the first ones to require replacement. By regularly inspecting forklift tires, you can keep your business rolling. A tire in need of replacement is one that has worn down to the brand name etched on its side. This typically means you have around 100 hours left before the tires are completely unreliable. The best course of action is to replace the tires as soon as possible.

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Another sign that you should replace a forklift’s tires is when small chunks or pieces of the tire begin to fall off. This is known as ‘chunking’ and it indicates that the tires should be immediately replaced. This is not only a sign that the tires are unsafe, but they won’t work as well. In addition to chunking, look for tears or cracks in the tire’s surface. This often occurs when driving over debris. If your tire has tears or cracks, replace them immediately.

Forklift Mast

A forklift’s mast is the vertical assembly on the front of the forklift that does the work of raising, lowering, and tilting a load. It consists of many individual parts that require care and maintenance. Each of these forklift parts work together in order to keep the truck at maximum performance. One or more of these parts breaking down can result in sudden drops in the mast and several safety hazards. Aside from the safety hazards, one part breaking down typically means other parts are being damaged as well.

One common warning sign of damage to the mast is metal-on-metal contact. Grinding sounds when operating the lift as well as scrape marks both indicate metal-on-metal contact. If you observe either of these signs, you should replace or re-adjust the forklift parts.

Another warning sign is when you notice uneven fork tips. Bent forks can slow your operation and cause excess product damage. The mast also may require replacement forklift parts if the lift is moving slowly or doesn’t go as high as it should. If you experience any of these symptoms, hire a professional.

To determine when a fork is worn down, you need to look at how the back teeth of the caliper interact with the fork blade. If the back teeth pass over the fork blade, the fork is worn beyond a 10% threshold and should be immediately taken out of service. If the back teeth hit the fork blade, the unit is under the 10% threshold and should be safe to use.

Clogged Filters

For a forklift to operate at peak performance, preventative maintenance service for your oil, air, and fuel filter is crucial. When these filters become clogged, they can decrease the fuel efficiency of your forklift. A clogged air, oil, or fuel filter can also lead to overheating and engine damage. Scheduling regular preventative maintenance can help prevent your filters from being clogged and will also help to keep your axle’s greased for optimum performance.

If you experience strong fuel smells coming from the engine, your filters may be the issue. When there is an intense fuel smell coming from a forklift, it should be immediately tagged out of service. It could cause an extremely dangerous build up of CO in the warehouse. Having preventative maintenance done on a regular basis will help to prevent this dangerous situation. Professionals can analyze the exhaust emissions of your lift to verify it is safe for use.

Hydraulic Hoses

Make sure that you are regularly inspecting your hydraulic hoses. Constant usage and weather exposure may cause cracks and leaks. Take a look at the hydraulic hoses throughout your forklift and look out for any of these issues:

  • Oil leaks around the fitting or along the hose.
  • Abrasions on any of the hoses.
  • Cracked or corroded fittings.
  • Kinks in a hose or twisted hoses may indicate incorrect routing.

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When the hydraulic hoses on your forklift are damaged, it can cause serious malfunctions. If you noticed any of these issues with the hydraulic hoses throughout your forklift, call a professional to inspect them and make any necessary repairs.

Upgrading Forklift Parts

If you notice any of these signs, contact the forklift experts. C&C Lift Truck can deliver on all of your forklift needs. We carry a complete line of replacement parts and new equipment for all makes and models of forklifts, lift trucks, scissor lifts and more. In addition to forklift parts, we sell and rent new and certified used forklifts. We also offer comprehensive repair services and offer safety training courses to meet OSHA standards. For the very best forklift services and inventory, contact us today.

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