Five Tips for Winter Forklift Care

With the coldest winter months right around the corner, it is important to think about the effect of the weather on your equipment. There are a few steps that can be taken to ensure your equipment is running as smoothly as possible and can prevent serious downtime.

forklift in the snow

  1. One easy way to take care of your equipment in the Winter is to allow the engines of equipment to warm up properly. It is recommended to start the engines of forklifts and other vehicles 10 minutes prior to the beginning of operation. This will make sure your equipment’s engine will be able to operate at peak efficiency when it’s time to work.
  2. Another simple method to protect your vehicles is to properly store them in colder months. It may be best to store your outdoor forklifts inside during the colder parts of the year in order to protect them from the elements. Keeping equipment in enclosed storage areas and covered up will keep your equipment in much better condition than vehicles left out in the cold. A block heater may also be necessary to keep your equipment at an acceptable internal temperature.
  3. It is important to slowly warm up your hydraulics when beginning operation of a forklift. Hydraulic fluid does not warm up while a forklift is idling, so it must be warmed up by the operator slowly moving the forks in and out. This will ensure that your hydraulic system is ready when it is time to lift heavy loads.
  4. If you are using an electric forklift, it is important to remember the effect that cold weather has on the batteries of electric vehicles. In many cases extreme cold can greatly decrease the run time of a battery. This means you will need to account for more frequent battery charging and battery replacements. In order to keep your operation running smoothly it is important to account for these interruptions and be prepared for them.
  5. Lastly, a step you can take to protect both your equipment and your employees is to grit your outdoor surfaces which will be operated on. Icey and snowy conditions can be very dangerous to operate heavy machinery in. If your operating areas have been properly gritted with rock salt or similar substances, you are less likely to have an accident caused by ice.

All of these steps will help you to protect your equipment in the winter months and allow our operation to keep running smoothly. To view our outdoor equipment such as pneumatic forklifts from Toyota click here.

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