The Most Common Forklift Mechanical Issues

The Most Common Forklift Mechanical Issues
  • Opening Intro -

    Forklifts are some of the most reliable pieces of equipment in the industrial and warehousing fields.

    Able to lift thousands of pounds at once, these machines make up the heart of product and material processing procedures.


However, they can still wear and break down over time, leaving your team in a difficult situation. Fortunately, familiarizing yourself with the most common forklift mechanical issues can help you prevent these problems from occurring.

Mast or Lifting Problems

The mast, also known as the lift, is the part of your forklift that elevates and carries each heavy load. This component raises and lowers with little interference on a properly performing forklift.

However, an older or damaged hydraulic system can cause this fork to move erratically. Not only does this prevent the machine from doing its work, but it’s also incredibly dangerous for the operator and other workers.

So you must regularly check the hydraulics for leaks to prevent this issue.

Battery Drainage

Forklifts can also experience battery drainage if you don’t properly maintain them. This is especially true if you store these machines in areas with extreme temperature fluctuations.

Forklift batteries work by sparking an internal combustion engine. This starts the machines and burns fuel most efficiently.

Because of this, a dying battery will prevent you from using your forklift at all. So consider replacing your forklift batteries if you experience trouble getting your machine to run.

Tire Traction Reduction

Next on this list of forklift problems and solutions is the decrease in tire traction. Like standard vehicle tires, forklift treads experience significant wear over time.

As the rubber grinds down against the pavement, it becomes more difficult for your equipment to maintain traction during use. Driving on bald tires can be incredibly dangerous, potentially throwing the machine off balance and causing operator injury.

Therefore, replacing your current models with reliable forklift tires over several months is a must.

Faulty Steering

You may notice a problem with your forklift’s navigation as well on occasion. From lowered steering fluid in the transmission to worn-down gears, several different things can cause faulty or unresponsive steering.

When this occurs, you can find it difficult to control your forklift, leading to a series of hazardous situations. Make sure you inspect all connecting components to best pinpoint the issue.

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Overheating Engine

Engines frequently overheat too. After all, it’s common for your machine’s radiator to collect road debris and break down. Without the proper ventilation, the engine builds up heat and eventually malfunctions itself.

For this reason, you should inspect your forklift’s radiator before every use. Clean it out if it’s blocked. If it’s already broken, replace it immediately.

Understanding these most common forklift mechanical issues is the key to making the most of your maintenance efforts. This way, you can tackle breakdowns at their source and keep your equipment working for longer.

You’ll be able to trust your forklifts to help you perform tasks each day.

Image Credit: by Adobe Stock royalty-free image #380211084

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