When Should You Replace Your Forklift?

Material handling and construction professionals require forklifts for their operations. Forklifts are most susceptible to wear and tear, and just like any other equipment, they need to retire when they start developing issues. 

Knowing when to replace the forklift can be challenging. To make things easy, here are things to look for when the equipment reaches the end of its lifespan.

  1. It Exceeds Operating Hours

When vehicles hit a certain mileage, they can no longer be on the road. The same applies to forklifts when they reach 10,000 to 12,000 operating hours. These hours equate to 5-6 years of operating for 8 hours. When you realize the forklift is approaching these years or hours, it’s time to consider a replacement. It will save the cost of downtime, ensuring optimal efficiency.

  1. Operating Conditions Are Rough

Industries exposing forklift machines to extreme heat, acidic chemicals and carrying maximum load reduces the machine’s lifespan. It means the equipment experiences more stress than vital parts such as hydraulics.

Lithium-ion battery-powered electric lift trucks have limitations in refrigerated or cold units. The minimum operating temperature of the batteries is 32 degrees Fahrenheit, and below that temperature, they do not produce enough voltage for operation. Lead acid batteries can operate in these conditions perfectly. If the forklift works in such conditions, ensure regular inspections to avoid problems.

  1. Increase in Repair and Maintenance Costs

Anytime the maintenance and repair costs increase dramatically in a year that signifies the forklift needs replacement. In this case, replacing the machine with a newer model that needs less regular repairs and maintenance is sensible. Remember, buying a new one will cost more but will be more cost-effective and efficient. You do not have to worry much because the price of diesel forklifts is affordable and favorable.

  1. Make and Model

Expensive, reputable forklift brands with modern technology have a longer lifespan than cheaper models because the brand has high-end components and better quality control. If the forklifts you use have old technology and need to reach optimal productivity, they need replacement. Before replacing, consult your provider to know the latest technology and models.

  1. Malfunctioning of Mechanical Features

Anytime the mechanical features of an equipment malfunction, it is time to retire it. Ignoring this sign will be putting your and your employee’s health and safety. Some problems that can lead to accidents include brake, steering, clutch, and mast assembly malfunction. Other issues can be leaks in the hydraulic systems. If the equipment drops, loads or shows jerking motions, it signs serious equipment failure.

  1. Visual Inspection Exhibit Issues

Like any other equipment, forklifts must undergo regular inspections for safety purposes. If you find visible cracks during an evaluation, that sign you need to replace that truck. Ensure you check the forks for excessive wear or distortion. Other things that indicate replacement is leaking hydraulics, exposed wiring, and loose cables.

  1. Safety Becomes A Concern

In any material handling, safety is a priority. Lift trucks with signs of mechanical problems can pose safety concerns. A rough operation may cause a load to shift in older models. When repair is not an option, replacement becomes the solution. When buying, go for new technology lift trucks with advancements in safety technology.

Also Read: Simple Guide to The Different Forklift Tyres

Timely replacement of lift trucks is crucial. It will play a role in running an efficient and productive operation. It will help you avoid expensive maintenance processes and losses due to downtime and delays. Replacing the trucks at the right time will boost the productivity and profits of the business.