9 Signs Your Forklift Needs Service AsapSometimes you’re pressed to stretch your resources. A big deadline might be coming up, or it’s just a busy season. But there is so much to do and so little time to get it done. Which, of course, is when your forklift starts hinting it needs a repair.

The deadline might make you consider putting off that repair, and trying to get a little bit more out of your forklift before taking it out of service. But that can be dangerous. Some signs should never be ignored. Read on to learn 9 signs that your forklift needs service ASAP.

Omens of Impending Forklift Breakdown

Very rarely do forklifts fail without warning. Usually, there are signs that your forklift needs service. You just have to know what you’re looking for. Here are 9 signs that you need forklift repair ASAP.

1. Leaks

Leaks are often an early indicator of an impending issue. If left unattended, they lead to more catastrophic issues.

When to Retire or Replace Your Forklift

2. Odd Noises or Smells

A forklift that makes unusual noises or produces a suspicious-smelling exhaust is a safety hazard. The noises indicate a hidden issue that is becoming a bigger problem. A rotten egg smell means there’s something wrong with your battery.  Learn more about when it’s time to replace your battery here. While funny-smelling exhaust can be a health hazard for the driver. If you ever feel nauseous while operating a forklift, park the vehicle and discontinue use immediately.

3. Damaged Forks

Damaged forks are one of the most common repairs on forklifts. As such, your forklift dealer carries replacement forks on hand to make this a simple fix. However, don’t let the commonality of this repair lull you into a false sense of security. Damaged forks are a risk to your product and personnel.

How to Inspect Forklift Forks and Know When to Replace Them

4. Worn Chains

Worn, rusted, or bent chains impact both forklift function and safety. A forklift with a damaged chain should be removed from service and only returned once the chain has been replaced by a forklift mechanic.

9 Signs Your Forklift Needs Service Asap

5. Jerking Mast

Your forklift should lift and lower smoothly. If your mast is jerking during regular use, this could indicate several issues. And all of those possibilities need to be addressed immediately.

6. Warning Lights

If your forklift’s information panel shows a warning light, your truck is telling you it needs a repair. Pull your forklift out of service and have it inspected.

7. Smoke or Sparking

This probably goes without saying, but if your forklift is smoking or sparking, take it out of service right away. These are indicators of a major problem that needs to be corrected as soon as possible. Under no circumstances should the forklift be returned to service before the completion of repairs.

8. Spongy Brakes

The average car weighs 3,000 lbs. But the average forklift weighs 9,000 lbs, making a runaway forklift even more dangerous than a runaway car. Spongy brakes are an early sign that your forklift’s brakes need repair. Don’t put off addressing this issue.

9 Signs Your Forklift Needs Service Asap

9. Failure To Start

This one is an obvious one, but not uncommon. Sometimes a forklift will run normally one day and refuse to start the next. This isn’t necessarily an indicator of a severe problem. But it still needs to be addressed, even if you manage to get the forklift started later.

Failure To Plan Is Planning To Fail

Your forklift is the lifeblood of your facility. When it goes down, your supply chain goes down. Production grinds to a halt. Orders don’t get filled. And your business hemorrhages money by the minute. Depending on the size of your business, a downed forklift could cost you as much as $3,000 per minute.

Like any other piece of equipment, a forklift needs periodic maintenance to withstand the rigors of daily use. Without routine maintenance, it’s not a question of if your forklift will go down. It’s a question of when. So operating without a maintenance plan in place is courting disaster.

Invest in a service plan for your forklift fleet to avoid finding your facility at a dead stop. Total Industries offers comprehensive service plans to match your forklift usage. All service is provided by experienced, factory-trained technicians who pride themselves on quality, efficient service on your schedule.

Total Industries Is Your Get Out of Jail Free Card

John Lennon once said, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.” And John was right. Even with proper maintenance and care, forklifts break down. But when that happens, Total Industries has your back.

Total Industries offers 24/7 mobile emergency forklift repair for all makes and models. Our fleet of over 110 factory-trained technicians provides expert forklift repair solutions fast, with an average response time of only 2 hours. In addition, our technicians arrive on-site with a one-call attitude, meaning they come prepared to complete your service on that same visit. As such, they arrive fully loaded with the parts and tools needed to complete most repairs.

Contact us online or at one of our Bay Area, Sacramento, or Central Valley locations to learn more about our mobile forklift repair solutions and forklift service plans.

SF Bay Area – Livermore (510) 675-0500
Fresno (559) 834-9500
Sacramento (916) 376-0500
Salinas (831) 757-1091

Further Reading
Is Your Forklift Dealer an Asset to Your Business?
Forklift Service Contracts – Planned Vs. Full Maintenance
Little Fixes That Prevent Big Problems