Forklift Parts – Glossary and Buyers Guide
Whether you repair forklifts in-house or work with a dealership, it’s helpful to know the different parts of a forklift so you can effectively communicate with a maintenance technician. There are also a few pitfalls to avoid when buying forklift parts. We’ll share a few horror stories and explain what the customer could have done differently to avoid losing money.
Forklift Parts – Quick Reference
Attachment: Forklifts can use various attachments in place of forks for the purpose of handling specialty loads.
Backrest: The rectangular-shaped backrest is located above the forks and in front of the mast. The backrest is designed to prevent the load from putting pressure on the mast or falling toward the driver.
Cab: The cab is the cockpit of a forklift. From inside the cab, the operator controls all aspects of the machine. The cab is also where the lift truck’s safety devices are located.
Carriage: The carriage is a rectangular bracket that mounts the forks to the mast.
Counterweight: The counterweight keeps the forklift from tilting forward when carrying or lifting a load. You can find the counterweight at the rear of the forklift. Counterbalance describes a type of forklift as opposed to counterweight, which refers to a part on the forklift.
Drive Tires – The drive tires are located on the front of the forklift. See also steer tires below.
Forks: The forks protrude from the forklift and are used to support the load. Learn about how to inspect forks and identify when they should be replaced.
Hydraulic Lift Cylinder: The hydraulic lift cylinder controls the amount of vertical lift (up and down) of the mast, forks and carriage. See also: tilt cylinder.
Mast: The mast lifts and lowers the load.
Overhead Guard: The overhead guard is a grid-like roof over the driver’s head that prevents large objects from falling into the cab. A solid guard, typically made of heavy-duty plastic, can be purchased to shelter the operator from smaller objects or bad weather.
Power Supply: Forklifts can be powered by propane, gas, diesel, or an electric battery. Propane-powered forklifts have a tank at the back of the forklift over the counterweight. Gas and diesel forklifts position the fuel tank under the back of the unit. On electric forklifts, the battery can be found under the operator’s seat.
SAS: Toyota’s System of Active Stability (SAS) detects unsafe operating conditions. If a safety hazard is detected, SAS improves lateral and longitudinal stability of the forklift to prevent tip-overs and rollovers.
Steer Tires – The back tires, also known as steer tires, steer the forklift.
Tilt Cylinder: The tilt cylinder adjusts the amount of forward and backward tilt of the mast, forks and carriage.
Forklift Parts: Know Before You Buy
Beware of cheap forklift parts – We have a customer who bought gearboxes through an aftermarket provider. They purchased and installed about eight gearboxes at an initial savings of $400.00 per gearbox. Then the aftermarket parts started failing prematurely. Over the next year, the customer had to replace all those aftermarket gearboxes with OEM (original equipment manufacturer) parts. The aftermarket gearboxes only came with a 90-day warranty, instead of Toyota’s 1 year/2,000-hour factory warranty. The customer, basically, paid for the same job twice.
The moral of the story is: when purchasing replacement parts, consider the expense throughout the life of the truck. Wouldn’t you rather replace that item once? Just because a part fits the truck, that doesn’t mean it’s the right part for the truck.
Be careful when purchasing ala carte parts – You may need to service or replace other complementary parts. For example: when replacing spark plugs, you also need plug wires, a distributor cap and rotor. Another example: instead of buying brake shoes and wheel cylinders, get the entire brake shoe and backing plate assembly.
You can also take advantage of our brake service special (now through the end of 2017).
Toyota Material Handling (TMH) offers parts at competitive prices for all-make forklifts sweepers, scrubbers, personnel carriers, aerial work platforms, tow tractors, and other material handling equipment. TMH stocks over 1 million dollars in parts inventory, including major and minor repair parts for all our OEM’s. We are proud to have a 95% fill rate. For special orders, we offer 24-hour turnaround, and free freight on standard 5 to 6-day orders.
Forklift Repair in The East Bay, Sacramento, Salinas and Fresno
TMH provides 24-hour service, emergency repairs and planned maintenance on all types and brands of forklifts and material handling equipment. You choose the service location – at your facility, or one of our locations in the East Bay, Sacramento, Salinas or Fresno.
We service and maintain and repair all forms of material handling equipment – forklifts, balers, crushers, sweepers, scrubbers, aerial lifts, conveyors, and more! Our radio-dispatched, fully stocked service vehicles are equipped with air compressors and welders and fully-stocked with forklift parts. Call (800) 527-3746, or request service online.