Forklifts are important pieces of equipment in the manufacturing industry, especially in heavy industries like mining and construction. Forklift operators must ensure they are moving materials around safely and efficiently, to maximize productivity and output. As a manager, there are several things you can do to ensure your machines are performing to their level best without risking any damage. Let’s look at some tips to help you improve forklift performance.
1. Ensure the forks on your forklift are adjusted correctly
If both sides of the fork exhibit a different angle, this will cause an unequal distribution of weight and unbalance. This could be dangerous to you and others around you, so always adjust it before operating the machine. The angle should be set at 90 degrees. If there is no mechanical means of adjusting the angle, you can use wedges that are inserted in between the forks.
2. Make sure your forklift truck is properly loaded
If you have to lift a heavy cargo with a smaller load, don’t just add weight on top of the fork. This could leave gaps in between and cause instability. It’s safer to add a second forklift to lift the extra load or just use a lower “fill rate” when loading your cargo. The maximum carrying capacity printed on the side of your machine should not be exceeded. If unsure, make sure to consult an expert for advice before operating. This will ensure safe operations and avoid any accidents that could disrupt your productivity.
3. Ensure your forklift is well maintained and serviced regularly
You can check for wear and tear using a visual inspection gauge before starting the engine, which you should do every time you start up. Parts like brakes and hydraulics must be checked periodically too. Wear will usually show up as cracks, rust, or deforming of materials (usually steel). If there are any parts that need replacements, get new parts as necessary. When purchasing these parts, make sure you get quality items for better longevity. One way you can ensure quality is by buying from a reputable dealer like Intella Parts.
4. Check the oil regularly
Checking and topping it up will ensure your machine runs smoothly on the job site every day, avoiding any sudden mechanical failures that could be costly to productivity or even personal safety. Oil is an important lubricant part of the forklift. Inspect the oil levels to make sure they are at the proper levels before starting up.
5. Proper forklift training is crucial for operators
It’s always best to learn the right way to use a forklift from an expert, so you can avoid accidents and continue operating safely for years to come. In fact, it’s a legal requirement in many countries for forklift operators or people who will be using the machine regularly for work purposes. Training on how to use a forklift also ensures the machine is used correctly, maximizing efficiency, safety, and productivity.
6. Ensure there is no speeding in the workplace
As the manager, you should caution forklift operators against speeding. Speeding can lead to accidents. If possible, you could use an automatic speed control device like the Speed Limiter, which is available for most forklifts. This device limits the maximum speed that a truck can drive, so your employees won’t be speeding on site.
Hopefully, these tips will help you to optimize your forklift’s performance. When it comes to forklift performance, you can never be too safe. If there is a way for your forklifts and their operators to perform better or more safely, then take that opportunity. You’ve invested in the equipment; now invest in its upkeep with these tips.