Experience has taught that complications can arise as a result of improper handling of forklifts during periods of storage. The main areas of concern are engines, hydraulic components and truck batteries. Internal combustion engine powered forklifts will be best protected by being operated for a short period of time each month. Forklift storage done properly can save your business a lot of money.
How to do forklift storage properly
Before placing any forklift in storage, you must choose an area which is clean, dry and free from airborne contaminates. Forklifts with an internal combustion engine, need to be started and run at 700 ROM. By doing that you will get the forklift up to normal operating temperature. This intern will coat the internal engine components with a film of oil and rid the engine of built-up condensations.
Do not shut down an engine before it reaches operating temperature. Engine damage can occur.
For Safety and increase usable floor area, remove the forks and tag them with the truck serial number. Prior to operating a truck each month, make a visual inspection for leaks and or signs of deterioration. Take corrective action immediately. Also, check the fluid level in the radiator, hydraulic tank and brake master cylinder.
If you want to protect the hydraulic cylinders. Cycle the cylinders several times each month to keep the seals active. Which will also coat the interior walls with oil. Actuate each cylinder, in both directions, until it reaches the stops. To protect the tilt cylinder rods, park your trucks with the mast tilted fully backward (cylinders retracted).
When parked with the power off, actuate each control handle to relieve hydraulic pressure.
Forklift masts need to be stored fully lowered to protect cylinder rods.
Coat any exposed portion of all cylinder rods with fresh, high grade SAE 30 or 40 Weight engine oil. Install blocks, front and rear, at the drive wheels when parked – Do Not Use the Hand Brake