Forklifts are the workhorses of most warehouse operations. You pour a lot of money, sweat, and work hours on these machines, but do you know the proper life expectancy of a forklift? Safety for the forklift operator is a crucial factor but if your machine isn’t operating to its full potential, productivity and profits may be at stake as well. Don’t put your team at risk if you notice a majority of these signs below that it may be time for a new forklift.
1. It’s always in need of repair.
Regular maintenance is obviously important, but if constantly spending money and time making repairs, your costs may be higher than your profits while the machine is down. Using a lift past its limits is also a safety hazard.
2. It’s exposed to extreme temperatures frequently.
The way your forklift is used is a major factor in its lifespan. Truck that are operated in extreme temperatures or corrosive materials won’t last as long as those in clean environments.
3. Lots of wear or distortion on the fork blades.
This is pretty basic, but if they’re significantly worn, it’s time to be replaced. Look for crack or distortion and broken or exposed wires. Overloading a forklift can also bend and weaken the forks. It’s time to shop for new forklift attachments if this has happened to your machine.
4. You’re experiencing downtime due to non-productive forklifts.
Holding onto a forklift longer than you should can cost you, literally. Downtime of machines in repair translates into decreased productivity and loss of profits.
5. The forklift is being run during multiple shifts.
The number of hours it’s operated determines how long it can maintain safe operation. If it’s being used during more than one shift, you may have to replace it sooner than later. Think of forklift hours to miles on a car, in terms of longevity.
As a general rule, the useful life of a forklift is approximately 10,000 to 12,000 hours depending on maintenance, operating conditions, and the type of equipment. Avoid a loss of profits and run an efficient team by replacing your equipment in a timely fashion.