Whether you use your forklift on a daily basis or only periodically during the week or month, it is always important to store your forklift correctly.
Correct storage of your forklift trucks will ensure your forklift is ready for use when you need it and will preserve the longevity of your forklift investment.
Correct forklift storage will also reduce overall maintenance costs and potential repair downtime from wear and tear and exposure to the elements.
How to Store Forklift Trucks Outdoors
Although forklifts used outdoors are built to be more rugged than their indoor counterparts, you don’t want to leave them outside all the time. Besides the threat of vandalism to company property, there’s always a concern with rain, snow, humidity, and heat, all of which can cause corrosion to a forklift’s components.
Indoor storage isn’t a requirement for storing forklifts, but it does protect them better. Forklift chains are particularly susceptible to rusting, which means they’ll have to be replaced more often when left outside during periods of bad weather.
During hot weather, oils in hydraulic systems can get contaminated. When left outdoors in this type of environment, water from condensation gets into the oils, causing oxidation and corrosion of the metal components. Overheated oils also lose their lubricity and strength when hydraulic systems sit idle for long periods of time.
So, while forklifts are durable and can sit outdoors for long periods of time, too much time outdoors during the off-season months can cause more problems than you think.
Outdoor Storage Checklist
You should be doing these things as a matter of course as part of your regular forklift maintenance.
- Park your forklifts on a dry and level area.
- Make sure the parking brake is properly engaged.
- Ensure the mast is tilted to the vertical position and the tynes are lowered to the ground.
- Move the lift and tilt levers back and forth a couple of times to release the remaining pressure in the piping to the cylinder.
Long Term Forklift Storage
If you have a fleet of backup forklifts, or operate a seasonal warehouse, you may be storing your forklifts for longer periods of time. If your forklifts are being stored for the long-term, there are some additional things you should do to preserve the condition of your forklift. Because as much as overworking a forklift can lead to breakdowns, neglect and long periods of idleness can cause problems.
- Disconnect the battery plug to prevent electrical discharge.
- When using an LPG engine, close the fuel outlet valve on the LPG container, and turn the key switch “off” after the engine has stopped naturally.
- Apply anti-rust treatments to the shaft and other exposed areas.
- Cover the breather and other places where moisture may enter.
- Cover the entire forklift with a sheet.
- Lubricate all lubrication points.
- Maintain the tyre air pressure.
- Enter the operation state and run the forklift once a week.
Correct storage of your forklift is essential to getting the most out of your investment. Safe storage of your forklift fleet, even outdoors, can reduce downtime and repair costs, which ultimately eat into your bottom line.