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Signs You Need to Replace Your Forklift

Unfortunately, a forklift truck doesn’t have a continuous lifespan. Depending on the application and the intensity of the tasks at hand, a forklift can be worn down quicker than expected.

But how do you know when it’s the right time to replace your forklift? How do you know that you’ve got the most out of your existing machine for purchasing another? We’ll be detailing some of the signs you should look out for that’ll indicate you need a forklift replacement.

Your forklift has been operational for more than 10,000 hours

Much like mileage on a car, the number of hours a forklift has worked is representative of the wear that’s been placed on it over time. After 10,000 hours of operation, servicing, maintenance and repairs starts to get expensive. Once your forklift has hit that milestone, you may find that engines and gearboxes require more revisions, carbon brushes and their electric motors will need replacing and the engine will need to be kept clean at all times.

This level of maintenance will also start to take up a considerable amount of time, leaving your forklift out of action for, potentially, hours at a time as well as having forklift operators on standby for the same duration. If you find that you’re losing out financially and wasting valuable time while you have an old forklift repaired, then you should definitely look at replacing your machine by either hiring a forklift or purchasing one.

The chassis looks worn, damaged or discoloured

A forklift that regularly works in harsh environments will, naturally, look more worn out and discoloured than a machine that’s only used for light tasks, like loading and unloading pallets as and when needed. Rust, dents and even burn marks can cause a forklift to look older than it really is, but they’re also indicators that the machine isn’t in good working condition anymore.

As well as visible signs, there may be things you can’t see that are rendering your forklift unusable. Again, if your concerns start to escalate, you’ll be paying considerable amounts of money to have a specialist engineer inspect and repair the vehicle which just adds to your outgoings, unnecessarily. Upgrade your forklift by buying a replacement or renting a forklift if this better suits your business.

Chains and forks are suffering continuous wear and tear

Chains will stretch over time, anyway, so this is to be expected. Although, you will eventually reach the point where continuous use of the forklift starts to become a risk to the health and safety of your workers. The best way to determine how safe your forklift is would be to have a technician come and inspect the chain itself and measure the degree of stretching.

If the chain is replaced, it would be worthwhile looking at the wheels and rollers at the same time. If your forklift is old and worn already, then it could be that the wheels and rollers might need replacing or repairing also, which could be financially draining. Therefore, the best thing to do would be to replace your forklift for a new one or a high-quality, used alternative.

Any part of your forklift has become damaged or broken

If you notice any external damage or any other obvious signs that your forklift is worn or broken, then replacing the machine would be the safest, most cost-effective solution for your business and for your employees. Should you notice bent forks or even dents in the overhead guard, then this could be a sign that your forklift needs to be replaced altogether.

Repairs and maintenance costs are increasing

This is something we have already touched upon, briefly, but it’s an important point to mention if you’re on the fence about whether or not to buy a new forklift. If you’re finding that the cost of maintaining, servicing and repairing your vehicle is drastically climbing, then, much like you would a car, it’s time for a replacement machine.

Where the initial cost is usually more expensive than a repair, it’s a worthwhile investment as you’ll have absolute peace of mind that a new forklift won’t need to have major parts and components replaced for many years to come. If you maintain it and take care of the vehicle as advised, you’ll be guaranteed many hours of smooth, uninterrupted service.

The forklift is out of action more often than not

Forklift downtime is something that needs to happen to ensure it runs for as long as possible – it’s part of its maintenance routine. But if your forklift is out of action more than it’s in use, and not because you’re giving it a break, then it could be time to consider a replacement.

If it’s constantly in the workshop or not usable due to having repairs done, then it’s no longer an efficient, productive or cost-effective asset for you. Buy a new forklift or purchase a used one in immaculate condition from Charnwood Lift Trucks.

Charnwood Lift Trucks have a wide range of forklifts available, including diesel, LPG and electric machines. Whether you’re in need of a brand new forklift truck or a used vehicle that’s been meticulously refurbished, you’ll always be able to look to us for an ideal material handling solution. For more information, get in touch with a member of our specialist team today – we’re always happy to help.