Forklift Winterization tips from MCFA

Preparing Your Forklift Fleet For Winter

Winters can be harsh on your forklifts and operators, but proper preparation and maintenance can position your business for a profitable season. Follow these nine forklift winterization tips to help ensure longer uptime during the months ahead.

  1. Cold weather is hard on batteries. Have the battery and charging system checked for optimum performance.
  2. Clean, flush, and put new antifreeze in the cooling system. As a general rule of thumb, this should be done every year.
  3. Check the tire tread depth and tire pressure. If snow and ice are a problem in your operation, consider special tires designed to grip slick roads. During winter, tire pressure should be checked weekly.
  4. Be diligent about changing the oil and filter at recommended intervals. Dirty oil can spell trouble in winter. Consider changing to “winter weight” oil if you live in a cold climate.
  5. Check critical components and fluids. Have your technician check the fuel, air, hydraulic and transmission filters at the same time.
  6. If you’re due for a tune-up, have it done before winter sets in. Winter magnifies existing problems such as pings, hard starts, sluggish performance or rough idling.
  7. Have the brakes checked. Confirm that the lift truck’s braking system is working properly.
  8. Have the exhaust system checked for carbon monoxide leaks. Monoxide leaks can be especially dangerous during cold weather while stored inside buildings.
  9. Check all warning lights, work lights and tail lights to ensure they are operating properly. Proper work lights help keep forklift operators and other employees safe.