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Maintenance Tips to Extend the Life of Your Used Forklift

Regular maintenance is the key, be it your new forklift machine or an old one. Regular maintenance of these machines helps you keep them working for years ahead and also offers you value for money in case you wish to sell your forklift machines in the future. If you are wondering how you can maintain your used forklift machines so that they work as well as the new ones, here’s the blog that will guide you on how you can get the most value from your investment with the right and timely maintenance.

1. Regular Inspections

One of the most crucial steps in maintaining used forklifts is conducting regular inspections. Before each shift, operators should perform a thorough check to identify any potential issues. Key areas to inspect include:

  • Hydraulic systems: Check for leaks and ensure fluid levels are adequate.
  • Tires: Look for signs of wear and tear, proper inflation, and damage.
  • Forks and mast: Inspect for cracks, bends, and proper operation.
  • Battery (for electric forklifts): Ensure it is fully charged and free of corrosion.
  • Engine (for internal combustion forklifts): Check oil levels, coolant levels, and for any unusual noises.

Regular inspections can help identify minor issues before they become major problems, reducing downtime and repair costs.

2. Keep a Maintenance Log

Maintaining a detailed log of all inspections, repairs, and maintenance activities is vital. This log should include dates, specific actions taken, and any parts replaced. A maintenance log helps track the forklift’s condition over time and can be invaluable when diagnosing recurring issues. It also provides a clear record that can enhance the resale value of the forklift if you decide to sell it in the future.

3. Adhere to the Manufacturer’s Guidelines

Always follow the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule and guidelines. These recommendations are tailored to the specific make and model of your forklift and are designed to maximize its lifespan and performance. The manufacturer’s manual will provide detailed information on service intervals, the type of fluids to use, and other critical maintenance tasks.

4. Regular Cleaning

Keeping your used forklift clean is not just about aesthetics; it’s essential for its functionality. Dirt, dust, and debris can cause significant damage over time. For instance, dust can clog filters and reduce engine efficiency, while debris can cause hydraulic system failures. Regularly clean the forklift, paying special attention to the following areas:

  • Air filters: Clean or replace them regularly to ensure optimal airflow and engine performance.
  • Radiators: Keep them free of dirt and debris to prevent overheating.
  • Undercarriage: Remove any buildup that could impact the forklift’s operation.

5. Check and Replace Fluids

Fluids play a critical role in the operation and longevity of used forklifts. Regularly check and replace:

  • Engine oil: Change it according to the manufacturer’s schedule to ensure the engine runs smoothly.
  • Hydraulic fluid: Maintain proper levels and replace as needed to ensure efficient lifting and lowering operations.
  • Coolant: Ensure the cooling system has the right amount of coolant to prevent overheating.
  • Transmission fluid: Regularly check and replace to maintain smooth and efficient gear changes.

Using the correct fluids specified by the manufacturer is essential to avoid damage and ensure optimal performance.

6. Battery Maintenance (for Electric Forklifts)

For electric forklifts, battery maintenance is crucial. Proper battery care can significantly extend its lifespan and improve performance. Follow these tips:

  • Regular charging: Charge the battery fully and avoid partial charges, as this can reduce its lifespan.
  • Water levels: Check and maintain proper water levels in lead-acid batteries.
  • Clean terminals: Keep battery terminals clean and free of corrosion to ensure a good connection.

Proper battery maintenance not only prolongs battery life but also ensures your forklift remains reliable and efficient.

7. Lubrication

Lubrication is vital for moving parts to function smoothly and prevent wear and tear. Regularly lubricate:

  • Mast channels: Ensure smooth lifting and lowering of loads.
  • Chains: Prevent rust and wear.
  • Joints and bearings: Reduce friction and extend the life of components.

Using the correct type of lubricant, as recommended by the manufacturer, is crucial for effective maintenance.

8. Training Operators

Proper operator training is an often-overlooked aspect of forklift maintenance. Trained operators are more likely to use the equipment correctly and notice potential issues early. Training should cover:

  • Daily inspections: How to perform and record them.
  • Safe operation: Techniques to avoid unnecessary wear and tear.
  • Emergency procedures: What to do in case of a malfunction.

Well-trained operators can significantly reduce the risk of damage and accidents, contributing to the overall longevity of your used forklift.

9. Professional Servicing

While regular maintenance tasks can be handled in-house, it’s essential to schedule periodic professional servicing. Certified technicians can perform more in-depth inspections and repairs, ensuring that all aspects of the forklift are in good condition. Regular professional servicing helps in maintaining warranty compliance and can identify issues that might be missed during routine inspections.

10. Replacement Parts

Using genuine replacement parts is critical when repairs are needed. Genuine parts are designed specifically for your forklift model, ensuring compatibility and performance. While aftermarket parts might be cheaper, they can lead to subpar performance and potentially damage your forklift, leading to higher long-term costs.


Extending the life of your used forklift is all about consistent and thorough maintenance. Regular inspections, adhering to manufacturer guidelines, proper cleaning, fluid checks, battery care, lubrication, operator training, professional servicing, and using genuine parts all play a crucial role in keeping your forklift in excellent working condition. By following these maintenance tips, you can maximize the value and performance of your used forklifts for sale, ensuring they remain reliable assets for your business.

If you’re looking for high-quality used forklifts for sale, Aussie Forklifts Sales offers a wide range of options. Contact us today to learn more about our inventory and how we can help meet your material handling needs.

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