4 Cost-Efficient Solutions For Protecting Your Forklift

Forklift truck abuse is preventable. Here are four critical cost-efficient solutions for eliminating and preventing lift truck abuse while increasing your operation’s safety and productivity.

The costs of forklift abuse can put a significant dent in your business’s bottom line. Learning about the main causes of abuse and the proper means to prevent them can improve your facility’s safety and finances.


The following items are the most common cause of forklift damage - worn forklift tires, transmission failure, impact damage, and premature fork wear. Read on for tips on prevention.

1. Worn Forklift Tires.

  • Worn or chunked forklift tires can cause jarring impacts to the wheel, axle components, load and operator, causing damage and putting employees at risk for safety. Be sure to examine your tires on a regular basis and promptly replace them when showing improper signs of damage or wear.
  • Demanding applications require the proper tires for maximum forklift truck performance. When working in heavy-duty applications, such as concrete, steel operating heavy loads outdoors, make sure your forklifts are equipped with the right size and type of tire.

2. Transmission Failure.

  • Forklift operators who ride the inching pedal can cause expensive damage to the transmission.
  • Train your operators on the correct method of use of the inching pedal. The inching pedal should only be used when approaching a rack. They should apply the  brakes while revving the engine (allowing the hydraulics to work at full speed).The brake pedal (middle) is used for regular stopping of the forklift when the hydraulics are not in use.

3. Impact Damage.

  • Major lift truck components such as tires, wheels, body panels, forks, attachments and backrests suffer when forklifts encounter impact to product and  surroundings due to high travel speeds.
  • Consider assigning operators to specific lift trucks in your facility to familiarize them with the equipment and to monitor their habits and usage. 
  • Impact monitor, vehicle speed limiter and keyless access systems are also available safety options that can be used to help reduce impact damage and monitor  the lift truck’s usage in your facility.

4. Premature Fork Wear.

  • Operating with worn tires can cause premature wear to the bottom of the lift truck’s forks.
  • ANSI/ITSDF* requires forks to be replaced when the heel is worn more than 10%.
  • Put routine fork inspections in place to ensure your lift trucks are operating with safe forks.

*The American National Standards Institute and Industrial Truck Standards Development Foundation. 

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