The Forklift Boss Blog

Blog posts from Marshall Cromer, "The Forklift Boss". Follow us for information on forklift safety, available parts, & upcoming technologies shaping the future of material handling!

Nov 27, 2013

Why Won't My Forklift Start? - Common Causes of Forklift Failure

The holiday season is upon us all. We’re rushing about in the warehouses, getting loads moved and shipped. More coming in. It’s the holidays—we can’t stop until January!

In fact, all this rushing is usually what causes forklift failures. Operators are in such a hurry that they neglect to check certain things on their trucks. Those things get worse and worse, until one day—boom. The forklift just quits working.

Our maintenance technicians see it happen all the time. Oh, we know how to repair the trucks and get them back to you fast. But I’m sure you’d rather keep those forklifts running smoothly. Every day!

We asked our maintenance technicians about the most common problems our service customers have. And what operators should do instead, to minimize any chance their forklifts will stop working. This is what we heard back.

What Happens: 4 Common Failures

According to Cromer technicians, these 4 causes are responsible for most of the forklift failures they see.

  1. No start – Did someone leave the lights on? Or the key turned in the ignition?
  2. Debris build-up – If there’s dust or plastic wrapping on the warehouse floor, it can get sucked up into the forklift. Airflow gets clogged, fans can’t spin properly...and the forklift overheats.
  3. Overheating – Without sufficient coolant, your forklift’s converter can freeze up. Rapid overheating follows.
  4. Hydraulic leaks – Many things can cause a hydraulic leak. Impacts, a blown hose, even over-lifting the forklift’s capacity. If the hydraulic cylinders leak, your forklift is useless until repaired.

How to Prevent Forklift Failures: Check Your Trucks!

The good news – all of the above problems are preventable! All your operators need to do is take a few moments to maintain the forklift. This is what Cromer recommends for good operator care:

All Forklift Types – Do a quick check each morning, to make sure your forklift is in good working order. Things you should check include:

  • Check the tires, safety harnesses, and the brakes (including e-brake).
  • Check all fluids (oil, transmission, coolant, fuel). Don’t forget the hydraulics!
  • Lift the forks. Tilt forward and back.
  • Check the lights and the steering. Beep the horn.
  • Look under the forklift. Make sure there’s no debris underneath, and no leaks are visible.

LPG/Diesel Forklifts – Check your fuel level. Running out of fuel on LP systems can harm the trim valves. For Diesels, it can damage the injector pump. Either way, the forklift needs replacement parts.

Electric Forklifts – Check your battery’s water level. If the battery goes dry, it’ll die fast. And it’ll blow out components on the way out. Improperly-maintained batteries are the #1 cause of electric forklift failure.

If you have forklifts which are sluggish or not working right, do some maintenance before the holidays hit their peak. Call us for on-site maintenance help.

If you’re short on trucks this holiday season, Cromer still has rentals available!

Take a little time and check your equipment on the way out. Just a few minutes can prolong your forklift’s life (not to mention avoid any holiday headaches).

We’ll see you back here in December!

Announcing: New Manteca Location

By the end of the year, Cromer Material Handling will have a new location to serve our Central Valley customers.

The new location is:

1813 Moffat Boulevard, Manteca, California 95336

We’re in the process of fitting the Manteca location with new electrical and service equipment. Work is expected to complete in December.

When it opens, our Manteca facility will provide preventative maintenance, parts and tires, regular interval service, warehousing supplies, a rental fleet…and plenty of top-of-the-line forklifts for your 2014 work.

If you’re in the Central Valley, stop on by!

Cromer Deal of the Month: The Pink Forklift: Brand New LPG from Clark - $23,900

Yes, it's PINK! Cromer is participating in the Susan G. Komen Foundation’s campaign, “Raising Hope for Breast Cancer.” This is a Clark LPG forklift, brand new, with solid pneumatics, triple stage and side shift.The Pink Forklift from Clark

At $23,900, we’ll make a $500 donation to the Susan G. Komen Foundation too. Want to lease it? $329/month. This truck gives a company great added publicity – you’re supporting breast cancer research, and getting a great price!

Call Cromer at 800-974-5438 and ask for the “Pink Forklift.”