How to Maintain a Forklift

How to Maintain a Forklift


  • Maintaining a forklift

  • Mandatory maintenance checks

Checks and maintenance are mandatory for the staff’s safety and the forklift truck’s reliability

. Therefore, forklift maintenance must be constant to ensure smooth ongoing earthworks while avoiding accidents.

Maintaining a forklift

To ensure safety and avoid disruption of the flow, the forklift truck must be maintained regularly and undergo a minimum of mandatory checks.

In their training, the personnel who are to drive the forklift truck have been taught the imperative rules for controlling the maintenance of the forklift truck.

Mandatory maintenance checks

The maintenance rules include:

  • daily checks to be carried out on hiring;

  • systematic controls before any use;

  • periodic maintenance follow-ups, depending on the number of hours of the machine.

The checks must be carried out by the forklift operator who is in charge of the forklift truck, under the responsibility of the forklift driver.

Daily checks

Each time the driver is hired, before starting the forklift, he/she should check:

  • the general condition and cleanliness of the forklift’s components;

  • the absence of objects deposited on the bodywork or floor;

  • the height clearance for manoeuvring the forklift;

  • freedom to operate around the forklift;

  • the presence of the mandatory fire extinguisher;

  • the absence of puddles around the trolley indicating a leak;

  • the levels (fuel, lubricant, cooling) of the thermal trolleys;

  • the charge of the batteries and the state of the connections (plugs in place, batteries fixed and protective cover in place) of the electric trolleys;

  • the condition of the lift mast (bolts, hydraulic hoses, chains);

  • the state of the forks and apron;

  • the shape of the tyres and tyres and any pressure;

  • the operation of horns (horn and reversing), lights (changing, indicators, flashing beacon) and dashboard lights.

Checks before use

Before each use of the forklift and while driving it, the operator must constantly check:

  • the condition of the seat belt;

  • the correct automatic operation of the brakes (safety brake, parking brake, brake pedal);

  • the progressiveness of the clutch (converter and hydrostatic);

  • the absence of play in the steering;

  • the operation of all mast components (full lift and lowering, forward and reverse tilt);

  • the lack of abnormal noise and leaks during operation;

  • the functioning of all indicators on the dashboard.

Periodic maintenance

According to the maintenance booklet and the safety rules, you should carry out a complete inspection and maintenance of the forklift truck at certain defined intervals.

This maintenance does not replace the daily and pre-use checks.

As a general rule, the following table can be applied:





Hydraulic system

50 h

Engine oil

50 h

200 h

Hydraulic oil

50 h

1 000 h

Fuel tank

200 h


50 h

Fan belt

50 h

Radiator & Fittings

50 h

Battery electrolyte

50 h

Tyres and tires

50 h

Mast (hydraulic and chains)

50 h


50 h


50 h


50 h

Decanter filter

50 h

Brake fluid

200 h

Air filter

50 h

2000 h

Wheel nuts

200 h

Mast studs

200 h

Lifting system axes

200 h

Bridge oil

200 h

1000 h

Hydraulic pump filter

2000 h

Converter filter

2000 h

Wheel bearings

1000 h

Table of responsibilities in the event of a handling accident

Responsible for


Causes of accidents


Failure to organise work in the company

  • Lack of training for truck drivers.

  • Production constraints (speed and stress).

  • Gaps in the attachments or accessories of the trolleys.

  • Incorrect allocation of tasks to drivers, incorrect use of trucks.

  • Lack of maintenance of trolleys.

  • Outdated trolleys.


Lack of layout of the trolley manoeuvring area

  • Narrow, congested, or crowded alleys.

  • Blocked junctions and access doors.

  • Excessive traffic in the trolley manoeuvring area.

  • Pedestrian traffic and work in the trolley manoeuvring area.

  • Differences in the coating of ramps and accesses.

  • Condition of loading platforms.


Mechanical defects and lack of maintenance of the trolley.

Absence of mandatory controls

  • Brake failure.

  • Management failure.

  • Clutch or transmission failure.

  • Failure of the lifting mechanism.

  • Leaks in the hydraulic system.

  • Missing, inadequate or defective safety devices.

  • Emissions of polluting gases.

  • Blind spots or obstructions to driver visibility.

  • Poor layout of controls and displays.


Risky behaviour and dangerous activities of truck drivers.

  • Failure of reverse driving technique.

  • Poor driving practice on bends.

  • Failure to use sound devices.

  • Failure to communicate during shared tasks or in shared areas.

  • Taking a passenger on a trolley or a load.

  • Incorrect parking.

  • Failure to chock the wheels of a trailer or railway wagon.

  • Games, acrobatic, abrupt or erratic driving.

  • Failure of the maintenance check of the trolley.


Incorrect loading of the trolley.

  • Poor stacking or stacking of loads on the pallet.

  • Pallets in poor condition.

  • Load too high.

  • Unstable load or load that obstructs the driver’s view.