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Toyota service technician maintaing a powered pallet truck

The importance of fork truck maintenance

Ok, let’s paint a picture in your mind… You’ve recently purchased a new piece of materials handling equipment and you’re trying to set up a service schedule for it – would you know where to start? For many people this is an area which causes the most confusion.

This is where you then explore options surrounding forklift servicing and maintenance, but how do you know where to start? In today’s blog post, we’d like to give you the breakdown on service (see what we did there?)

Why is it important?

It is recommended by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) that all companies who operate any piece of materials handling equipment ensure that it is regularly maintained, inspected and repaired. They advise that the most effective ways to do this and to remain legally compliant is to perform daily equipment checks, have a schedule of planned maintenance established to make sure the equipment continues to work safely and efficiently and ensure the equipment is inspected under the Provision and use of work equipment regulation 1998 (PUWER 98) and the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER 98)

How do you know when a truck will need servicing?

There are many factors which can affect the service requirements of materials handling equipment, these include the trucks operational environment, the amount of hours the truck is used and the manufacturers recommended service interval.

One of the largest factors to consider is the operational environment of the machine. If the equipment is operated on rough or uneven surfaces for instance, that will have an effect on the condition of its axles, wheels and tyres and will result in the truck requiring more frequent attention.

Certain applications, such as cold stores or environments which use harsh chemicals can have specific effects on components within a truck. This is another factor which would result in your materials handling equipment needing more frequent servicing.

Along with the environment that a truck is going to be used in, there has to be a consideration for how often it is going to be used. If a truck is being used more than others, it will be subject to more wear and tear; resulting in shorter intervals between scheduled services.

Are all service plans the same? No.

When people think of a service plan, they just think about the actual service itself. Not all service visits are the same some include travel time, some don’t, some include parts and some don’t.  There are a number of things to consider when arranging a service plan and it not just about the cost.

You need to ensure the level of cover is correct for you. Would you like to include breakdown and parts so you are in full control of your material handling equipment budget? Would you like to include wheels and tyres or battery topping and charger cleaning? Or if you are just looking for a service visit does the plan cover service travel time and call out? Does it include service parts, oils and lubricants?

What if you’re still not sure?

If you’re still unsure what the best course of action for your equipment is, speak to your service provider if you have one. They are specialists in this area and are the real authority when it comes to making sure your equipment is not only maintained but also helping ensure your equipment meets current legislation.

Here at Toyota, we have a dedicated team of experts on hand to provide you with advice and information on the range of service solutions we have available, we’ll even visit your site to take a look at your application and provide you with advice and guidance on servicing your machines. If you’d like to know more about Toyota service, you can visit our dedicated webpage or contact 0370 850 1409 today.

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