What You Need To Know When It Comes To Servicing Your Forklift

Everything You Need To Know About Getting A Forklift Service 


In my experience having worked on various forklift brands there are many different names, standards and procedures when it comes to services on forklifts and its applications, through the years we are well equipped to discern whats important and whats a money scheme.


Service Interval : The factors of influence.

Service intervals seems as a straight forward issue when it comes to equipment, but it is not the case. Here are a couple factors that will determine when and what will be serviced on your forklift.

  1. Fuel type
  2. The application
  3. The working hours
  4. Budget
  5. Brand of machine
  6. Ownership expectancy


3 Types of Forklift Services : A, B or C

Services on forklifts can be categorized in 3 types of services : A ; B or C services. To determine what and when to service each components on your forklift, we use the above 6 facts and align them with the required categories of services. This will give you the best care and economical sense of ownership of your equipment.


A – Forklift Service : At 200hrs

This service is the most “frequent” and the most “important” one. It ought to occur more or less around 200hrs, ranging across the various fuel types. Certain brands may push this to 500hrs, but as an owner I will never service my own machines at 500hrs. Though the engine oil technology does allow for it, but an A service is not just about your engine. There are many other components that we check, adjust, lubricate and inspect on the A service. Aspects such as:

Your Radiator: A forklift is exposed to a lot of dust and dirt sucking up these such as a vaccum cleaner would and causes a blockage in the radiator, so 500hrs is a long time between radiator inspections.

Grease Points: Grease evaporates and dry out after it is exposed to open air, water and dust. A forklift has many grease points and these commonly dries out even before 200hrs in many applications.

So if there is a component busy failing the inspection at 200hrs services will allow preventative maintenance to occur before total failure and prevent higher cost. This 500hrs service interval is a selling point some manufacturers use to lure sales. The machine will be okay for the first 2000-3000 hrs, but excessive wear on steering and mast components will be evident at low hours.

Filters : Air & Fuel Why would you want to replace a clean air filter with another clean one? If your fuel tank is clean your main fuel filter will stay clean. As Forklift World have introduced from the start an additional inline fuel filter at very low cost. This small inline fuel filter protects the main fuel filter and therefore you can stretch the use of a main fuel filter up to 4 services!! So we replace the small cheap inline fuel filter upon every service and in the process saving the customer R100,00’s in a year.


Components serviced on 200hrs :

  • Engine oil
  • Engine oil filter
  • Fuel filter [ main or inline fuel filter ]
  • Spark plugs
  • Clean or replace air filter
  • Grease all grease points
  • Check battery water
  • Check radiator water and top up
  • Adjust inching[clutch setting]
  • Adjust hand and brake pedal height
  • Adjust brakes on wheels
  • Adjust master cylinder toe-pin clearance
  • Adjust fan and alternator v-belt tension
  • Adjust engine idle speed
  • Adjust engine governor setting
  • Adjust engine power setting
  • Replace points and condenser on older machines or adjust ignition points opening only
  • Adjust wheel alignment
  • Adjust tilt cylinder reach
  • Adjust fork ground clearance


“Forklift world carries out a 110 point inspection and report, inclusive of a chemical wash of the engine bay”.


B – Forklift Service : At 1200hrs

This service is done at 1200 hrs and it includes an A service with additional items. Many customers do not do their B services just because many forklift companies do not bother to quote the customer. In such instances the supplier loses out and the client’s machine deteriorates.

Some forklift models do not have a transmission filter and it is very important that the transmission oil should be replaced at 1200hrs. The differential also does not have an oil filter and a new machine should have its oil changed on the first 1200 hrs. There after the diff oil’s condition can be inspected on every 200hrs and a recommendation can be made as to when this oil needs to be replaced when decolouration of the oil takes place. By now the diff would have been worked in and the neccesity to replace the oil every 1200 hrs is subject to inspections and recommodations on the A services.


Components serviced on 1200hrs :

Full A service

  • Diff oil
  • Transmission oil
  • Transmission oil filter
  • Brake fluid
  • Anti freeze
  • Open brakes and inspect brake shoe condition
  • Hydraulic return filter


C – Forklift Service : At 2400hrs


This is done every 2400hrs. We also call this a major service. Here you will cover all the items in an A and B service. The major service is the most neglected service because of its cost. We rarely find customers committed to the major service. In my opinion I agree with them, because a lot of the items that is listed in the C service can be stretched much longer than that which the agents say. The hydraulic oil is listed to be replaced and we have seen machines with 10 000hrs using the same oil with no problem. This service in my opinion is a money making scheme and they play on the emotions of customers.

With a 100% guarantee I can say that this C service is not done by “the book” on the rental fleet of certain agents. As machines gets older and certain repairs was done, a lot of the items listed in a C service would have been done just because the components works together as a system.

That is why we would recommend customers to react on the condition reports given when A services is done. In these reports we make certain recommendations about many of these items as time goes on and it could be done in portions and not everything at once.


Components serviced on 2400hrs :

Full A and B service

  • Open brakes and replace wheel cylinder seals
  • Overhaul brakes
  • Open master cylinder and replace seal kit
  • Repack all wheel bearings
  • Replace hydraulic oil
  • Replace all v-belts


To conclude one should now consider the content of each scheduled service and take the first 6 factors in mind and work out a service plan that will fit your application and budget. If your forklifts work hard and in a dirty application you should service more regularly and more items.

If your ownership expectancy is long term I will also suggest you service regularly to ensure the machine last decades. Remember the forklift is your companys assest. There will be customers again that replace their forklifts every 5 years and then unfortunately the minimum will be done.


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2018-04-20T08:20:05+02:00 November 20th, 2017|Comments Off on What You Need To Know When It Comes To Servicing Your Forklift