Forklift FAQ

How often do I need to service my lift truck?

There are many variables in determining the frequency of Planned Maintenance (PM) program

    • Type of truck Propane, diesel, electric
    • Conditions the truck is being used in. Outdoor yard, freezer, general warehouse, dust,
    • The guideline is approximately every 250 hours of use or at the minimum every 6 months if hours have not been met.

What is planned maintenance?

Planned Maintenance is a service program that is an essential requirement to help keep the lift truck in top operating condition throughout its lifetime.  Recommendations range from hours used to month to month. PM is an important part of keeping the forklift running and downtime to a minimum.

How often does my lift truck require new tires?

  • There are several factors determining how long a set of tires will last on a lift truck. These factors include the amount of use of the truck, driving habits of the operator, the environment, tire compound and load weights.
  • Worn tires can cause problems with the lift truck, such as making the transmission work harder, discomfort for the operator and poor under clearance.
  • Generally press on tires need to be replaced after the outside diameter is worn by 1 1/2″, Pneumatic tires, depending on size should be replaced after the outside diameter has worn 2 to 3″.

Do my operators need to wear their seat belts?

Yes. Some existing models of lift trucks might not have been equipped with an operator restraint system at the time of manufacture. Where feasible and available, these lift trucks should be retrofitted with an operator restraint system.

Restraint systems are to protect operators in the event of a tip-over, reducing the risk of entrapment of the body and any part thereof between the truck and the ground.

It is up to each company to make sure that the person operating the equipment is competent and understands all safety hazards related to performing their job.

Source: CSA

How often do my lift truck operators need to be trained?

Upon completing initial training certification, operators are required to be retrained every 3 years with a mid-term practical evaluation to be done 18 months after either initial training or retraining.Upgrade training shall be given to lift truck operators when

  • Equipment is introduced in the workplace that is unfamiliar to the operator;
  • Equipment has been changed or modified;
  • Operating conditions or the environment in which the operator works is changed (e.g., the operator works in a different area, moves different types of loads, etc.);
  • Applicable legislation changes; or
  • Knowledge deficiencies have been identified.

If I have been certified by a company and go to work for another, is my certificate valid?

Your certificate may still be valid, but the new company should follow the CSA standard for Training and provide training that is site and application specific (see above “How often do my lift truck operators need to be trained?”).

When should I purchase an electric forklift versus a LPG (liquid propane gas) forklift?

If you’re working in cold storage or freezer applications you must use an electric forklift. An LPG forklift emits gas fumes and heat that will actually raise the temperature in the area in which it is being operated. Electric forklifts are also used where it is necessary the vehicle be fume free in operation, giving off no harmful emissions. They are also quiet in use, and due to the weight and concentrated mass of the battery, they are generally more maneuverable than gas engine powered equivalents.

What are forklift load centers?

‘Load centers’ represent the middle of a forklift truck load, from front to back. It is calculated by measuring the load to be carried, and dividing by two (providing the load is evenly distributed, and positioned to butt up to the forklift backrest). The load center can increase with heavier and/or bulkier loads.

An example would be if you hold your arms out, and hang a weight from your elbows, you will require far less effort to keep the weight off the ground than if you hung the load from your fingertips; because the load center is nearer your body.

The same is true for forklifts. As you push the load center out, the capacity required to lift the weight increases. It is for this reason that sometimes a heavier truck is required to lift a specific item, due to its dimensions rather than weight.