What Causes Forklift Overheating?

Routine forklift maintenance in Toronto is essential to keeping your material handling equipment operational and in compliance with workplace safety standards. But sometimes, certain standard mechanical issues can be overlooked if your employees are in a hurry to start their shifts. Overworked, damaged, or old forklifts can overheat quickly, leading to potential safety hazards.

Why Do Forklifts Overheat?

There are many different factors that can contribute to forklifts overheating. Here are some of the most common ones. 

  • Insufficient coolant levels. Coolant regulates the internal temperature of your forklift’s engine. At the start of every shift, it’s important for employees to check the fluid levels of the forklifts to ensure that there aren’t any leaks and that you have enough coolant to prevent overheating. 
  • Dust and debris buildup. Dust and debris can get trapped inside your forklift’s radiator, causing it to overheat. In a wide-open outdoor space, spray a can of compressed air directly onto the radiator from different directions to loosen and remove chunks of debris and dust. To avoid injury or damages caused by projectiles, turn the engine off, make sure no one else is around, wear protective gear on your person and your eyes, and clear all inventory from the immediate vicinity before spraying. 
  • Environmental factors. High temperatures in the summer months can cause forklifts to overheat. Whether you’re working indoors or outdoors, give your forklifts a little break and time to cool down in between uses. Indoor operations can also benefit from using air conditioning systems on hot days. 
  • Rough or improper usage. Overworking your forklift by driving too fast all the time or overloading it with more heavy materials can cause it to overheat and malfunction. Train your employees on safe forklift usage so they can understand the mechanics and their load capacity limits.
  • Broken fan or fan belt. Forklifts have internal fans that circulate air inside the machine to regulate the engine temperature. If the fan or fan belt is broken, then this can cause the forklift to overheat. 
  • Damaged water pump. The water pump moves coolant through the radiator to regulate the engine’s temperature. Leaks and cracks in the water pump prevent the engine from receiving enough coolant and this can cause overheating.
  • Worn or damaged hoses. Wear and tear on hoses over time can cause them to leak fluids, which forces the internal mechanisms of your forklift to function inefficiently. This causes the engine to overheat. 
  • Clogged filters. Air filters keep the engine clean. If the filters are clogged, then dust and debris can get inside your forklift’s radiator and engine, causing them to overheat. 

What to Do if Your Forklift Overheats

Don’t panic if your forklift overheats. This is a fairly common issue that can be resolved if you follow these tips. 

  • Conduct a full inspection to determine the cause of the problem. 
  • Create and follow a comprehensive forklift maintenance schedule to prevent future problems.
  • Depending on how often you use it, clean the forklift regularly or according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
  • Reconfigure work schedules for your forklifts to give them a break. 

Schedule Forklift Maintenance in Toronto with a Professional Dealer 

NovaLift Equipment Inc. is a trusted forklift dealer in Toronto. We specialize in all kinds of forklift maintenance and repairs. We also offer new and used forklifts for sale or for rent. Contact us today to schedule forklift maintenance in Toronto.

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