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Proper Forklift Maintenance to Increase Operator Safety

Posted by: admin on April 8, 2014


Forklift maintenance is important – and often overlooked. While many mistakes are the result of not paying attention, many accidents are caused by a forklift not performing up to standards. Some harmful accidents are avoidable by performing regular maintenance checks. The U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) classifies all forklifts (electric and gas-powered) as Powered Industrial Trucks. One of the most important safety checks with forklifts has to do with proper maintenance. According to OSHA, failing to adhere to a regular forklift maintenance schedule can cause costly accidents.

Step by step forklift maintenance procedures are created for many reasons – and the main reason is safety. will show your employees the importance of forklift maintenance checklists, following a regular repair schedule, and why every step by step forklift maintenance procedure should be followed closely.

OSHA recommends a forklift maintenance guide on their website, and many of these common sense safety measures are included with our training courses. If you ignore forklift maintenance or don’t use the proper forklift maintenance tools, don’t be surprised if – more like when – injuries or accidents occur. It’s always a good idea to create, maintain, and update your forklift maintenance schedule and keep up with forklift preventative maintenance. helps your company become OSHA compliant in no time, thanks to our full selection of forklift training courses. We’ll show you how to establish a forklift maintenance checklist, safely operate any powered industrial truck, adhere to forklift maintenance requirements, and much more. Register your company today and get started!


Why Follow Forklift Maintenance Requirements and Forklift Maintenance Checklists?

Many mishaps with forklifts can be avoided altogether with a sensible, easy-to-follow forklift maintenance plan. We’ll show you how to create and maintain an OSHA-forklift maintenance program as part of our training classes!

Forklift maintenance can help with:

✓ Accident prevention: Many forklift accidents are caused by driver negligence, but others are caused by improperly maintained equipment. That’s why forklift maintenance tools are so important to overall safety. If you want to avoid accidents on the job, keeping a regular forklift maintenance checklist and schedule is highly recommended.

✓ OSHA inspections: When OSHA visits your company, they’ll want to make sure all of your forklifts meet the latest safety standards. If you don’t have a forklift maintenance checklist or plan in place, your chances of being cited or fined increase dramatically. This is one way a forklift maintenance plan can save your company money in the long run. Some OSHA citations can reach tens of thousands of dollars in fines and penalties!

✓ Overall safety: A well-trained forklift driver is simply a better, more efficient forklift driver. And when you include forklift maintenance to go along with a fully trained staff, it’s a win-win for everyone. Safer drivers + safer equipment = a well-oiled machine!

Some companies have mechanics with approved forklift maintenance tools and similar workers to make sure their forklifts are running well. Other (smaller) companies may not have a dedicated maintenance department, so there are a few things you can you to make sure your lift is ready to go. And even if you have a maintenance crew, it’s still good to know about these maintenance tips.


Proper forklift preventative maintenance is important for worker safety

Forklift Maintenance Tips & Forklift Maintenance Requirements

  1. Check tire pressure. Forklift maintenance requirements start from the ground up – literally. Improperly inflated tires can cause load shifts, bad turns, and other accidents. You can find the pressure on the tire or in the driver’s manual. It’s recommended to keep your forklift tire pressure equal to or just below the recommended pounds per square inch (PSI) rating. In colder months, aim for fully inflated tires. If your forklifts operate outdoors in hot climates, it’s OK to keep the tire PSI just below the recommended rating. For example, if your forklift tires have a 26 PSI rating, you can fill up the tires to 24 PSI, since the interior air pressure will expand slightly, especially in warm temperatures.
  2. Make sure the safety features are in working order. Turn signals, backup signals, horns – these are very important for proper forklift maintenance. This is a very important element of forklift maintenance; if your turn signals or any other advance warning lights aren’t in proper working order, get them fixed immediately. If your company is visited by OSHA and any safety signals are broken, you could be looking at expensive fines or citations. If you follow a forklift maintenance checklist, you’ll know which safety signals need to be addressed!
  3. Do regular inspections. This is where forklift maintenance checklists come in handy. Most forklifts have their own maintenance schedule. But it never hurts to do your own regular (or even random) inspections. How are the fluids? What’s that noise when you make a left turn? Stay on top of the little things, and the big picture will take care of itself. Going above and beyond your company’s suggested forklift maintenance checks provides that extra layer of safety that’s hard to put a price tag on.
  4. Check for leaky hoses. Even if you see a slight leak somewhere that does not look like a big problem, identify where it’s coming from and fix it immediately. Remember that leaks will only get worse over time. Hose checks should be part of your forklift maintenance schedule. If you’re not sure about which hoses to check, or suspect a faulty hose, check with your site safety supervisor immediately. Your company should always have the proper forklift maintenance tools to replace leaky hoses.
  5. Ensure forks are straight. Your lift’s forks keep loads stable and help move & transport thousands of pounds of cargo every shift. Just one small bend in the forks will impact both performance and, more crucially, safety. Make sure those forks are good to go – if not, have them repaired or replaced immediately.
  6. Read your forklift manual. Every powered industrial truck comes with a step by step forklift maintenance procedure. Learn it, know it, love it. These instructions will ensure a safer workplace, and also extend the life of your valuable equipment. The best forklift preventative maintenance plans start with…opening the operating manual.


Enhance Your Forklift Maintenance Requirements Today – Contact!

Just like a forklift requires good maintenance, so does a well-run safety program. If your company isn’t up to date with training and safety, your employees could get seriously hurt on the job. OSHA-compliant forklift training is our specialty at Beginner and veteran forklift operators can benefit from our training modules. With a flexible and affordable online format, we’re the preferred choice of small, medium and large companies all over the United States.

For more information about our forklift training courses, please call us at (888) 699-4800. You can also visit our contact page to send a message or find other information. And don’t forget to visit our courses & pricing page, too! also offers free lifetime renewals. This is especially helpful as your forklift drivers approach their 3-year training expiration date. OSHA requires renewal training after 3 years for all forklift drivers, from new employees to veteran forklift operators.

Combined with an up-to-date forklift preventative maintenance program, and your company is ready for any OSHA inspection – and better yet, you’ll have the extra peace of mind knowing that all of your workers have the latest safety training to perform their tasks with 100% confidence!

To improve your company’s safety, improve forklift maintenance requirements and become OSHA complaint in no time, register your company with today!

If you have any questions about forklift maintenance tools or forklift maintenance checklists, call our safety training experts at 1-888-699-4800, or contact us today. Thanks for considering for your preferred forklift training provider!


Looking for More Forklift Maintenance Tips and Information on Forklift Maintenance Requirements?

When to Repair or Replace Your Forklift

It’s a tough decision for maintenance supervisors, safety personnel, and forklift drivers – when is it time to repair or replace your forklift? In order to perform to the best of your ability, your forklift should perform optimally. If it isn’t, you should evaluate all the different aspects of your lift’s current condition, work history, forklift maintenance tools, and recommended forklift maintenance checks. In this post, we review some of the most important elements of your forklift’s condition. OSHA’s own forklift safety check and maintenance guide is a valuable resource in this regard. Along with OSHA’s recommendations, shows you some critical checkpoints to review, including tire wear, fork conditions, safety attachments, hoses, tank inspections, forklift maintenance tools, and much more. Read it today, and you’ll have a much better idea when your forklift is due for maintenance, repairs, or replacement!


This article was originally posted in 2014 and updated in 2020 to provide more tips and recommendations.

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