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Tips for Maintaining Your Gas Forklift to Extend Its Lifespan

Gas Forklift Maintenance

In order to prolong the life and safety of your gas forklift, it’s essential that you understand how to properly repair it. Regular maintenance may also help you save money over time by lowering the need for pricey repairs and replacements. In this post, we’ll provide you advice on how to manage your gas forklift, including a checklist, maintenance advice, safety advice, troubleshooting, training and certification, environmental issues, and more.


Keeping your gas forklift in excellent operating order requires regular maintenance. Regular maintenance may extend the life of your forklift and help avoid failures and accidents.

Understanding Your Gas Forklift

Before you can properly maintain your gas forklift, it’s important to understand how it operates and its key components. Gas forklifts use a combination of gasoline and air to power an internal combustion engine, which then powers the hydraulic system to lift and move heavy loads. Some common issues with gas forklifts include fuel leaks, engine problems, and brake issues.

Maintenance Checklist

To keep your gas forklift running smoothly, you should perform daily, weekly, monthly, and annual maintenance tasks. Here are some tasks to include in your maintenance checklist:

Daily maintenance tasks:

  • Check the oil levels
  • Check the fuel levels
  • Inspect the tires for damage or wear
  • Inspect the brakes

Weekly maintenance tasks:

  • Check the radiator coolant levels
  • Check the hydraulic fluid levels
  • Inspect the exhaust system
  • Inspect the steering system

Monthly maintenance tasks:

  • Check the battery levels and clean the terminals
  • Check the spark plugs
  • Check the air filter
  • Lubricate moving parts

Annual maintenance tasks:

  • Change the engine oil and filter
  • Change the hydraulic fluid
  • Change the air filter
  • Inspect the spark plugs and replace them if necessary
  • Check and adjust the brakes

Maintenance Tips

Here are some tips for maintaining specific components of your gas forklift:

Tips for maintaining the engine:

  • Change the oil and filter regularly
  • Check the air filter and replace it if necessary
  • Check the spark plugs and replace them if necessary
  • Inspect the fuel system for leaks

Tips for maintaining the transmission:

  • Check the fluid levels regularly
  • Change the transmission fluid as recommended by the manufacturer
  • Inspect the transmission for leaks

Tips for maintaining the hydraulics system:

  • Check the fluid levels regularly
  • Change the hydraulic fluid as recommended by the manufacturer
  • Inspect the hydraulic lines for leaks

Tips for maintaining the cooling system:

  • Check the coolant levels regularly
  • Check the radiator for leaks and damage
  • Change the coolant as recommended by the manufacturer

Tips for maintaining the brakes:

  • Check the brake fluid levels regularly
  • Inspect the brake pads and replace if necessary
  • Check the brake lines for leaks

Tips for maintaining the tires:

  • Check the tire pressure regularly
  • Inspect the tires for damage or wear
  • Rotate the tires regularly

Safety Tips

Maintaining your gas forklift safely is as important as maintaining its mechanical components. Here are some safety tips to follow:

  • Always wear the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), such as a hard hat, safety glasses, and steel-toed boots.
  • Follow all manufacturer recommendations for operating and maintaining your forklift.
  • Conduct a thorough inspection of the forklift before each use.
  • Use caution when operating the forklift on uneven terrain.
  • Always keep the load stable and secure.


Even with regular maintenance, gas forklifts can experience issues. Knowing how to troubleshoot common problems can help you identify issues early and avoid costly repairs.

Common issues with gas forklifts:

  • Difficulty starting the engine
  • The engine runs rough or stalls
  • Transmission slips or fails to shift gears
  • Hydraulic system failure
  • Brake failure
  • Overheating engine
  • Tire wear or damage

How to identify issues:

  • Regularly inspect your forklift for signs of wear or damage.
  • Listen for strange noises or vibrations during the operation.
  • Pay attention to warning lights or alarms on the forklift’s dashboard.
  • Keep a log of any issues you experience and when they occur.

Steps to troubleshoot and fix common problems:

  • Consult the manufacturer’s manual for troubleshooting and repair guidance.
  • Identify the root cause of the problem and address it.
  • Replace any damaged or worn parts with genuine manufacturer parts.
  • Perform regular maintenance to prevent similar issues in the future.

Training and Certification

Proper training and certification are essential for anyone working on or operating a gas forklift. In Australia, the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) regulations require employers to ensure their workers are trained and certified to operate a forklift.

Forklift safety training requirements:

  • Formal training from a qualified trainer
  • Practical training and assessment on the forklift being used
  • Assessment of knowledge and understanding of forklift operation and safety

Recommended forklift safety training programs:

  • Forklift Safety Training by the National Safety Council of Australia
  • Forklift Training and Assessment by WorkSafe Victoria
  • Forklift Operator Training by the Construction Training Fund in Western Australia

Environmental Considerations

Gas forklifts can significantly impact the environment, especially if they are not properly maintained or disposed of. Here are some ways to reduce their environmental impact:

Ways to reduce environmental impact:

  • Properly maintain your forklift to reduce emissions and fuel consumption.
  • Use electric forklifts or hybrid models where possible.
  • Dispose of old or damaged forklifts responsibly, by recycling or sending them to a qualified disposal facility.

What is the lifespan of a gas forklift?

With proper maintenance and care, a gas forklift can last for up to 10,000 hours of operation.

How often should a gas forklift be serviced?

Regular maintenance should be performed according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, which typically include daily, weekly, monthly, and annual tasks.

Can I service my gas forklift myself?

While some maintenance tasks can be performed by a skilled


Even with regular maintenance, forklifts can experience issues. It’s essential to identify these issues and address them promptly to prevent further damage. Here are some common issues you might encounter with your gas forklift and how to troubleshoot them:

  • Engine won’t start: Check the battery and connections. Make sure the fuel tank has sufficient fuel, and the fuel shutoff valve is open. Check the spark plugs and ignition system. If necessary, replace the battery or spark plugs.
  • Forklift won’t move: Make sure the parking brake is disengaged. Check the transmission fluid level and ensure it’s not leaking. Check for any debris or obstructions around the wheels. If the problem persists, call a qualified technician.
  • Poor performance: Check the air filter and fuel filter. Check for any fuel leaks or clogs in the fuel system. Make sure the carburetor is adjusted correctly. If necessary, replace the air filter, fuel filter, or carburetor.
  • Noisy operation: Check for loose or damaged components. Make sure the forklift is properly lubricated. Tighten any loose bolts or nuts. If the problem persists, call a qualified technician.

Training and Certification

It’s crucial to have operators who are trained and certified to operate forklifts safely. According to Safe Work Australia, forklift operators must have a valid High-Risk Work License (HRWL) to operate a forklift. Employers are responsible for ensuring their employees have the appropriate training and certification before operating a forklift.

Several forklift safety training programs are available, such as the Forklift Training Institute and the National Safety Council. These programs provide comprehensive training on forklift operation, maintenance, and safety.

Environmental Considerations

Gas forklifts can have a significant impact on the environment due to their emissions. It’s essential to consider ways to reduce this impact, such as:

  • Regular maintenance: Proper maintenance can reduce emissions and improve fuel efficiency.
  • Use alternative fuels: Consider using alternative fuels, such as electric or propane-powered forklifts, which have lower emissions.
  • Recycling: When it’s time to dispose of an old forklift, consider recycling options. Many forklift parts can be recycled, reducing waste.
  • Energy-efficient practices: Implement energy-efficient practices, such as turning off forklifts when not in use and optimising routes to reduce fuel consumption.


Maintaining your gas forklift is essential to extend its lifespan, improve safety, and reduce costs. By following the maintenance checklist and tips provided in this article, you can keep your forklift running smoothly and identify and address issues promptly. Additionally, make sure to prioritise safety, invest in training and certification for operators, and consider environmental impacts when operating and disposing of your forklift.