The hydraulic system of a forklift is one of the most important operational components of the entire machine. When there are issues with this part of the unit, it can generate a full list of issues. Here are a few signs that your forklift is having hydraulic system problems and may need repairs.
You have consistently low levels of hydraulic fluids.
You check your hydraulic fluids frequently just as you should as a forklift owner, but you start noticing a shortage almost every day. If you are losing fluid from your hydraulic system, it can be a sign that there are holes and leaks within the system. Make sure you are watching for oily residue on the floor beneath the forklift, on operational components, and around the hydraulic hoses if you suspect this is the problem.
Your lifts are making a lot of noise when in motion.
Noise is one of those problems that can come along with multiple issues with your forklift, but it is also common with the failure of the hydraulic system. The noise you hear is resulting from either aeration or cavitation in the hydraulic fluid. These air pockets can cause sounds like banging or knocking, and if you listen closely enough, it is pretty plain to see precisely where the noise is coming from. While this problem is a simple fix, it is also an issue that can have deeper underlying causes than what you may expect, so major repairs may be necessary.
You do not have the same lifting power as you once did.
You are operating your forklift, pull up to a pallet of merchandise, load it as always, but for some reason, the forklift whines and will barely pick up the load. Lowered lifting capacity is a surefire sign that a hydraulic system is not working as it should be. You may be able to lift lighter loads without much trouble, but the larger, heavier loads can be problematic to lift.
Your lift is moving slower than it should.
In a lot of situations, one of the first signs that the hydraulic system is failing is if the parts that the system supports are not moving as they normally would. On a forklift, you may notice that the lift is moving a lot slower than it normally does; it may take longer to get the lift to lower or raise, especially when you are loaded.
For more information or help with forklift repairs, contact a company like RDS Equipment, Inc.