Having functional forklift brakes is crucial for employee safety and compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines. Recognizing the signs that indicate a need for brake replacement can help you maintain optimal functionality. Here are three signs that indicate it's time to replace your forklift brakes:
1. Reaching the End of Service Life
Brakes on a forklift typically last between 5,000 and 7,000 hours of use. Once they reach that age, their functionality and efficiency may start to decline. Different workplace environments can accelerate brake wear, such as operating in dusty environments or carrying extremely heavy loads.
Track the number of hours your forklift is in use. Once a forklift reaches 5,000 hours of use, it's advisable to start preparing for brake replacements to ensure continued safety and performance.
2. Failing Inspections
According to OSHA guidelines, you must inspect brakes before operating a forklift. If the brakes are unable to perform correctly during these inspections, it is a clear indication that a replacement is needed. Signs of brake failure during inspections include:
- Taking too long to stop
- Vibrating while in use
- Feeling spongey instead of firm
It is imperative not to operate a forklift if the brakes are malfunctioning. If the brakes consistently fail inspections, a replacement of the entire brake system is necessary.
3. Unusual Noises
Noises like grinding or screeching are clear indicators that your brakes need replacing. These noises often occur when the brake pads or shoes have worn down significantly and can't provide full functionality. You should seek a replacement as soon as possible.
Tips to Increase Forklift Brake Longevity
Regular maintenance and preventative strategies keep you from needing to replace the entire brake system. Maintain practices like:
- Conduct in-depth brake inspections after every 1,000 hours of use.
- Follow the correct brake usage protocols, like avoiding hard and abrupt braking.
- Clean dust and debris from the brakes regularly.
Contact forklift maintenance professionals if you need assistance or advise on brake maintenance or replacements. They can advise you on maintenance techniques and explain how to test the brakes on a forklift after a replacement.
Contact LiftOne for Forklift Brake Maintenance
Functional brakes are essential for workplace safety. If your forklift displays signs of needing a replacement, address them as soon as possible.
LiftOne offers comprehensive forklift maintenance services. We can identify and resolve brake problems, keeping your forklift in the best condition possible. Whether you need help with replacing forklift brakes or finding the cause behind their inefficiency, we can help. Contact our team today to learn more about our services and solutions.