If your forklift is running hot, or over-heating, take a look at your radiator. Many times it can be as simple as checking your fluids, but it’s just as common that there could be debris that is suffocating your air-flow. Most warehouse environments have contaminants on the floor as well as in the air. To do this easy fix, your radiator will require some simple external maintenance with compressed air.
1. Always shut the forklift off.
2. Always wear eye protection and a dust mask during the cleaning process. Particles clogging the radiator can not only be hazardous to breathe, but can also contain small chards that can damage your eyes.
3. When possible, this work should be done outdoors. If you have to be indoors, take a look around. Make sure there aren’t any people, product or materials nearby that you wouldn’t want the debris flying onto or into.
4. Insure all large debris are removed prior to using compressed air to clean unit. You may be surprised by the items you find!
5. When applying the air, make sure you get up into the corner of the radiator, get the entire radiator area, not just the center section.
6. Take care not to damage the cooling fins of the radiator. Pay attention to the job at hand. Damage to the cooling fins can cause an expensive repair in the future.
7. Make sure to use air from both directions, out from the truck and then into the truck. Particles and debris can clog from either side.
8. Finally, make sure your antifreeze is at the proper levels. Both within the radiator and the overflow, if your forklift is equipped with one.
If you have an environment that warrants it, you may want to update your daily operator’s checklist to include this procedure. Of course, if the problem persists, schedule an appointment with your professional forklift service department.