How To Know It’s Time To Replace Your Forklift Brakes
You can’t afford to let your brakes fail on any vehicle that you will be operating. When it comes to your forklift brakes, you have to inspect them daily for proper functioning. Doing so will help prevent any incidents that could occur as a result of brake failure. In the instance that your forklift brakes need to be replaced, Knott Brake offers a variety of solutions to meet your needs.
Keep reading for more information on how to correctly inspect your brakes, the warning signs of faulty equipment and what you can do to replace or repair them quickly and efficiently.
How To Inspect Forklift Brakes
Functioning forklift brakes are critical to operation productivity and safety. Because of this, OSHA requires forklift brakes to be inspected daily. This is known as a pre-shift inspection. During your inspection, it’s important to be on the lookout for warning signs so you know when to replace the brakes.
Though an operator’s inspection is not as thorough as an expert technician’s, they can still check for basic functioning. Here’s how to properly inspect your forklift brake:
- 1. Begin with your foot brake; try to step on it gently to see how it responds. An intact brake pedal shouldn’t need much engagement to offer resistance.
- 2. Next, check your parking brake; you do not want your forklift to continue moving when you’re trying to stop and unload or load cargo.
Important tips to remember:
- Be sure that your brake pedal does not go all the way down to the floor. To maintain a safe stopping distance, your brake should have some resistance.
- Your parking brake must also hold a grade of 15 percent.
How Long Should Your Forklift Brakes Last?
On average, your brakes can last from 5,000-7,000 hours. This number varies widely because driving patterns greatly affect the longevity of your forklift brakes. For example, if the forklift is driven for longer distances without having to start and stop to stack loads, there’s naturally less brake usage. On the contrary, an operator may have to replace brakes sooner if they’re consistently carrying heavy loads and loading/unloading materials.
How To Know When To Replace Your Brakes
Aside from the brake pedal going to the floor, there are a few other indicators of damage when it comes to brake maintenance. If you’ve logged more than 5,000 hours on your brakes or are experiencing sudden stopping of the forklift, this may indicate that your brakes are on their last leg or have completely failed.
When your forklift brakes are newly installed, the brake drums and shoes have smooth surfaces. When your forklift is in operation, the dust and debris can cause ridges to transfer onto the brake shoe. This affects your forklift rear brakes. If the operator notices this early on, the ridges can get smoothed out. But if too much time passes, those ridges will be transferred onto the brake drums as well. Once the brake drums incur damage, your entire braking system has to be replaced.
What Causes Forklift Brake Failure?
The following are some of the most common reasons for the premature failure of forklift brakes:
- The parking brake isn’t released
- Keeping your foot on the brake while driving
- Damaged wheel cylinders or hub seals due to the drums and brake shoes being covered with oil
- Aggressive braking due to not giving the forklift enough time to slow down
Companies can choose to be more proactive with the maintenance of their forklifts. Every 250 hours, the operator should make sure to blow the brake dust out. Additionally, the company should have an extensive inspection done at 2,000 hours. An expert technician may pull the brake drum for further inspection.
If you maintain your brakes regularly, you can get maximum longevity from them before you have to swap them out for a new set. Be careful to always check them thoroughly before every shift.
What Can Knott Brake Do For You?
At Knott Brake, we’re all about creating custom solutions that work for your needs. If your warehouse vehicle brakes need a makeover or a complete removal and upgrade, our team has the skills to give you the best possible product.
If you need to replace brakes that are damaged, we can create a customized braking system for you. All of our braking system solutions include both multi-disc and drum brakes. We utilize efficient and powerful CNC machinery and precise welding. Because of this, we guarantee that all of our products are constructed for excellent endurance and performance.
Our team consists of expert engineers that can pinpoint your exact needs and they’ll work with you and your budget to help you select the perfect product. Get the most productivity and streamline your special solutions today with Knott Brake.
Forklift Brakes Not Working? Let Knott Brake Help
Your forklift brakes should get inspected every day to ensure optimal functioning. It’s crucial to look for the warning signs of imminent brake failure and to recognize signs of damage to your brake system before operation. When it’s time to replace brakes that get worn down, The Knott Brake Company is ready to assist you with a custom forklift brake solution to fit your budget and needs. Please don’t hesitate to contact us, one of our expert consultants is always available to help.