Forklift steering is probably the thing operators take for granted the most. Everything’s moving along until you try to navigate a sharp turn and the forklift steering locks up or it doesn’t respond to the hard left turn you tried to make.
Join us as our Indiana forklift experts take a look at the most common forklift steering problems, how to troubleshoot them, and best practices for fixing and avoiding steering issues.
Unfortunately, there aren’t a whole lot of warning signs for steering issues before they become too serious. One of the ones to be on the lookout for is any type of strange noise while turning the wheels, especially when the lift truck is loaded. That could be an early warning sign of rust in the steering mechanism, old pressure relief valves, or even an issue in the hydraulics which may operate the steering pressure in some models.
Often it’s too late to diagnose problems in your forklift steering before it takes your entire truck out of commission. Locked steering, almost no steering pressure from turning the wheel, or irregular shifts in direction can all be dangerous for your workplace, so be sure to keep any forklift with steering issues off the work floor until the problem can be fixed.
Like with a car, an issue with forklift steering can be caused by anything from the tires to the electronics. Of all the steering issues we’ve diagnosed, these tend to be the most common culprits.
Some forklifts (especially older ones) have a distinct steering pump that regulates steering all on its own. However, most forklifts nowadays have steering pressure that operates from the hydraulic system, which uses a secondary valve to regulate steering pressure. These valves can often be the cause of steering issues if they’re loose, out of position, or just worn over time. Replacing these valves will usually require the aid of a certified forklift mechanic or maintenance team.
If you’re not getting much response from turning the steering wheel, and having to turn the wheel almost entirely to get even a fraction of a turn from the tires, the cause might be worn gears. Especially in older forklifts or ones that have put in thousands of hours of work, worn gears can easily ruin your forklift steering. If you're using a used forklift in Indiana, this can be a common culprit.
Sometimes the most obvious answer is the right one. A lack of steering fluid in your forklift can cause excess friction, resulting in heat that wears down parts of the steering mechanism. Be sure to regularly monitor and replenish all fluid levels in your lift truck.
Depending on your forklift’s make and model, as well as the kind of work you’re doing, the tires on your forklift can become misaligned. This is usually caused by a malfunctioning steering cylinder, which may need to be repacked or replaced entirely. Occasionally, worn linkage as well as a leaking diverter valve inside the steering assembly can cause a single wheel to drift over time, leading to misalignment.
Unless you have an in-house forklift technician to service your fleet, your best bet for fixing any issues with your forklift steering is to get factory-certified technicians to diagnose and fix your issues. Tynan Equipment Co. helps hundreds of Indiana warehouses, supply chains, and construction businesses maintain their lift truck fleets. Call us at 317-597-4003 to get help on fixing any forklift issues you encounter.
We’ve seen and been part of a number of forklift rodeos in Indiana over the years. Here are 3 suggestions for forklift rodeo activities from our team! Learn More
For the same loadcapacity, forklifts differ in 3 main ways. Learn about the differences betweenelectric forklifts and internal combustion trucks in Indiana.
For the same loadcapacity, forklifts differ in 3 main ways. Learn about the differences betweenelectric forklifts and internal combustion trucks in Indiana.Learn More
Buying or leasingyour first forklift in Indiana? Planning an addition to your fleet? Here are 3things every warehouse manager needs to know. Learn More
Facilities managers want to keep their floor clean to meet standards and to maintain their equipment. Here’s your guide to floor cleaning equipment in Indiana. Learn More
It’s essential to keep your floor cleaning equipment functioning efficiently. Here are 3 tips to maintain your floor cleaning equipment in Indiana. Learn More
There are telltale signs that let you know that your business is ready for an upgrade in material handling equipment. Are you seeing any of these symptoms in your business? Learn More
Tynan offers a range of specialty forklift solutions—from narrow aisle forklifts & telescopic boom trucks to special orders like explosion-proof forklifts. Learn More
Tynan Equipment Company’s annual family picnic showed our appreciation for the hard work of our employees and their families on behalf of Indiana's forklift authority. Learn More
OSHA-compliant training is required for all Indiana forklift operators. Get the basics of forklift training with help from Tynan Equipment Co. Learn More
Depending on your forklift engine, age, or type its maintenance schedule can differ. Find out how often your equipment needs service with help from Indiana’s forklift authority. Learn More
Different forklift engine types can provide unique advantages. See how propane forklifts can make Indiana facilities more efficient today. Learn More
Walk-behind floor sweepers are efficient, quiet, and maneuverable. See if a walking sweeper is right for your Indiana business. Learn More
To buy or to rent a forklift? That’s the question many Indiana businesses face. Figure out your answer with help from Tynan Equipment of Indiana. Learn More
Warehouse Tugs and Indiana Personnel Carriers offer your warehouse several benefits, but you need to be informed before buying new or used material handling equipment. Learn More
Warehouse equipment isn’t all about forklifts and pallet jacks. Learn about the smaller equipment and warehouse accessories that Indiana businesses need. Learn More
Tynan Equipment Company makes renting a forklift in Indiana fast and easy. Here's how to rent material handling equipment in Indy, Lafayette, Ft. Wayne and beyond. Learn More
Combination sweeper-scrubbers are more efficient than most other floor cleaners. See why Indiana facilities choose them for their floor cleaning jobs. Learn More