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Supplying forklifts since 1976

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Since 1976 H&F Trucks have provided local business with high quality materials handling solutions. For nearly four decades we have achieved steady growth year on year, enabling us to provide superior service to our customers from a stable & sustainable business platform.

How To Prepare Your Forklift Trucks For The Winter Months

The winter season is right around the corner, and so too is the inevitable change towards harsher weather conditions and a colder climate. These conditions may have a negative effect on the reliability and operational capacity of your forklift trucks.

Whether you mainly use reach forklifts, or the more common counterbalance forklift trucks, or any other model of forklift, they are all at greater risk of damage in the winter. Other warehouse equipment and the operators themselves are too. So, it’s always important to make sure you are prepared for the winter months.

With this in mind, we’ve put together some quick tips so that you can continue to operate your forklift trucks safely as the cold creeps in…

Protect your forklift operators

Firstly, you need to make sure that all of your forklift truck operators are wearing suitable clothing for winter. Ensure that warm hats, gloves, and jackets are worn, along with other clothing that can handle cold conditions. Of course, make sure all clothing is still highly visible, even at times when visibility is limited.

Equip your forklift for the cold

Operators need to always check the weather conditions before commencing any work, and the forklifts need to be correctly set up to deal with any harsh conditions. There are a number of ways to endure your forklift is fully equipped for the winter months:

  • Use a cover for any forklifts that don’t have cabs, and make sure any covers are closed to prevent snow, ice or water from entering electronic components.
  • Equip tyres to the forklift that are suitable for winter use.
  • Check all safety lights are operational, and replace any straight away if necessary.
  • Install specialist forklift chains to provide extra grip when working in snow or ice.

Carry out regular maintenance and safety checks

The winter conditions demand that extra maintenance be carried out on any forklifts, otherwise it won’t be long before starters, chokes and other operating components begin to take a beating. Also, a thorough safety check should be carried out before the start of any work shift. This will help to ensure any equipment is safe to operate.

Warm up any forklift before use

Much like a conventional car, a forklift also needs to warm up properly in during winter before operation. By taking the time to allow the machine to warm up, you will be lessening the chance of a number of combustion and transmission related problems from occurring.

Use the right amount of anti-freeze

If you’re using a diesel forklift for any operations, then it is vital that the right amount of anti-freeze is used in the truck’s coolant system. The engine coolant in a forklift is at greater risk of freezing up into a solid block during the colder climate, and therefore blocking the coolant system. By using the correct amount of anti-freeze you can prevent this from happening, and avoid problems, such as the unit overheating.

The cold and dark months needn’t cause panic if you have fully prepared your forklift trucks and operators for the coming changes. Putting a regular regime of workplace preparation, forklift maintenance and training in place will ensure that you can weather the winter woes.

If you’re looking to purchase a new Forklift or used forklift, or if there’s something you’re unsure about, please contact us at H&F Lift Trucks today on 0800 298 8790 for more information.

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H&F have supplied us with all our fork lift equipment for in excess of ten years now, and have maintained it in accordance with our stringent operation requirements. During this time they have provided a consistently high level of service (including short term hire when required) whilst never failing to support us in a totally honest and professional manner.

Ashley Basset, Director
R G Bassett & Sons Ltd

H&F Lift Trucks are a pleasure to deal with. All staff, Technicians, Sales and Directors have hands-on experience of all ranges of vehicles they supply. From initial assessments and listening to all users of a potential new vehicle requirement, they keep us informed of all aspects of specification and lead times through to delivery. Their maintenance service is superb – they organise suitable times around our busy working day with our Yard Managers. Any accidental damage or operator error faults are always discussed with me and dealt with fairly – not like some unscrupulous suppliers who seek to profit at every service visit! In a cut-throat market, where we are offered “good deals” a few quid cheaper every day, we are never tempted to stray.

James Hipkins, Managing Director

Pym and Wildsmith have been working closely with H&F Fork Trucks for many years. Their service is excellent, ranging from prompt callouts to breakdowns through to the supply of new trucks. We would not hesitate to recommend them.

Ian Pym, Operations Manager
Pym & Wildsmith

We cover a 30 mile radius