Whether you’re using a counterbalance forklift truck, a reach forklift truck, or any other type of forklift – dust can be a decidedly big problem.
The engine on a forklift can naturally gather up dust, dirt and debris from any surface. This can end up resulting in poor fuel economy, a reduction in reliability, and can even lead to an increase in the general wear and tear of the engine itself.
What problems are caused by dust?
It’s hard to imagine that tiny dust particles can end up causing such serious issues for a forklift truck. Unfortunately though, when forklift engines get clogged up with dust a number of problems can often occur, such as:
- The engine wearing out faster – thanks to the accumulation of dust particles. The dust grinds away at the bearings, pistons, cylinders and valves over time. The unclean engine is then prone to more breakdowns, and more parts will need replacing.
- Fuel efficiency is affected – because the more dust there is, the less air can get to the engine. Fuel burning becomes problematic and this can also lead to an increase in harmful emissions.
- Oil can get contaminated – after dust starts mixing with it. This can cause accelerated damage to the engine.
How do forklifts get filled with dust?
The real issue lies in the way forklift engines spread the dust. The fast moving engine parts create what’s known as a cyclone effect, which sees dust and dirt sucked in almost like a vacuum cleaner.
This same cyclone effect can also end up scattering dust into the air, which results in the damage of stock, and potentially poses a risk to the health of forklift operators and other workers.
What can you do about dust?
Thankfully there are a number of preventative measures you can take to help reduce, and even fix the problem of dust damaging your forklift trucks:
- Search for air intakes that are higher – on forklifts, as this will help prevent dust being sucked up from floor level. Keep in mind the higher up the air intakes are, the closer they’ll be to the operator’s ear, so suitable noise protection will be needed.
- Make use of belly protection – as this is one of the most effective ways to prevent a forklift engine sucking up dirt and debris from the ground. Fitting a belly plate underneath the forklift also protects the engine against other things that may cause damage, such as shrink wrap and pallet fragments.
- Look out for a cyclone air filter – because unlike conventional filters, these won’t get clogged up with dust. A cyclone filter will clean the air before it’s used, and they also generally last much longer, cutting servicing costs.
Keep in mind many modern counterbalance forklifts and reach trucks are already designed to work effectively in dusty and dirty environments, and have these features as standard. However, other forklift models may require you to add them on as an extra modification.
Whether it’s counterbalance forklift you’re after, a reach forklift or any other type of forklift, H&F Lift Trucks are here for you.
Please, give us a call today on 0800 298 8790 for more information.