Summer is in full swing, and the industrial professionals that just finished prepping their forklifts for the season now need to worry about using them. Even once these tools are properly equipped to handle the higher temperatures, they can still experience significant amounts of stress and sustain damage from the heat. This means that while these tools are in use, workers need to be extra aware of how hard they’re pushing them and how long they expose them to the sun. Otherwise, they could break down and cost thousands to repair. If you’re going to be working with machinery outdoors in the following months, make sure you use these tips for using heavy equipment in the summer.
Store Equipment in the Shade
First and foremost, you should never keep heavy equipment should never out in the sunlight—especially while it’s running. The excess heat from the sun’s rays can cause the temperature of the engine to jump significantly, making it more difficult for the machine to run and overstressing all vital components. As a result, it could sustain heat damage that reduces its overall usefulness and longevity. To keep this from occurring, make sure that you’re storing your equipment in cool, shaded areas with limited or no humidity.
Avoid Using Machines During the Hottest Hours
The hottest summer days typically have a few hours when the temperature is at its peak, and it’s during these times when you want to give your machines a break. Whether you’re working with forklifts or cranes, the intense heat will have a severe effect on their engines and put them at risk of breaking down. As such, during these times of the day, it’s often best to get them out of the sun, turn them off, and let the engine return to a less-dangerous temperature. Check with your local weather provider to identify which hours are going to be the hottest on a given day.
Continue to Inspect Coolant Systems
Checking the coolant systems in your equipment once before the summer starts isn’t enough to ensure that they’ll stay cool throughout the following months. In fact, the hotter the summer days are, the more likely it is that you’ll need to refill coolant levels and perform periodic repairs. For this reason, you should make a habit of checking the coolant systems, even if it’s only to verify that everything’s working as it should.
Only Use Equipment as Directed
Another vital tip for using heavy equipment in the summer is to use certain tools only as directed by the manufacturer. No matter what type of machinery you’re using, it will have established limits on both the lifting weight and general capacity. Pushing your machinery past these limits can put incredible amounts of strain on its parts and cause damages that will only worsen with the excessive heat. Therefore, if you’re going to be using these pieces of equipment during the summer, you’ll want to ensure that you’re using them correctly to minimize potential damages.