Industrial ForkliftNo matter how well maintained your forklift truck is, sometimes you’ll turn the key or push the button, and it just will not start.

Of course, now you’re morning is wasted and you have to shell out for an emergency repair call out. The most frustrating thing is when the engineer turns up, diagnoses the problem as something really simple and you’re left with the bill, wishing you’d thought to carry out that simple check before you called in the cavalry.

That’s why we’ve put together this simple checklist of possible reasons your forklift won’t power up. If the problem is simple and you have had adequate training to inspect and maintain your vehicle, chances are it’s a quick fix that could save you time and money.

Start by turning the key, if the engine turns over but won’t start, you’ll know it’s probably an issue with ignition or fuel system. If it doesn’t turn over, it’s more than likely an issue with the battery.

Is the battery plugged in?

This might seem straightforward, but it is something that is easily missed. The battery might be in the right place, but if it is not plugged in, it will not be able to start the engine, so be sure to check it before calling in an engineer.

Is the battery charged?

Whether someone else last used your forklift and didn’t bother charging the battery, or you were in a hurry when you left and forgot to plug it in – if your battery hasn’t been properly charged, you could find yourself calling in an engineer, just to tell you the battery is dead.

Has the EPO button been pressed?

The EPO, or Emergency Power Off button may have been pressed by the last user and this will stop the engine from starting. Unless you know for sure it was pressed accidentally, it is always advisable to find out exactly why the last operator thought it necessary to turn off the power. If there’s a real problem, you’ll need an engineer to check the forklift before you turn it back on.

Do you have the right start code?

On some sites, it is necessary to restrict access to the trucks by providing electronic keys and access codes to the authorised operatives. If you’re new to the site, or have been transferred over from another location – it’s always best to check you’ve been given the right keys and code, before you call in an engineer.

Is an alert code showing?

As with cars, a warning light is not a good sign! If your truck won’t start and there’s an alert code showing, you will more than likely have to call an engineer. But, you can still save time and money, by finding out what the error code is and letting the engineer know before he arrives so he can be prepared to fix the issue.

Cold weather problems?

Many propane-powered forklifts will need to warm up in cold conditions, before the engine will start. Give it some time reach the right temperature before you call an engineer, and if possible move it to a warmer area to raise the temperature quicker.

The team at Health and Safety Training have years of experience teaching forklift truck drivers to inspect their forklifts before each use, so if you find you’re spending money on unnecessary forklift engineer visits, maybe it’s time for your operatives to undergo a forklift refresher course. We’ll make sure they have the skills and knowledge they need to keep your trucks in the best condition!