Tip and Advice

Common reasons a forklift may not forward/reverse and how you can troubleshoot

toyota-forklift
Written by Tim

If your company relies on forklifts for daily work, it’s a frustrating disruption when one won’t move. The thoughts of costly downtime and emergency forklift rentals immediately flood your brain. After all, you certainly can’t move heavy loads with equipment when you can’t drive!

So what do you do when your forklift doesn’t move?  Some issues you can handle yourself and some may need a certified forklift technician to fix. Here are a few common reasons a forklift may not move and how you can troubleshoot each issue.

YOUR FORKLIFT WON’T GO FORWARD OR REVERSE WHEN IT’S LOW ON TRANSMISSION FLUID

If you have a propane or diesel forklift, it will have a transmission — the gearbox that converts power into movement. When you press on the accelerator, the forklift’s engine spins the chamber that holds transmission fluid. The fluid is then pumped into the gearbox where it engages a series of clutches. These clutches move your forklift. 

A common reason a forklift won’t move is if its transmission fluid is low or empty. Your engine may be running, but it can’t transfer power to the transmission gears without enough fluid. 

If you suspect your forklift is low on transmission fluid, use the owner’s manual to check its levels and add more. If you continue to have problems, you may have a leak or broken part that should be repaired by a professional. 

A FAULTY INCHING VALVE CAN PREVENT YOUR FORKLIFT FROM MOVING

A forklift inching valve regulates pressure in the transmission and allows the operator to literally “inch” the forklift forward to approach the load it should pick up as well as have enough power to carry that load while driving at safe speeds in tight spaces. You operate this valve with the inching or brake pedal. 

Sometimes when a forklift won’t go forward when you use the inching/brake pedal, you might have a sticking inching valve. Have a certified expert take it apart to clean the sticky valve or replace a broken spring that is preventing the valve from opening during operation.

TALK TO THE PROS WHEN YOUR FORKLIFT WON’T GO FORWARD / REVERSE.

If your company has a forklift that won’t go forward/reverse local dealer can help. Most dealer have certified service technicians are pros at diagnosing and fixing any forklift issue. Call them to schedule your on-site service today.

About the author

Tim

I'm more than 10 years working as a LV mechanic and 2 years HV mechanic,
way back on my school day, I have a passion to fix things and help other co-mechanic, now with this site I can help/advice not only my co-mechanic but also does who visit this site.

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