Education Blog

Keep Your Truck-Mounted Forklift Running Smoothly with These 3 Simple Maintenance Tips


By Bobby Campbell, Service Manager, Truck-Mounted Forklift, PALFINGER North America

In the fast-paced world of material handling and logistics, businesses depend on truck-mounted forklifts for efficient delivery of products on and around customers’ job sites, even navigating busy streets, tight spots, rough terrains, and hard-to-maneuver locations.

As the Service Manager for truck-mounted forklift at PALFINGER North America, I understand the importance of keeping your machine in peak condition. While PALFINGER truck-mounted forklifts have an outstanding reputation for their reliability and low maintenance, they still require consistent care. Regular maintenance not only extends the lifespan of your equipment but also minimizes downtime and operational costs.

In this blog post, I will be sharing three essential maintenance tips that business owners, fleet managers, and forklift operators should prioritize to optimize the performance of their truck-mounted forklifts. From maintaining the air cleaner system, applying proper greasing routines, and executing timely oil and fuel filter changes, these strategies will help you navigate the challenges of day-to-day operations and keep your forklifts running smoothly.


Tip #1: Maintain a Clean Air Cleaner System for Your Diesel Engine

Your forklift engine, the Kohler 3-cylinder diesel engine, is the heart of your forklift. Maintaining a healthy engine largely depends on supplying it with clean air. To ensure optimal diesel engine maintenance, follow these steps:

  1. Remove the air cleaner housing cover to access the air filter element.
  2. Inspect the air filter to see if it’s dirty.
  3. Replace the filter once it accumulates significant dirt.

A clogged air filter can restrict airflow to the engine, leading to reduced performance and potential damage. A well-maintained air cleaner system ensures your engine receives the clean air it needs to operate optimally, reducing the risk of costly engine repairs.


Engine and Filter

Tip #2: Regularly Grease Your Machine

PALFINGER truck-mounted forklifts have numerous moving parts that play a crucial role in their performance. To keep these components functioning smoothly, it's vital to use the right grease and apply it in the proper amounts. Refer to section 9 of your Operator's Manual, which is included with every PALFINGER truck-mounted forklift, to find the recommended lubricants for your specific model.

Depending on your unique duty cycle and working conditions, it's typically recommended to grease your machine as often as once a month. Greasing the machine ensures that all the moving parts continue to operate without undue friction, preventing premature wear and tear.

Tip #3: Perform Oil Changes and Fuel Filter Service

Your PALFINGER truck-mounted forklift is equipped with a 3-cylinder diesel engine that requires synthetic motor oil. This type of oil facilitates longer intervals between oil changes, contributing to lower maintenance costs and less downtime.

The first oil service is typically recommended at 50 hours of operation, and every 250 hours thereafter, although this might depend on your unique duty cycle and working conditions. Refer to your Operator's Manual for precise guidance.

Given the high-pressure fuel systems common in newer diesel engines, clean fuel is critical for maintaining peak engine performance. We recommend changing the fuel filter during your engine oil service. This helps minimize fuel-related issues and ensures your engine operates at its peak performance.

To ensure that your PALFINGER truck-mounted forklift remains a reliable and dependable asset in your fleet, you must invest time and effort in its maintenance. By following these easy maintenance tips, you'll not only extend the life of your machine but also reduce the risk of unexpected breakdowns and downtime.

If you need further assistance, PALFINGER stands ready to provide both mobile and shop services throughout the United States and Canada. We are committed to supporting you in keeping your PALFINGER truck-mounted forklift operating at its best, so you can continue to deliver top-notch performance on the job.

Truck-Mounted Forklift


About Bobby Campbell

Bobby Campbell has been with PALFINGER North America for over six years and is currently the Service Manager for truck-mounted forklifts. A Navy veteran with seven years of service in active and active reserve roles, Bobby possesses nearly 30 years of technical expertise covering a broad spectrum of machinery, including aircraft, cranes, forklifts, and vehicles.