Forklifts play a key role in handling a variety of materials and products. To keep them operating dependably and at peak efficiency, it is important to keep them properly maintained. 1. When servicing a forklift, choose a clean work area. Before starting inspection and repair, shut down the engine and release all hydraulic pressure. Block all moving parts securely, or lower them to full ground contact. Place all controls in neutral, block the wheels, and disconnect the battery. 2. Make sure stored fuel is kept free of contaminants such as dirt or water, and do not store it for extended periods of time. Change the fuel filter often and make sure tank is kept full to avoid condensation. Inspect and clean air filters often, in accordance with the owner's manual. 3. When lubricating, make sure grease fittings are clean. Do not damage the bearings by adding too much grease. Make sure you know the location of all grease fittings. Keep hydraulic oil clean. Contaminated oil can wear hydraulic components out quickly. If forklift is going to be stored for an extended period of time, make sure it is well lubricated and cleaned before storage. 4. Batteries should be kept clean and filled at all times. If they do become dirty or corroded, use an alkaline solution, such as ammonia or baking soda in water to clean them. Do not over-crank the starter motor--cranking more than 30 seconds can damage it. Check tire pressure daily. Make sure new tires are of the same size and style as the original tires. 8. Do not overload the lift. Overloading damages hydraulics and can cause instability on rough terrain.