With the Moffett truck mounted forklifts having all wheel drive and locking differential, plus 10 to 12 inches ground clearance, there isn’t much that the Canadian winters can throw at it, that it can’t handle. Some owners have even installed a shovel on the forks for some quick snow removal jobs.
For great winter Moffett forklift performance, it’s important to keep up with the required maintenance and get it ready for winter. Here are some winter guidelines to help you keep your forklift running like a charm during the cold weather.
Moffett forklift engine heaters:
As with most of the equipment here at Atlas Polar, they come with the standard 110 volt block heater. All it takes is a long extension cord and plugging it into a standard household receptacle. Starting the forklift up is quick and easy. For added protection it’s a good idea to store the forklift indoors during the winter months. This way it’s shielded from the elements, and when you need to use it there shouldn’t be any problems starting it.
Another good choice for easy start up is to use a Diesel Fired Coolant Heater. This independent accessory can be working while you are driving to the job site. While you are driving this heater is powered by a small amount of voltage off the truck battery. This allows the coolant to be circulated through the heater and motor of the Moffett forklift. This type of heating system is great for long hauls, or if you don’t have access to the plug in for the block heater. Plus, another great feature is you can set it to operate off a timer.
To get the best that these forklifts have to offer, it’s a good idea to use a top quality premium hydraulic fluid like Hydrex XV. This fluid has a wide working range, and it reaches viscosity quickly, which helps with an easy start up. It’s economical as well because it has a wide temperature range, so it only needs changing once a year.
We recommend the 10w30 or 5w30 engine oils. We have found that the light oils make it easier to fire up the engine.
Something else that we like to see used in the forklifts is a good quality diesel fuel conditioner. It should have the ability to remove any condensation that may be in the fuel and defreeze fuel lines that may have frozen.
These forklifts come from Ireland with an additive added to the fuel lines to prevent freezing during the shipping time.
Not that long ago, Atlas Polar upgraded all of the Moffett forklift batteries to higher cold amp crank ratings. This really helps with engine start up when the equipment is cold or has been sitting dormant for a period of time.
Important Moffett accessories:
One of the most popular accessories for the Moffett forklifts is the self enclosed cabs. These are safely mounted to the overhead guard and they will provide you with some great protection against the weather. They are spacious and allow for good visibility with their glass enclosure. They have front and rear wipers as well as a built in fan and heater.
All Moffett forklifts come with a seat cover and a water proof container that holds the operator’s manual and a very detailed DVD for the operation and maintenance of the forklifts.
Winter quick tips for operating and maintaining the Moffett forklifts:
All that is really required to make working with the Moffett a breeze in the winter months is:
- Keep up on its 90 day or 200 hour servicing.
- Stay on schedule with its regular maintenance.
- Keep the equipment clean, especially the channels of the carriages.
- Use rust inhibitor oils.
- Remove the key from the ignition to prevent water seepage by allowing the built-in safety latch to close properly.
- When the forklift has started, let it run for a bit to circulate the oil.
- Don’t use the hydraulics until they have warmed up.
- Give the carriage and forks a trial run.
- Ease into the directional pedal.
- Make use of the glow plugs that are a standard feature on these forklifts. These are engaged by a simple twist of the key and are meant to warm up the piston chamber.
Make it a habit to do a circle check:
The circle check only takes a few minutes to carry out and it ensures that the machine is in proper working order, there is no obvious physical damage, and the forks are in prime condition. It’s a great time to check for kinks, stretching, or any type of damage to the chains. All of the lights can be checked and cleaned at this time as well. Just so you don’t miss anything, there is as an easy check sheet you can make use of at the Atlas Polar website. Plus in the operator’s manual there is also a checklist and some great details for greasing the equipment.
If you find that you aren’t using your forklift that much during the winter, you still want it ready to go when it’s needed. You can do this by keeping it charged with a battery charger. As long as you have changed the filters and the hydraulic oil in the fall, and you drain out any condensation to prevent freezing, then you should be good to go.
Something else that you want to keep in mind is when you are cleaning the chains. Some operators like to use a power washer to do this. It’s important that you do get all of the dirt and salt build up out of the chains to keep them in good operating condition, but remember to lubricate them and the carriage slider with a light lubricant afterwards. You may also want to use compressed air or a solvent to ensure that all the water has been removed from the chain links.
Getting and keeping the Moffett forklifts in prime winter condition is really quite easy. Just remember to make sure the machine has had its annual servicing and inspection. You want to be sure that all the structural components and the indicator lamps are all working as they should be.
Please feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions. We’d be happy to help.