5 Effective Maintenance Tips for Utility Vehicles

Proper maintenance for Columbia utility vehicles and material-handlers

When running a warehouse, any downtime is significant. It doesn’t matter if you took a week off or shut down operations for a few months. If the material-handling machines aren’t moving, you’re not turning a profit. Unfortunately, this was a harsh reality that some warehouse units faced in 2020. COVID-19 forced many facilities to close their doors, ultimately curbing the supply chain movement. We’ll never forget what the industry looked like this time last year, but the good news is that things have gotten better.

If your organization hasn’t resumed operation, it’s time to start thinking about reactivating your electric utility vehicles. The following tips can help you put your fleet back into service safely:

The Ultimate Maintenance Checklist for Columbia Utility Vehicles

Inspect the Tires

Your tires keep you moving safely in and around the warehouse. Before you take your utility vehicles for a spin, make sure they’re properly inflated. Next, take a closer look at the wheel to identify signs of wear and tear. If your tires are too worn, they’re unsafe and will need to be replaced before the vehicle can be driven again.

Monitor Brake Performance

Before you take the vehicles for a ride, make sure your brakes are in working order. Brakes are essential to the safety and functionality of your utility equipment. They’re not something you want to replace on your own, so if something feels unusual with the brake pads or there isn’t enough fluid, contact a professional mechanic.

Check for Leaks

Battery and brake fluids are the two main liquid components that run through your electric vehicle that need to be checked. Batteries cells need to be filled after full charging or else it can lead to overfilling & leaks. Although the brakes are built to last a long time, you still need to inspect fluid levels regularly. Keep an eye out for leaks. If you notice trails of fluid on the ground, it’s usually a sign indicating early motor or brake failure.

Maintain or Replace the Battery

It’s vital to test and measure the battery pack before operating the vehicle. Extremely low voltages may require independent charging, so make sure the battery measures at these settings:

  • 5.3V and lower for 6V batteries
  • 7.2V and lower for 8V batteries
  • 10.3V and lower on 12V batteries

  • An easy solution is to set up a battery maintainer to keep your battery charged while the machines are in storage. It also best practice to check the battery fluid level, clean the battery terminals & case, and check for damage weekly. Learn more about battery maintenance from the manufacturer by clicking on the battery image.

    Assess the Battery Charger and Charging System

    Believe it or not, you can overcharge a battery. If you leave your utility vehicle plugged in for too long, it can bring the life of your battery down. Avoid “quick-charging” stations as they often degrade your vehicle’s battery pack at a faster rate. The best method of charging is to keep the vehicle plugged in whenever it's not in use, using the charger onboard the vehicle and a standard 110v outlet. This technology helps prevent full capacity charging in order to limit battery degradation.

    Partner With the Experts

    Every utility vehicle is different. When it comes to maintenance and repairs, there’s no better partner than the experts at Southwest ToyotaLift. Schedule a consultation with our team for more tips or information on today’s best industrial-grade transportation equipment from Columbia Carts.