Your forklift oil selection when performing maintenance will depend greatly on its engine design. A standard sit-down counterbalance forklift may use 5W-30 or 10W-40 while diesel units require oil with additional additives.
Forklift Oil Viscosity
The first number of the forklift oil description describes its viscosity at lower temperatures. The second number relates to the thickness at operating, or warmer, temperature. A lower viscosity will perform better in winter’s colder temperatures.
The recent trend for many forklift manufacturers is usage of lighter oil such as 5W-30 or 5W-40 for its fuel economy benefit. The lightness decreases the resistance of an engine turn, using less energy and oil.
Manufacturer Guidelines for Forklift Oil
Included in the forklift operator manual are guidelines for oil; however, it’s good to question what is best for your application. Forklifts are built for industrial, heavy-duty work. Without a quality oil that includes the right additives, major components of the forklift may show early signs of breakdown.
At ProLift, our training team noticed matching oil and grease to the forklift’s application can have a positive impact on its parts. For example, the mast pivot takes on a lot of pressure. It’s also affected by water and dirt thrown up from the ground. After switching the grease placed on the bushings, wear and tear was less noticeable.
Protect your investment! ProLift’s certified technicians are available for as-needed service jobs or regular planned maintenance. Contact us today to schedule forklift service.Request Service