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Why Won’t My Forklift Start?

If your forklift fails on you, it can mean disaster for your business, grinding operations to a halt – and costing you both time and money. When your forklift won’t start, being able to assess where the trouble may lie can save you calling out a specialist, only for the problem to be an easy-fix. In this guide, we’ll be going through the possible reasons for a non-responsive forklift and what you can do to correct them.

Is your battery plugged in?

This is easy to miss – but definitely something you will need to check before calling out an engineer. Assess whether it is unplugged entirely, or if something has come loose.

Is the battery charged?

Perhaps your electric forklift has been used an excessive amount recently – or by another person who has not tended to the battery. Either way, this could leave you with a flat battery that requires prompt charging.

Has there recently been a power outage?

While not a common event, power cuts can happen – so it is always worth checking if there were any problems with the electricity supply at the time of charging the machine.

Has your fuel-powered forklift been sat unused for a while?

Machines with combustible engines may run into snags should fuel be left in the tank for a long period of time – also remember to check the oil levels.

Can you smell fuel?

This could be a sign of a fuel leak which needs to be immediately investigated by an engineer for the safety of others – ensure there are no open flames nearby if this is deemed to be the problem.

Has the Emergency Power Off Button been pushed?

For whatever reason, the last user may have pushed the Emergency Power Off (EPO) button. Before turning the power back on, investigate why the button was pushed – this is for your own safety and that of your workers.

What is the weather like?

Much like a car, sometimes bitterly cold weather can affect the starting ability of your machine. Either wait for your forklift to warm up, or try moving your forklift indoors – this may help the engine warm up enough to start.

Have you been given the correct start code?

Are you new to the machine? Or might the start code have been changed recently? Always check that you are up to date with the engine start code and ensure that you’re inputting the right one.

Is an alert showing?

If an alert signal or code is showing, this is a sure sign that your machine needs professional attention. The engineers at East Midlands Forklifts can attend to forklift emergencies across the region, including Loughborough, Nottingham, Leicester and beyond. Note down the code, if one is showing, and let the specialist know.

Do you weigh enough?

Many forklifts have weight sensors built into the seat, and will only turn on when they feel this weight. If the person who has used the forklift before you is heavier, the setting may be adjusted to only recognise their weight – it is worth adjusting the weight setting so that your weight is registered and responded to.

Is Your Forklift Still Not Starting?

Talk to the experts

Whatever forklift services you require, East Midlands Forklifts are specialists at prompt diagnosis, repair and maintenance of your machine – whatever the model. With over 25 years’ industry experience, we’ve come across every issue imaginable, delivering swift correction of forklifts to get them back to full working health. Not only that, but we also deliver regular servicing to ensure your forklift doesn’t fall foul again. To discuss your issue with our advisors, simply contact us today.


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