4 Reasons Your Forklift Won’t Start and What To Do

You may climb into your forklift truck only to find that it won’t start for some reason. If your forklift won’t start, read our guide on four reasons it’s struggling and what you can do about it.

EPO Button

If your forklift won’t start, you’ll want first to ensure that the Emergency Power Off (EPO) button isn’t active. It may seem silly, but one of the most common reasons a forklift won’t start is that something or someone hit the EPO button, and the operator forgot to deactivate it.

Luckily, this is easy to fix. All you need to do is deactivate the EPO, and it should start back up again.

Dead Battery

If it’s an electric forklift, one of the first places you’ll want to check is the battery. One of the most common reasons a forklift doesn’t start is the battery has drained for some reason. It could be that someone left the key in the ignition or left a light on. The battery may also simply be old and no longer useful.

Fortunately, batteries are some of the most common forklift replacement parts, as they can go through them rather quickly with their heavy use and operation. If the forklift has used the same battery for a few years, it may be time for a replacement.

Overheating Engine

Another typical reason a forklift truck struggles to switch on is it’s overheated. While this is more often the case with outdoor forklifts operating in the sweltering summer heat, it can also occur in indoor trucks that people have overworked or improperly maintained.

You should first check the forklift radiator if the forklift has a combustible engine instead of an electric motor. Adding some fluid should fix the issue if the coolant levels are low. If the forklift keeps overheating, you should check for any signs of hose leaks or blockages preventing the coolant from reaching the engine.

Faulty Spark Plugs

If the engine of the forklift truck is turning over but not starting, you should probably check the spark plugs. A common symptom of faulty spark plugs is the engine turning over but failing to start due to a lack of spark.

You’ll likely need a spark tester to measure if the spark from the plugs is weak or strong. If the tester comes out with a weak result for the spark, you’ll have to replace the plugs. This is why it’s wise always to have spare parts like spark plugs on hand to avoid waiting for replacements to arrive.

By Dianne Pajo

Dianne Pajo is a writer based out of the Chicagoland area with a passion for music, combat sports, and animals. She enjoys competing in amateur boxing and kickboxing, but in her other leisure time, you can find her performing music around the city. She is also a dog mom of 2.