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Blog posts from Marshall Cromer, "The Forklift Boss". Follow us for information on forklift safety, strategic advice from our team's service experts, and upcoming technologies shaping the future of material handling!

Feb 24, 2022

How to Clear Out Your Forklift's Air Cleaner System

Spring will soon arrive. Now's a good time to clear out your forklifts' airflow!

The air cleaner system is a relatively simple system, but critical to daily operation. A clog or buildup inside the forklift's airflow increases the risk of overheating, leading to breakdowns and engine damage.

This is about more than just replacing the air filter. Since air flows through the forklift every minute of its operation, we need to take precise care of the air cleaner system.

Here's what the Cromer team does, and recommends for our customers.

Air Cleaner System Maintenance

When to Service a Forklift's Air Cleaner System

Generally, we should aim to replace air filters at the same time we change the engine oil filter.

When do you do that? Consult your forklift's manual for recommended filter change intervals. Don't have it on hand? Here's our rule of thumb – every 500 service hours, and not one hour more.

The Clearing Process, Step by Step

When it's time to clear out a forklift's airflow, here's what to do. Each step only takes a moment, which means you can conduct the service in less than 15 minutes per forklift.

  1. First, verify that you have the proper air filter for the forklift brand. CAT forklifts use a cylindrical filter, while Clark forklifts use a rectangular filter.
  2. Open the air filter housing. Slide the filter out.
    1. If the filter looks clean, even though it's been in use for a while, replace it anyway. It may have dirt & debris buried inside you can't see.
  3. Inspect the housing while empty.
    1. If the housing appears dusty, use a dry cloth to wipe the interior.
    2. If the housing appears stained, dented, or oily, replace the housing. Did you see oil/grease? Check the entire forklift over for the source of the leak.
  4. DO NOT blow the system out with compressed air. This can force debris past the housing and toward the engine, where it's almost guaranteed to cause damage.
  5. Add in the new air filter.
    1. Mark the date on the new filter, so everyone knows its install date.
    2. Note the filter's future replacement date on the service calendar. The filter's own documentation may indicate a replacement interval. If so, use that.
    3. Replace any damaged gaskets you find when changing the air filter. Always use a new gasket!
  6. Check around the filter housing. Make sure there are no leaks in the ducting or hose…otherwise, they'll give particles a direct path to the engine.
  7. Replace any clamps you see with rust or breaks.
  8. Verify that the forklift has its inlet hood firmly in place, and all tubes are clear.
  9. Inspect the air cleaner system one final time, front to back. You're checking to make sure clamps are tight, and seals are intact.
  10. Start the forklift up to test airflow and sound. Note if the forklift sounds louder or rougher (it shouldn't).
  11. You're done! Return the forklift to normal rotation.

Air Cleaner Maintenance is Simple, But Critical. Service Yours on Schedule.

If you don't have service technicians on staff to handle replacements & inspections, call your local Cromer. Our service teams will take care of all forklift maintenance for your fleet—including the air cleaner system.

Until next month!

Marshall Cromer, The Forklift Boss

Cromer Material Handling


Deal of the Month

2017 Mitsubishi Sit-Down Forklift – $24,500

2017 Mitsubishi FG25N for Sale

For our February Deal of the Month, we have a low-hours used 2017 Mitsubishi FG25N. This is a 4-wheel sit-down LPG lift truck, already retail-ready.

This is a great middle-grade forklift. With a 5000# lift capacity, a three-stage mast, and pneumatic tires, it will go wherever you need it to. This model has 4,540 hours on it, and is ready for many more.

For the price, you can't beat it. What's the price? Only $24,500.

To pick up, call Cromer at 800.974.5438 and ask for the February Deal of the Month.