Closely linked to the lift truck’s ignition system, forklift electrical parts control the operation of a forklift’s motors. These parts consist of motor control units, diodes and rectifiers, resistors and relays, sensors, solenoids, switches and the wiring that connects the various components to each other.
Forklift replacement motors are available either as OEM, aftermarket, reconditioned or used parts. The age, type and power are the factors to consider in choosing a forklift motor. The age of a reconditioned or used motor is important because a lift truck must lift heavy loads while moving around.
Motor control units start or stop the motor, select the direction of its rotation, regulate the speed through motor speed controllers, limit the torque and protect it against overloads. Switches are an essential part of a motor control unit and may be directly connected to the battery or through relays and contactors connected to sensors which automatically start and stop the motor.
Contactors and relays are electrically-operated switches that are parts of a forklift’s electrical system. The contactor is a type of relay that is used to handle the high power needed to directly control the electric motor. Relays, on the other hand, are used to control a high-current circuit with a low-current signal such as the truck’s starter solenoid. A contactor is an essential part of a magnetic starter which starts the motor.
The starter motor is also connected to an alternator, an electromechanical device that converts mechanical energy into electrical energy. The alternator recharges the battery and powers the truck’s electrical system while the engine is running. Although the alternator runs at various RPM, the alternating current is converted by diodes and rectifiers into direct current. The solenoid is a specific type of relay that operate’s an electrical switch in the system.
The forklift electrical system is also connected to other electrically-operated parts like front and rear flood lights, taillights, the instrument panel and gauge lighting. Lights are turned on and off by individual switches wired into the electrical system. The brake light switch is often mounted above the brake pedal linkage and turns on when the driver steps on the brake pedal.
The lift truck’s electrical system provides electricity to the various instruments and gauges. These may include an ammeter, hour meter, fuel level gauge, engine oil pressure gauge, engine temperature gauge, transmission oil temperature gauge and air restriction indicator gauge.
Another set of parts connected to the truck’s electrical system are warning lights, buzzers, indicator lights and the horn. Among these are a warning light to indicate a broken belt, a broken belt warning buzzer and a transmission high range indicator light.
Lights, instrument panels, buzzers and switches are not always in the same location for a Toyota or Clark lift truck or other brands. Familiarity with the places in the truck where these are found will save on downtime when doing maintenance work on the truck’s electrical system.
The forklift electrical parts affect many components of the truck and need to be kept in good condition at all times for safe and efficient performance.