Cleaning of a forklift truck comes down to your forklift maintenance. Although many operate in areas which are clean, dry and indoors so require relatively little cleaning some operate within dusty, muddy and wet conditions and thus will require some extra attention.
Due to the fact that forklifts have chains, cylinders, valves and seals they are vulnerable to dirt and if there is dirt within these parts for long periods of time they will start to deteriorate and eventually they will fail. In this failure they will cause disruptive and unscheduled maintenance to be carried out on them.
Some forklifts are operated with or around corrosive materials and so this could cause great damage to them. Through keeping the forklift clean this can reduce the overall exposure to risk.
Never stream clean or power wash the chains of a forklift. These chains are lubricated and need to retain their lubrication. Ensure that this lubrication when cleaning is not contaminating other parts of the forklift such as the windscreen.
Bearings, seals, gaiters and anything within the forklift truck are obviously not used to close contact with high pressure or any steam cleaning equipment so when cleaning keep them well away.
In addition to this believe it or not the sidewalls of pneumatic tyres can be damaged or weakened by high pressure water. If this water is hot then it is even worse and some soap may cause damage too.
Forklift trucks are commonly used within the construction industry which results in them coming into contact with cement and other corrosive substances such as salt. Care should be taken in order try and wash these off as soon as contact as been made.
In addition to the above points you need to realise that cleaning a forklift truck will result in contaminants being produced and the cleaner needs to wear PPE appropriate to the equipment being used. You should contact the Environmental Health Office for more information concerning this or you could call Ability Handling Ltd.