forklift oil leaks

oil leak safety hazards

Are you spotting forklift oil on the warehouse floor? Or, is forklift oil being replenished every two weeks to manage a leak?

Forklift oil leaks are bothersome and depending on the source of a forklift oil leak, the repair can be expensive. If the leak isn’t resolved easily with a hose or O-ring, the issue may stem from the engine, transmission, pump mast, or control valve.

But, is it really cheaper to live with a leak? Not when all concerns and costs involved with the forklift and jobsite safety are considered. 


Excessive Heat

The forklift mast going to full height is not a true indicator of sufficient oil levels. A standard forklift carries 3-5 gallons of oil in reserve primarily for cooling but also for installation of a taller mast or attachment that would require more oil. Temperature is a major enemy in the life of components. Over time, an expensive pump or other parts may be destroyed because of increased heat.

Slips & Falls

Oil on the floor is a hazard for pedestrian and equipment traffic, leaving a company vulnerable to worker compensation claims. Also, a consistent oil leak is a known hazard and if not eliminated, may result in a fine issued by OSHA.

Fire Hazard

On a daily basis, forklifts pick up items such as dust, dirt, paper, and shrink wrap. If these elements become soaked with oil, a source of ignition can spark a flame. A forklift fire produces extensive damage and puts employees and product at risk.


A forklift is a heavy machine carrying loads in close proximity to employees. A leak can be a sign of future hydraulic system failure. The failure will causes a loss of control of the forklift and its weight. This can prove to be devastating for the employees in its course. 

Consider forklift oil leaks as warner signals. If not heeded, they can lead to progression of the problem, expensive repairs, and employee injury.

Call Thompson & Johnson today to speak to an equipment specialist or fill out a Customer Request Email Form above! 

Got Questions?

If you have a question on this or any topic related to safety with your forklift, give our resident expert, Dave Bennet, a call or fill out the request form.