Forklift Grease Guide

Updated: Apr 18, 2019

Regardless of your application, it is crucial to ensure that your equipment is sufficiently greased on a weekly basis. Proper greasing will prolong the life of your equipment and major components, allowing you to stay on the job while keeping downtime to a minimum. A few minutes every week is all it takes, so make sure you have greasing added to your weekly schedule. It can be difficult to know where all the grease points on a forklift are, so that’s why we made this video. The location of each major greasing point is outlined while a few tips are given for proper greasing and safety.


All manufacturers recommend a weekly greasing schedule that must be followed to reduce downtime and costly repairs. For the purpose of going over grease points, we have selected a 16,000 lb forklift which will have similar grease point locations to most other models. Before starting greasing, ensure that you chock the wheels to prevent the forklift from moving.

Let’s start with the steer axle. Here we’ll have the left inner steer link. You’ll want to ensure that you’re pumping enough grease into it so that you see the old grease being pumped out. Next, we’ll do the same thing for the left outer steer link. After this we have the left upper king pin and the left lower king pin as shown in the video. Once these have been done, repeat all of these grease points for the right side of the unit (right inner & outer steer link, right upper & lower king pin).

Next, you’ll want to grease the steer-axle mount pivot pins. The model shown in the video has remote mounted steel lines that provide easier accessibility. For other models however, you’ll see these pins on the steer axles themselves. Once you’re done greasing these components, make sure you wipe off any excess grease.

After this, we’ll be moving on to the Front and Rear U-Joints and the Slip Yoke on the drive shaft. These components are located underneath the unit for most models, so ensure that you are using the best safety practices when performing greasing on them. Next up, we have the Cab Tilt Pins & Bushings. These are located beneath the cab on near the front and towards the back. Ensure that that you grease both of them.

Once all of these components have been greased, it’s time to move on to the forks. Lubricate the Upper Fork Bar and the Lower Fork Bar as shown in the video to reduce friction when transporting loads. Some forks have grease fittings at the top of the forks, so you’ll want to deposit the grease into these fittings instead. Once you have performed the first wave of greasing, move the forks to the opposite side and grease them again. This will ensure that there is a well-distributed coat of grease across the forks. A small painters brush works well to spread the grease, but if you don’t have one, you can just use the greaser itself to distribute it.

Next, we’re moving on to the Upper Side Shift Bushings, which will typically have a grease fitting above them as shown in the video. Ensure that you grease both the Right and the Left shift bushings, then put a little grease on the bars themselves. Now we’ll be greasing the Carriage Upper Bearings on both sides. You won’t be able to see the old grease exit the bearings, but you should be able to hear it. About 6 pumps of grease is typically sufficient. After this, we’re on to the Outer Tilt Cylinder Pin & Bushings and the Barrel-end Tilt Cylinder Pin & Bushings on both sides of the machine. The locations of these components are shown in the video, but make sure you pump grease into each of them until you see the old grease coming out.

Now that these components have been greased, raise and lower the forks and move them from side to side. This spreads the grease and ensures a more even coating. Once the forks have been raised, you can access the Lower Carriage Bearings and Lower Mast Bearings as shown in the video. PLEASE NOTE: Whenever you are working under the forks of the machine, you must be using certified chains that are rated for the required load to hold the forks in place. Once the forks have been secured, we can move on to the Trunnion Pins & Bearings. These areas are often neglected, which can cause a lot of damage over time. You will often have to remove old grease to find the grease nipples as shown in the video.

Once these lower components have been greased, it’s time to move on to the Chain Pulleys at the top of the mast (also referred to as Chain Shivs). You’ll also want to grease the Lift Chains themselves to greatly reduce the amount of friction on them, keeping wear and tear to a minimum. While greasing the chains, we recommend holding a piece of cardboard behind the chain to block any excess spray from getting onto the windshield. Now that this has been done, give the machine one last inspection to ensure that you have greased ALL of the points mentioned above.

By following this weekly greasing guide, you’ll experience less downtime, improved performance, and have an overall enhanced machine experience.