You’ve watched the technician from the Hyster or Yale dealership using his laptop computer and the Ifak cable to diagnose and program your forklift. Pretty cool, right? So how does this help him repair my forklift?
The software reads the on-board diagnostics built into your forklift. It contains a database of all of the possible diagnostics codes in the system and the associated troubleshooting guides. The tools included allow the technician to test individual components right from the computer screen without opening his toolbox. He can also make adjustments to your forklift’s transmission, speed control, operator access, impact monitors and many others. He can look at temperatures and operation history and current status. All of this helps your technician to diagnose and repair your forklift in short order.
Now you want to know where you can get the software and IFAK interface cable. Sorry, they’re not available for sale anywhere we’ve found. Even if you could purchase one, you wouldn’t have access to the Hyster/Yale website that the dealers use with their laptops.
Nacco (the parent company for Hyster and Yale) will only allow access to their software to fully trained and certified technicians that work for their dealerships. It is easy to explain when you understand what is at stake.
The adjustments available to the technician are very complicated and take a great deal of training to understand how to correctly calibrate and adjust your forklift. There are also some options available that are activated through software and must be purchased through your dealer. Nacco technicians are required to take hundreds of hours of factory training to become certified with their software. If an untrained person were to make certain adjustments it could cause an unsafe condition.
The liability for the dealer and the manufacturer would be enormous.
How You Can Access Diagnostics
All is not lost. The forklifts built today give the technician or customer access to much of these diagnostics tools through a menu system on the dash. You can access most of the diagnostics codes and make limited adjustments right from the dash display. Often many dealers technicians don’t even use the IFAK cable–they simply look at the code displayed on the dash.
It is important to remember that many mechanical problems can be diagnosed and repaired in the same way as in the past. Forklifts are still basic machines that have become safer and more efficient thanks to technology.