Tech Tips

Joystick Inspection

The first step in a joystick inspection is to check your power source. Make sure your batteries are fully charged. For a slab electric scissor lift (24volt), fully charged batteries should read 26.5 to 27.8 volts. You can load test your batteries by hooking up a voltmeter to the batteries and operating the lift function from the lower controls and observe the voltage. If the voltmeter drops to 22 volts or below, you have a battery problem or bad connections on the batteries. Proper voltage is critical so always use a voltmeter, not a test light.

Before condemning a joystick and replacing it, a few quick tests can be done to see if the joystick is the problem. Most joysticks will control more than one function with the most common being lift and drive. These functions change using a switch. The joystick does not know if it is in a drive mode or a lift mode, it only knows which direction it is moved off center and how far it is moved off center. If drive functions work correctly but lift functions don’t, and vise-versa, the problem is probably not in the joystick but in the switch or the wiring.

Next, make sure that you are getting voltage to the joystick. Consult the manufacturer’s schematic drawings to know what wires to check. If your machine uses proportional controls, the trimpots may be out of adjustment (see adjusting trimpots blog). If you are unsure of how to do these adjustments, STOP. Check the manufacturer’s service manual or find someone who knows how to make these adjustments.

Joysticks are comprised of moving components and these items can and will wear over time. If there seems to be an excessive amount of play then it is time to replace the individual component or replace the entire joystick.  While most of the components are available individually, you will need to determine how much time you want to spend, how many parts you want to replace, and ask yourself if it is cheaper to just replace the joystick. Remember that if you are going to repair the joystick you will need to supply as much information as possible when ordering parts. Any data labels on the joystick are important to receive the correct components. The joystick may have been replaced previously with an “aftermarket” component and some items may have compatibility issues, may no longer be available, may have superseded to different components, and/or updates kits may have been installed.

C-Tech offers free Technical Assistance for help maintaining your C-Tech joystick controllers.  Please contact us at 1-888-755-7311, email us, or chat with us on our website.  Our friendly and knowledgeable staff is standing by to help!