How to carry out a pre-use daily forklift inspection

Can your operation manage without a forklift?

The forklift truck is often considered the workhorse of any operation. Ensuring that it is operating both safely and efficiently is vital, therefore pre-use daily forklift inspection is needed. Most faults can be found and then fixed if the operator carries out a pre-check before use. As well as identifying faults with the forklift or potential health and safety risks, the business can also benefit. Less downtime, longer lifespan and improved operator safety are just a few.

The daily check only takes a few minutes, but it can help identify any faults or show early signs of wear in common areas.

Where to start?

Firstly, you should make visual checks. Working in a methodical way, walking around the truck clockwise or anti-clockwise, checking the main visual and operational elements. This includes forks, mast, lift chain, lights, mirrors, wheels and tyres, hydraulics and the operator's compartment (steering wheel, seat belt etc).

Ensure forks, mast and chains are not bent, loose or stretched, also be mindful of wear on the fork heels. Check lights are working, and mirrors are clean, so visibility is not limited. Tyres are the trucks only contact point with the ground so check tyre tread and pressure. Also, make sure nothing is stuck in the tyre which could lead to a puncture. Finally, check the operator compartment is clean and safe with nothing lose rolling around.

Secondly, check all operational components are working as expected. Starting with the forks and mast make sure these are moving smoothly and respond when moved with the controls. Next, check the energy source (fuel/energy) before starting the forklift, moving it slowly and checking the brakes to stop. Once the forklift can stop and start safely, check the steering ensuring it moves smoothly and has no excessive play. Finally, check the seat and seat belt are secure and adjusted correctly and in good condition.

Lastly, you should keep a record of any faults or defects. Keeping a record will bring awareness to any potential safety issues and means extra care and attention can be taken when looking at certain areas of the truck. Repairs can be carried out and any occurring repairs can be noted and monitored to save money and downtime.

You can find out more about how your business can benefit from a pre-use daily forklift inspection here. A daily check does not mean your truck is LOLER and PUWER compliant. To find out more about these regulations, click here.

Warehouse foreman doing checks on a forklift