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Landscaping - Vehicle Start-up - the Circle Check

What should I do before starting a vehicle?

  • Read, understand, and follow manufacturer's operating manual.
  • Know how to operate the vehicle and use any related equipment or attachments safety. Be familiar with the location and function of all the controls.
  • Inspect your vehicle daily.
  • Develop a routine method of inspecting vehicle (e.g. start at the front on the driver's side and walk towards the back, and around past the passenger side, checking the items listed below).
Be familiar with the location and function of all the controls

There are many tips in other Landscaping OSH Answers documents.


What should I check before operating a vehicle?

  • Adjust seat and controls.
  • Make sure you have your driver's license on you.
  • Fasten seat belt if tractor/loader is equipped with roll-over protection structure (ROPS).

Check for correct operation of the following:

  • Parking Brake--holds against slight acceleration.
  • Foot Brake--holds, stops vehicle smoothly.
  • Clutch and Gearshift--shifts smoothly without jumping or jerking.
  • Steering--moves smoothly; no "play".
  • Lights--headlights, warning lights, and turn signals operational.
  • Dash Control Panel--all lights and gauges operational.
  • All Moving Parts--no strange noises.
  • Horn--operational.
  • Visibility--mirrors properly adjusted; windows clean and intact.
  • Wipers/washer--functioning and intact.
  • Tires--pressure, tread depth or damage.
  • Wheels and fasteners--no defects in rim, loose or missing fasteners.
  • Seat belts--in good condition and being used.
  • Vehicle back-up alarm--operational, where required.
  • Hydraulic systems--no evidence of leaks and systems operate smoothly.
  • On tractors, power take off shields--in place.
  • Fluid levels - oil, gas, brakes, washer fluid. Check for leaks.
  • Load--secure and complying with regulations; hitch in good condition.
  • Emergency equipment--installed and inspected as required by law or company policy.
  • Record and report any defects to your supervisor immediately.

Document last updated on January 31, 2008
Document confirmed current on March 1, 2016

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Although every effort is made to ensure the accuracy, currency and completeness of the information, CCOHS does not guarantee, warrant, represent or undertake that the information provided is correct, accurate or current. CCOHS is not liable for any loss, claim, or demand arising directly or indirectly from any use or reliance upon the information.