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Forklift Trucks - Daily Checks

When should an operator inspect the forklift truck?

An operator should inspect the forklift truck every day before using or before each shift.

What does a daily inspection involve?

The operator should carry out a visual check ("circle" check) before starting the forklift. After completing the visual pre-start check, the operator should do an operational pre-use check.

What should an operator inspect during the visual pre-use check?

  • General condition and cleanliness.
  • Floor - clear of objects that could cause an accident.
  • Overhead - no obstructions.
  • Nearby objects to avoid as you drive away.
  • Fire extinguisher - present and charged.
  • Engine oil level, fuel level, radiator water level (LPG, gas and diesel forklifts).
  • Battery - fully charged; no exposed wires; plug connections not loose, worn or dirty; vent caps not clogged; electrolyte levels in cells is adequate; secured in place by holddowns or brackets.
  • Bolts, nuts, guards, chains, or hydraulic hose reels not damaged, missing or loose.
  • Wheels and tires - check for wear, damage, and air pressure, if pneumatic tires.
  • Forks - forks not bent; no cracks present; positioning latches in good working condition; carriage teeth not broken, chipped or worn.
  • Chain anchor pins - not worn, loose or bent.
  • Fluid leaks - no damp spots or drips.
  • Hoses - held securely; not loose, crimped, worn or rubbing.
  • Horn - working and loud enough to be heard in working environment; other warning devices operational.
  • Seatbelt and/or operator restraint device (if equipped) - belts and restraints work properly; no visible wear or damage; anchors, buckles, etc. function properly.
  • Overhead guard - no damaged areas.
Forklift Truck

What should an operator inspect during the operational pre-use check?

  • Foot Brake - pedal holds, unit stops smoothly.
  • Parking Brake - holds against slight acceleration.
  • Deadman Seat Brake - holds when operator rises from seat.
  • Clutch and Gearshift - shifts smoothly with no jumping or jerking.
  • Dash Control Panel - all lights and gauges are operational.
  • Steering - moves smoothly.
  • Lift Mechanism - operates smoothly (check by raising forks to maximum height then lowering forks completely).
  • Tilt Mechanism - moves smoothly, holds (check by tilting mast all the way forward and backward).
  • Cylinders and Hoses - not leaking after above checks.
  • Listen for any unusual sounds or noises.
  • Lights - headlights and warning lights are operational.

Report any problems identified in daily check to the supervisor immediately.

Document last updated on June 7, 2013

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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.