The importance of daily forklift checks

At Fork Truck Direct we believe that the benefits of carrying out proper daily and pre-shift checks on your forklift truck – and the risks arising from not doing so – should never be underestimated.

With any kind of materials handling equipment, the cost of repairs tends to be much lower if defects are detected and addressed early. Continued operation of a defective forklift truck can lead to further damage, often way in excess of the original problem.

Unnecessarily high amounts of downtime are another consequence of failing to pick up faults through daily checks. Instead of being repaired quickly and efficiently, the forklift truck is left to continue malfunctioning until it eventually breaks down. Breakdowns never happen at a convenient time, so your business suffers disruption and production is halted. After you have coped with all of that, you are then presented with a bigger repair bill than would have been necessary if only your daily checks had caught the issue sooner.

Aside from lowering the risk of breakdown, daily checks also help to keep your materials handling equipment working at maximum efficiency. Even a small change in energy consumption or performance can soon add up to big costs for your business. Daily checks, as part of a careful maintenance regime, will also extend the life of your forklift truck and reduce the total cost of ownership.

The most important motivation for carrying out and enforcing daily checks to your forklift truck, of course, is to keep your employees safe. Defective materials handling equipment can be deadly, as we all know. 

Regulation 5 of PUWER 98 (Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998) says: “Every employer shall ensure that work equipment is maintained in an efficient state, in working order and in good repair.” Failure to ensure that daily checks are carried out goes against that legal responsibility and could land you in serious trouble.

Some tips from Fork Truck Direct

  1. Whether you own, lease or hire the forklift truck, carry out daily checks just as thoroughly. Don’t treat hired materials handling equipment differently, just because it doesn’t belong to you!
  2. Follow the guidance provided by the manufacturer or supplier on what needs to be checked and how.
  3. Consider using the Daily Checks booklet from the FLTA (Fork Lift Truck Association – of which Fork Truck Direct is a member) as an easy way of structuring and recording checks.
  4. Keep a written record of the checks made and any issues raised.
  5. Don’t place a time limit on the daily checks procedure. It will usually take between five and ten minutes, but the operator should be allowed to spend longer if he or she feels a need to look more closely at something.
  6. If a problem is noted, don’t operate the truck until a supervisor has been informed and the necessary action has been taken to resolve it.