What you need to know about Thorough Examination

Most – but not all – people involved in materials handling will know that Thorough Examination is in many ways the forklift truck’s equivalent of a car’s MOT test. But what else do you need to know? If you’re about to stop reading because you hire your forklift trucks rather than own them, please don’t. This concerns you too.

Even if you hire a forklift truck for just a short period, you have a legal obligation to ensure it has a current Report of Thorough Examination – which is a bit like having an MOT certificate. The owner of that hire truck will be responsible for arranging Thorough Examination at the appropriate times but you can’t just assume that this has been done.

If you hire or lease a forklift truck on a longer-term basis, you need to know whether any maintenance contract you have for it includes Thorough Examination. Maintenance and Thorough Examination are different things, just as your car’s annual service is different from its MOT.

If Thorough Examination isn’t covered by your contract, you need to arrange it – and again you need to be sure that your forklift truck always has a current Report of Thorough Examination.

If you own a forklift truck, the responsibility for arranging Thorough Examination at the right intervals is entirely yours.

There are some important differences between Thorough Examinations and MOT’s that you should know about. One is that a Thorough Examination is needed right from year one of a forklift truck’s life.

Another is that some forklift trucks require Thorough Examination every six months or even three months, not just annually, so you might need one when your truck is just three months old. A specialist like Fork Truck Direct will advise you on that. You should also bear in mind that forklift attachments also need to be examined.

Something else you need to consider is that not all Thorough Examinations are the same. If you take your car for its MOT, you expect every test centre to apply very similar procedures and standards. In the world of materials handling and Thorough Examination this is not the case.

The legislation applying to Thorough Examination is open to interpretation by different examiners. In particular, the list of components and systems checked may vary, as may the methods of checking them. As a result, a defect may be missed and your forklift truck may be left in a dangerous and illegal condition.

To tackle that kind of uncertainty, the materials handling industry set up its own Thorough Examination procedure, specifically for forklift trucks, over ten years ago. The initiative was taken by the industry’s two main trade associations, the Fork Lift Truck Association (FLTA) and British Industrial Truck Association (BITA).

Together they formed CFTS – Consolidated Fork Truck Services – to establish a procedure and code of practice, to run an accreditation scheme for those wishing to deliver CFTS Thorough Examinations, and to provide the necessary CFTS Thorough Examination documentation.

Fork Truck Direct is one of the providers accredited by the CFTS scheme, which means we are committed to upholding those high standards. If you go to a CFTS accredited provider, like Fork Truck Direct, you can rest assured that your Thorough Examination will comply fully with the law.

For extra reassurance, your CFTS Thorough Examination documents will bear the CFTS ‘forklift tick’ logo. Only CFTS accredited providers are allowed to use this. In a world of confusion, it’s a symbol that gives peace of mind.