Forklift truck daily checks: do I need a licence?

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Updated 27/03/2023

Much like commercial vehicles, forklift trucks (FLTs) should be checked regularly to ensure they are safe to use, and no major defects are present. There are various regulations that workplaces and forklift drivers alike should follow in order to keep up the maintenance of their vehicle that are required by law. But are forklift truck daily checks required, and do you need a licence to carry them out?

In this guide, we will explore whether a licence is needed to drive a forklift truck and carry out daily checks, and whether FLT daily checks are required by law. We will also discuss whether licence checks are part of the driver’s daily walkaround check routine, and the multiple benefits of using a daily check app.

Do I need a licence to drive a forklift truck and carry out daily checks?

In the UK, you do not need a licence to drive a forklift truck or carry out daily walkaround checks. However, FLT drivers do need to be trained in forklift operation in order to keep safe at work. Anyone operating a forklift truck must have adequate training according to the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER).

Although there is no licence for driving a forklift truck, drivers must be 18 or older to operate a forklift in a warehouse and at ports, or school leaving age anywhere else. Drivers must also have good vision and hearing and meet the general health requirements of a driving licence. They must also be trained to identify any risks from its use, and must be able to identify any safety defects.

You can read our full guide on the importance of daily forklift checks here.

Forklift loading a pallet onto a cargo container

Do forklifts have to be checked daily?

Although “daily checks” themselves are not legally required to be carried out, performing pre-use inspections is part of the forklift truck operator job description, as performing these checks allows the driver and company to be compliant with specific regulations.

As previously mentioned, PUWER states that anyone operating work equipment such as FLTs should ensure that it is maintained in an efficient state, and it should be checked regularly to ensure that all relevant features are functioning correctly. The Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER) advises that anyone operating lifting equipment should carry out a thorough examination of their vehicle. Therefore, daily inspections of FLTs are highly recommended in order to comply with these regulations.

To make daily forklift truck checks easier to carry out, our digital daily walkaround checklists allow you to submit your reports with ease, ensuring any defect reports go to the right person straight away. To find out more, or to request a demo, please get in touch with us here.

Are forklift truck pre-use safety inspections a legal requirement?

In order to comply with the various regulations in place, forklift truck drivers must regularly check the condition of their vehicle to ensure it is safe to drive. Failure to do so can lead to issues occurring for the business that the forklift driver is employed with, especially if they breach any relevant legislation in place. Although there are no licences for forklift trucks, drivers must also learn how to check and maintain their forklift truck during training.

Pre-use safety inspections, also known as forklift truck daily checks, are highly recommended and should be carried out each day before the forklift driver operates the vehicle. If any faults were detected the previous day, the driver must ensure that this has been resolved before driving. Important checks include fluid levels and leaks, lifting chains, tyres and wheels nuts, and the parking brake.

Are licence checks a part of my forklift daily walkaround checks?

Since no licence is legally required to drive a forklift truck, these are not included in your daily checks. Once you have passed your training you will be able to drive an FLT with no licence required, unlike larger vehicles such as HGVs.

However, you should check the interior and exterior of the forklift truck to identify any defects that may have occurred. Defects should be reported immediately to the relevant person within your company, and the forklift should not be operated until the fault has been resolved.

Forklift moving a pallet in a warehouse

What are the benefits of using a forklift checklist app?

Traditionally, companies have used paper checklists for forklifts, which can become easily damaged or lost. With digital daily walkaround checklists from AssetGo, you can reduce downtime by quickly reporting any defects, as well as making note of the areas which have passed your checks. This allows you to keep an easy-to-access record of daily checklists, so anyone driving the forklift next can check to see whether a previously identified defect has been resolved.

You can also personalise your checklists by swapping questions around to suit your fleet, keeping all forklifts in operational use and ensuring staff remain safe. You can also monitor the duration and standard of the checks to keep processes running smoothly, as well as include mandatory photo annotations to make it easier to identify a defect within your fleet.

How AssetGo can help

All data stored on the AssetGo app is kept safe and secure in a CMS system, leaving behind a reliable audit trail as daily walkaround check reports cannot be altered once they are submitted. If you would like to improve your FLT defect reporting processes, you can get in touch with our team today via our website.

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