Why should you check your forklift truck daily, and why is it so important?

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Updated 27/03/2023

A forklift truck (FLT) is used in many different work environments, including construction sites and warehouses. There are different forklift trucks suitable for indoor and outdoor use, and those who operate them should be trained to do so. The Health and Safety Executive’s Approved Code of Practice states that those operating a forklift should check the vehicle in accordance with the vehicle handbook. But what daily walkaround checks are required, and why are they so important?

In this guide, we will explore what should be carried out during a daily forklift truck check, whether or not they are a legal requirement, and how often inspections should be carried out. We will also discuss what happens if a forklift truck fails its daily checks, and how AssetGo can help.

Forklift in a warehouse surrounded by stacked pallets

What should be checked during a daily forklift check?

Forklift trucks are important vehicles that must be operated with care and expertise. Anyone driving a forklift should carry out routine daily walkaround checks in order to ensure that the vehicle is working optimally. Checks to carry out include:

  • Faults from the previous day; if a defect was found during the previous daily check, the forklift operator should ensure that it has been fixed before driving the forklift truck

  • Fluid levels and any leaks; fluid levels that need to be checked include fuel, electrolytes, hydraulic fluid, and engine oil

  • Mast, carriage and lifting chains

  • Forks; any cracks, faults and bends, particularly on the mounting hooks and heels, should be reported as a defect

  • Tyres wheels and nuts; any cuts or bulges would classify as a defect. The tyre pressure and tread must be correct, and all wheel nuts should be fitted securely

  • Service and parking brakes

  • The interior of the cabin, including seatbelts, backrests and steering.

  • Warning devices; check reversing beacons and other alarms where fitted

Drivers should also make sure that all operating systems and warning lights are working correctly, and any valves or seals susceptible to dirt intake should be checked to avoid deterioration. All lights should be working properly, and mirrors should be positioned to give the driver the best all-around view.

Are daily walkaround checks of forklifts required?

Various legislations are in place that ensure all forklift trucks are being used and maintained appropriately and safely. The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 applies to general safety within any workplace, whereas the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER) and Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER) deal with equipment and risks.

PUWER states that employers should ensure all work equipment is maintained in an efficient state, so their performance does not deteriorate to the extent that people are put at risk. It also states that equipment may need to be checked regularly to guarantee that “safety-related features are functioning correctly.”

LOLER deals with lifting equipment such as forklift trucks and mentions that anyone who manages or operates lifting equipment should thoroughly examine their vehicle. Any vehicles susceptible to deterioration should be inspected by a competent person at “suitable intervals.” Therefore, daily walkaround checks of your forklift truck fleet are essential for promoting forklift safety in the workplace and ensuring that they are fit for purpose. To create easily accessible and thorough checklists for your fleet, you can try our app at AssetGo for free here.

How often should forklift checks be carried out?

Walkaround checks should be carried out daily by anyone operating the forklift truck. Even if the truck has previously been checked by a driver, any new driver operating the truck on the same day should still carry out their own checks. Any defects found should be reported to the relevant person within your company.

PUWER and LOLER also recommend a “thorough examination” of each forklift truck, which is separate from your daily checks. These should be carried out before the forklift truck is used for the first time, before use at a new location and regularly in service, which should be carried out every six and 12 months.

As well as these maintenance requirements, daily walkaround checks are highly advised for forklift trucks. They are frequently exposed to dirt and debris, which can enter the mechanics of the forklift truck over time, leading to deterioration and failure. Some forklift trucks lift large, heavy objects, which can place strain on the forks and chains. A daily safety inspection can prepare you for these service intervals, allowing you to notice defects before they become a major cause for concern and guarantee that the forklift is in good condition.

To find out more about our digital daily checklists, and how we can help you manage your fleet, get in touch with us here today.

Forklift driver performing daily checks on a forklift

What happens if a forklift fails its daily walkaround check?

If you find a serious defect during your daily vehicle check, you should report it immediately and refrain from using your forklift truck until the issue is resolved. If you aren’t sure whether a defect is a safety hazard, you should still make a note and get the forklift truck checked over. Driving a forklift truck with a serious defect can have dangerous consequences, so you should always be cautious when discovering a potential fault.

How AssetGo can help

Here at AssetGo, our CMS system and app allows you to access checklists, vehicle data and driver information all from one secure platform. Drivers of forklift trucks and commercial vehicles alike can access pre-made checklists and report defects quickly, reducing downtime and improving safety across your fleet. Paper checklists that can easily become damaged or lost are no longer required, allowing your drivers to get on with their day in a more efficient manner.

To find out more, please get in touch with us today to request a demo of our system.

Common queries

How do you carry out a forklift inspection?

Using a checklist, the driver should inspect the interior and exterior of the forklift truck, ensuring all features and operating systems are up to standard. Checks should be carried out safely by a competent person.

Why is a forklift checklist important?

Creating a forklift inspection checklist is a great way to keep all of your daily checks in one place so no part of your forklift is missed. Daily checks can improve safety and reduce the chance of the vehicle failing due to excessive wear and tear.

How long should I keep my forklift inspection records for?

Daily inspection checklist records should be kept and stored securely for at least 15 months.

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