Things to Check Before You Use Your Forklift

Things to Check Before You Use Your Forklift

Inspecting any and all forklifts in your fleet before anyone uses them will ensure the safety of your employees, whether they’re going to be operating the forklift or not. It will also help to maintain the condition of your forklift as well as protect stock from damage, which could cost you money in the long run.

Due to the importance of rigorous visual and operational forklift inspections, Refurbished Forklifts will be outlining exactly what you should look for when carrying out your checks, together with when they should be done and who to tell should something go wrong.

When should you carry out a forklift inspection?

A visual and an operational forklift inspection should be carried out once a day at least. Where both visual and operational checks should be conducted at the start of every shift and before anyone begins to operate the forklifts, an operational inspection should be carried out every time a forklift driver has finished using it and before anyone else operates it the same day. Therefore, an operational forklift inspection should be conducted more regularly than a visual forklift inspection.

What should a forklift inspection involve?

It’s important that visual and operational checks are carried out on a regular basis in order to ensure the safety of your employees who either operate the forklifts or who work on the warehouse floor. It will also help to maintain the forklifts you have in your fleet as any problems can be identified, inspected and rectified in good time.

It may even aid in protecting your stock and other warehouse equipment as obstructions will be identified (during a visual inspection) in and around the vicinity of the forklift itself before being operated. But what should you be keeping an eye out for when conducting visual and operational inspections on your forklift?

What should you look for during a visual forklift inspection?

There are several things you should look out for when conducting a visual forklift inspection, including:

  • Overall condition of the forklift
  • The cleanliness of the machine
  • Look for overhead obstructions
  • Locate nearby objects, if there are any, that could cause harm to the operator or damage the forklift if it’s driven into. If you do identify any obstructions, move them out of the way if possible
  • A fire extinguisher must be present, easy to access and is also charged
  • Check fluid levels, including engine oil, fuel levels, radiator fluid and liquified petroleum gas if an LP Gas or diesel forklift
  • Inspect propane equipment, including the fuel tank mounting system, propane relief valves, hose condition and fuel tank position pin
  • The battery must not have any exposed wires, plug connections should not be loose, dirty or worn, vent caps should not be clogged and the battery itself should be fully charged
  • Nuts, bolts, chains, guards and hydraulic hose reels should be checked for damage, but you should also check that they aren’t loose or missing from the vehicle entirely
  • Check wheels and tyres for wear and tear, damage and even air pressure
  • The forks themselves should not be bent, cracked or sit at different heights. The positioning latches should be in fully working order and the carriage teeth should not be worn, chipped or broken
  • The chain anchor pins should be inspected to ensure they’re not bent, loose or worn
  • Look for damp spots and drips when trying to identify fluid leaks
  • Hoses should be secured safely and not be crimped, loose or rubbing against other elements of the forklift
  • Check the operator compartment for grease and/or debris
  • Seatbelts and operator restraints should function properly with no visible signs of wear or damage
  • Seat locks should be in the correct position
  • The overhead guard or roll over protection structure should be intact, look for damage and wear and tear
  • Check that any remaining guards are in place and are in a good, adequate condition

What should you look for during an operational forklift inspection?

An operational forklift inspection involves checking elements of the forklift such as the brake, the clutch, the gear stick and the steering. Although, there are a fair few other things that should be checked during an operational forklift inspection, inclusive of the brakes, clutch, steering and gear stick:

  • The foot brake should not be spongy and the vehicle should come to a smooth, controlled stop
  • The parking brake holds against a slight, small level of acceleration
  • When the operator vacates the seat, the deadman seat brake should activate
  • The clutch and gear stick should operate as smoothly as possible, without jerking or jumping
  • The dashboard and control panel lights should be operational and the gauges should be visible and accurate
  • The horn should be easily heard in a working environment
  • Reverse alarm and other warning alarms and devices should be fully operational
  • All lights should work and not be dim
  • The steering should be smooth and not too heavy
  • Ensure the lifting mechanism operates smoothly also. To check this, raise the forks to the maximum height and then lower it back to its lowest level again
  • The tilting mechanism should hold the maximum load with little effort and move smoothly. Try tilting the mast all the way forward and then backwards again to check the tilting mechanism is functioning properly
  • The cylinders or hoses should not be leaking
  • Listen for unusual noises or sounds either when you’re onboard the forklift or standing beside it when checking for other things

Here’s how Refurbished Forklifts can help you

If you find that, upon inspecting your forklift, there are a few issues that are either too expensive to fix or completely irreparable, then Refurbished Forklifts have a number of reliable, cost-effective solutions available to help improve the efficiency and productivity of your business.

As well as a number of used forklifts available for purchase or hire, we also have a wide range of reconditioned material handling equipment for you to choose from, all from some of the best, most reputable brands in the industry. The refurbished warehouse machinery we have in our extensive collection includes:

  • Pallet trucks
  • Reach trucks
  • Stackers
  • Order pickers
  • Tow trucks
  • Scissor lifts

We understand how expensive it can be to buy brand new material handling equipment, hence why we’re proud to be able to offer our customers throughout the East Midlands and the surrounding areas with robust, high-quality, reconditioned machines that’ll help to keep warehouse operations moving in the right direction and all for a reasonable price.

Our specialist team work tirelessly around the clock to ensure that the equipment we provide is always manufactured and reconditioned to an exceptional standard and is entirely safe to operate every single time. The machines we supply our customers can always be relied upon to give many more hours of service, making it an effective replacement for the equipment you’re looking to replace.

As well as equipment replacements, we’ll also be able to help with expanding your current fleet or ensure that, if you’re buying an individual machine, you’re provided with the right make and model for you. We’re also able to take your old forklift off your hands, no matter how many of them you’re looking to get rid of. Regardless of what it is you need, we’ll have a service that will be able to offer the perfect solution.

For more information about the used material handling and warehouse equipment we have available, including second-hand diesel, electric and LP Gas forklifts, get in touch with a member of our expert, dedicated team today – we’re always on hand to help.

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