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Opinion FLTA

Keep your truck in check

In this month’s Fact File, the Fork Lift Truck Association will focus on the importance of daily or pre-shift checks in keeping fork lift truck operations productive, legal and – above all else – safe.

The importance of properly looking after a fork lift truck cannot

be overstated. While it might be tempting to “save” time by dealing with faults as they occur, this can have serious consequences on your operations, including breakdowns and subsequent unplanned (and costly) stoppages. Worse still, neglecting maintenance can lead to serious accidents and cause you to fall foul of the law.

The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER 98), Regulation 5, states: “Every employer shall ensure that work equipment is maintained in an effi cient state, in effi cient working order and in good repair.”


this ensures that equipment is safe. However, the state of maintenance has clear implications on productivity.

Key safety considerations: ●

If operators are unsure of any aspect of the check process – or its outcomes – they should bring this to the immediate attention of their supervisor;

When a truck’s warning light is illuminated, it must not be used unless you know it is safe to operate;

If any fault affecting safety is discovered, a truck should not be used until it has been rectifi ed.

26 August 2012 Storage Handling Distribution DAILY CHECKS

A sound system of daily or pre- shift checks is the cornerstone of good maintenance, ensuring essential fl uids are kept topped up and potential defects are identifi ed before they become a problem.

Daily checks should be completed by fork lift truck operators at the start of their shift or working day, as required by their employer. These should be recorded formally and carried out properly. Typically, a pre-shift check should take between fi ve and

10 minutes. A range of items will be looked at by the operator, including: • any outstanding faults; • obvious leaks; • warning lights; • tyres, wheels and nuts; • damage to vital components.

This is by no means an exhaustive list. For further guidance on the items which your pre-shift check should cover, refer to guidance from your fork lift truck’s manufacturer or your dealer.

TREAD CAREFULLY As the only part of a fork lift truck which is always in contact with the ground, a tyre can be especially vulnerable to damage, making them a potentially dangerous and expensive hazard.

When damaged, in poor

The condition of the truck’s tyres should also be monitored as part of routine preventative maintenance. Action should be taken to replace damaged or worn tyres without delay. Free fact sheets covering this topic, alongside a host of others

“While it might be tempting to ‘save’ time by dealing with faults as they occur, this can have serious consequences on your operations”

condition, or (in the case of pneumatic tyres) under- or over- infl ated, they may adversely affect a truck’s stability. Therefore, checking of all tyres is an important element of a daily or pre-shift check. Tyre wear can be diffi cult to assess. If in doubt, advice should be sought from the truck supplier.

answering common fork lift truck queries, can be downloaded at An inexpensive Daily Checks book – ideal for recording pre- shift checks – is available from the ‘inspection documents’ section of the FLTA online shop. ■

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