Things That Must Be Checked Before A Forklift Is Used

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Before A Forklift

Forklift trucks are immensely useful bits of kit. They work carrying pallets effortlessly through construction, warehousing, and logistics sites. All forklift drivers are required to be signed off on their equipment through a training scheme – with refresher training given every three years as a minimum standard. As part of their training, forklift drivers learn the essential checks that must be made before any forklift truck is taken out into service for the day. Due to the nature of the tasks completed with forklifts, they are prone to wear and tear. Here are some things that must absolutely be checked by an operator or their foreman before a forklift is taken out. Maintenance is important for the safety and smooth operation of a site or warehouse. 

Lights 

Forklift lights are not generally used to give the operator a view of what is in front of them. This should be achieved by the adequate lighting of the environment they are working in. Instead, lights are important as warning signals. Warehouse and site team members need to be able to tell which direction a forklift is turning, whether they are driving forwards or backwards, and when they are braking. All lights must be checked to ensure they function. Although any good forklift hire company will check the lights before you pick up your machine, it is important to check yourself to make sure. 

Forks

Three important elements need to be checked for on the forks of a lift truck. Firstly, it is crucial that there are no cracks in the steel forks. Cracked forks are liable to snap and warp during use, which can result in a dreadful accident taking place. Secondly, any warping needs to be inspected. Warping, like cracks, can weaken the structure of the forks. Warped forklift forks can be repaired, but only if it is caught early on. Lastly, all of the connections between the forks and the fork frame need to be secured. 

Horn

Giving the horn a few busts before setting off is essential. The horn is one of the most effective ways of warning people that you are approaching with a load. The appropriate use of the horn is – or should be – covered during the basic training of a forklift driver. 

Tires

If tire pressure is unevenly distributed, then loads will also be carried at an angle. This can lead to load spillage: something that can be fatal in busy environments. All tires must be pressurized equally according to the recommendations of the manufacturer. 

Load And Load Limit

An operator must know the exact weight of the pallet or loose object they are going to lift. They must also be aware of the load limit – something that each forklift should have clearly displayed in the cockpit. Load limits cannot be exceeded, as this can lead to instability, fork damage, and engine failure

Oil Levels 

Forklift trucks can be in danger of overheating if they are not well oiled. Operators need to ensure that the correct amount of oil is present in the reservoir before attempting to lift anything.