Forklift Operator’s Pre-use Shift Check & Thorough Inspection

When should an operator inspect the forklift truck?

An operator should inspect the forklift truck every day before using, or when returning from break as the vehicle.

What does a daily inspection involve?

The operator should carry out a visual check (“circle” check) before starting the forklift. After completing the visual pre-start check, the operator should do an operational pre-use check.

What should an operator inspect during the visual pre-use check?

Forklift Operator Diagram

  • General condition and cleanliness.
  • Floor — clear of objects that could cause an accident.
  • Overhead — no obstructions.
  • Nearby objects to avoid as you drive away.
  • Engine oil level, fuel level, radiator water level (LPG, gas and diesel forklifts).
  • Battery — fully charged; check cables for exposed wires; battery plug connections not loose, worn or dirty; vent caps not clogged; electrolyte levels in cells; hold downs or brackets keep battery securely in place.
  • Bolts, nuts, guards, chains, or hydraulic hose reels not damaged, missing or loose.
  • Wheels and tires — check for wear, damage, and air pressure, if pneumatic tires.
  • Forks — forks not bent; no cracks present; positioning latches in good working condition; carriage castling not broken, chipped or worn.
  • Chain anchor pins — not worn, loose or bent.
  • Fluid Leaks — no damp spots or drips.
  • Hoses — held securely; not loose, crimped, worn or rubbing.
  • Horn — working and loud enough to be heard in working environment; other warning devices operational.
  • Lights — head lights and warning lights operational.
  • Report any problems identified in daily check to the supervisor immediately

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