How to carry out daily maintenance on your forklift

If you operate a forklift truck as part of your job, then carrying out daily maintenance on your forklift is vital. Not only will it keep you and anyone else in the vicinity safe, but it will also ensure you comply with the legal requirements in this area. As a business owner, it will also help you avoid any financial comeback from injuries caused on your premises by faulty machinery.

performing daily forklift maintenance

When should you perform a daily maintenance inspection?

As the name would suggest, this should be done each and every day when using a forklift. It should be carried out as the first thing you do on your shift before you start using the machine. Once you have completed the check and filled in the necessary paperwork to pass to the back office, you can then begin work unless a serious fault has been identified.

What do you need to carry out as part of the daily maintenance on your forklift?

The end goal of this daily check is to ensure that you will be using a forklift that is fit for purpose, will handle the jobs you will be using it for and has no obvious damage or defects. If you do notice anything out of place as part of your checks, then it is key you note it down and report it.

The following components need to be checked before each use of a forklift:

  • Fork Arms
  • Carriage Plate
  • Backrest Extension
  • Mast
  • Mast Roller / Slides
  • Lift Chains
  • Chain Pulleys
  • Hydraulics & Hoses
  • Wheels
  • Tyres
  • External Condition of truck
  • Operating Position
  • Operators Seat
  • Gas Powered Trucks
  • Starting Procedure Engine Trucks
  • Starting Procedure Electric Trucks
  • Lights
  • Audible Warnings
  • Hydraulic Controls
  • Drive & Braking
  • Steering

Forklift arms

The first thing to check when doing the daily maintenance on your forklift is that fork arm heels are not cracked, and that the fork tips are not damaged.  Damaged or faulty forks can result in damaged goods costing your employer money and also be a safety risk to you or other staff.

Once this has been done, test the performance of the forklift by raising the forks to their max height and then lowering them again. This should be done slowly to avoid causing any damage as part of the maintenance routine. When doing this part, it is vital to listen as well as look. Keep an ear out for any strange sounds you wouldn’t expect to hear normally. During this part of the check, it is key to test the tilting mechanism also to make sure it feels smooth and as intended.

Brakes

Naturally, the brakes on the forklift you will be using are a hugely important safety feature. They must be in good working order before you start grafting with the machine. No-one wants to be using a forklift with a heavy load whose brakes aren’t working properly!

The best starting point here is to apply some pressure to the foot brake. A foot brake in good working order should not need lots of pressure applying to get a response. Next, check the parking brake to make sure the forklift will not move when engaged. Lastly, make sure to find out that the brake lights are also working so people will know when you are coming to a halt.

Check the steering

The steering system within any forklift is obviously key to safe and reliable handling. As part of the daily maintenance on your forklift, take your vehicle for a drive without any load on it. Make sure that the steering responds as it should and works as expected. Remember to check going forwards and backwards when you do this! This part of the check is good for throwing up any issues with tyre pressure (mostly solid compound tyres), wheel alignment, and the gearbox.

External condition

Although the above three areas are the most key, you should also just have a general walk around to see if anything else catches your eye. If you spot any damage or something that is hanging off for example, then this is naturally something to report.

Let Hiremech help today

If you need any help with hiring or buying the best quality forklifts to use or repair for any of your existing fleets, then let us help. We offer a wide range of forklifts to suit any business needs, so give us a call today.

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