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It is common knowledge among seasoned forklift operators that the daily checklist is necessary and cannot be overlooked. After all, supervisors are required to submit signed daily checklists to the OSHA when they are inspected. However, for those who are still learning the basics of forklift operation, it can be difficult to know exactly how and what to inspect on a daily basis. Obviously, the daily checklist should be a part of new operator training, but below, we offer some of the basics of what should be covered in the daily checklist.
What to inspect with the engine off
Before turning the engine on, there are many steps that should be completed. You need to look for any leaks that may have developed, and check the brake fluid and hydraulic fluid level. With a propane forklift, check that there is no damage or rust to the propane tank. When inspecting an electric forklift, check to make sure that the forklift is charged at a minimum of ½ of its overall capacity. It should also be noted that the heavier the load, the higher the charge required (heavy loads really do a number on the battery charge), so if the load is especially heavy, the battery should be charged almost at full capacity. Make sure that the overhead and finger guards are in working condition, and that the seat belt is functioning properly. It is not uncommon to encounter a good deal of debris on the overhead guard, so take some time to dispose of it. The forks should also be inspected. They should not have any cracks, and it is also important to take a look to ensure that the pin and heel are in proper shape.
What to inspect with the engine on
With the engine on, check to see how the service and parking breaks are working. The drive and tilt controls must also be in proper condition, and the horn and lights should be functioning. This is pretty obvious, but during the inspection, it is also necessary to make sure that the accelerator is in fact working. When completing this step, check and make sure that the handling is up to par; this means checking the steering, as well as the raising and lowering controls. Forklifts that are equipped with a back-up alarm should be tested to ensure that they are working.
As the name suggests, the daily checklist should be an everyday occurrence for all operators. The tips offered in this article are far from exhaustive, so visit the OSHA website for a more comprehensive description of the daily checklist. In the end, operators must be aware that the daily checklist is not an unnecessary chore but a necessary procedure for preventing accidents from taking place.