Forklift Inspection: Daily Checklist

Whatever your industry, your employees are your most important asset. Their safety while operating heavy machinery is vital to your business. The regular maintenance schedules and forklift inspection procedures you follow protect your employees and guarantee your equipment's long-term reliability. Guard your employees' safety by implementing a daily inspection checklist for all your forklift operators.

Pre-Shift Forklift Inspection Checklists

OSHA requires operators to perform a forklift inspection before every shift, every day. If your workplace has multiple shifts, operators will complete the full checklist each time. The pre-shift inspections cover two types of checks: visual and operational.

Checklist Label Information

Every forklift inspection checklist should include the following information at the top:

  • Date
  • Operator and department
  • Shift
  • Truck number
  • Model and serial number
  • Hour meter

Engine Off Checks

The "engine off" checks assure that you don't overlook leaking parts or visible damage that a running engine might disguise. These forklift inspection procedures also protect operators and equipment from harm that malfunctioning equipment may cause while in operation.

Visual Inspection

Operators should perform a complete visual check of the forklift's interior and exterior components.

  • Locate the operator's manual and verify the secure attachment of safety warning labels.
  • Securely attach the nameplate and verify the forklift model, serial number, and attachments.
  • Check the attachment of the capacity plate and verify that the information matches the model, serial number, and all attachments (electric trucks).
  • Verify that the hood latch is adjusted and securely fastened.
  • Assess the condition of the tires and check pressure levels.
  • Check the condition of the forks, including the heel and top clip retaining pin.
  • Verify that the load backrest, overhead guard, and finger guards are securely attached.
  • Check for the smooth functioning of the seat belt.

Operational Inspection

Before turning the key and starting the engine, operators must verify that the powered components of the forklift are free from damage and fully prepped for use.

  • Check the operation of the fuel sedimentor (diesel engines)
  • Examine mast chains, hydraulic hoses, cables, and stops for damage or corrosion
  • Check the levels and charge of the battery.
  • Inspect the engine belts.
  • Examine hydraulic oil, engine oil, radiator coolant, and fuel for leaks. 
  • Check radiator coolant levels, hydraulic fluid, engine oil, transmission fluid, and brake fluid.
  • Look for damage or rust corrosion to the propane tank (gas trucks).
  • Adjust and fasten the battery restraint system (electric trucks).

Engine On Checks

Once you've keyed the ignition, pay attention to and investigate unusual noises immediately. A certified mechanic must repair any problems you discover at this stage to ensure your safety and the long-term functioning of the equipment. All components should function smoothly every time you start the engine.

  • Parking and service brakes
  • Accelerator or direction control pedal
  • Steering operation, including forward and reverse drive control
  • Attachment control, including hoist, lowering, and forward and back lift
  • Cab heater, defroster, and wipers
  • Gauges: ammeter, engine oil pressure, hour meter, fuel level, temperature, instrument monitors
  • Horn and lights

Conduct Your Next Forklift Inspection on a New-to-You Truck

Your next forklift inspection will go smoothly when you have an excellent new or used truck. You can compare quotes from approved local dealers for the needed equipment at Industrial Forklift Truck.

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