Regardless of whether your forklifts are new or what kind of shape your used forklift is in, they need to be inspected every day before the equipment is used. Depending on the situation, it may also require checks if there is a shift or driver change. This daily check includes two separate inspections — a circle and an operations inspection.
As the name implies, the first thing all drivers should do is walk around their forklifts and see if anything could potentially be a problem. You first want to make note of anything in or around the new or used forklift as well as its overall condition. It should be reasonably clean and well maintained. You also want to move anything out of the way that may be on the floor of the equipment that could cause the operator to fall as well as items around the forklift that could cause a problem when moving it. Finally, with a new or used forklift, ensure you are aware of anything above it that a load or the vehicle itself could come in contact with.
The inner workings of forklifts need to be checked on a daily basis. The battery and cables need to be in good shape and working in top form. The connections should be snug with no fraying and the battery should be held in place. It should also be fully charged with full cells and ready to go. Chain anchor pins, hoses, nuts, bolds, guards, bolts, and other items should all be in place and in good condition. Safety items like seatbelts, horns, and lights all need to work properly and have no sign of wear.
The main mechanisms of the forklift are the last portion of the circle check. Even if it is a used forklift, the forks can’t show any sign of damage including bent segments or cracking. The latches all need to be working. Finally, inspect the carriage teeth to ensure they show no signs of damage or wear.
Once the driver has completed the circle check, it is time to inspect the actual operating mechanisms of the machine. In all, three brake systems need to be working perfectly before use. First, ensure the deadman seat brake holds when you sit and stand up. The parking brake should hold when the slightest bit of throttle is applied and the foot brake should bring you to a smooth stop in a reasonable amount of distance.
When it comes to driving the unit, it should steer with a reasonable amount of force and be smooth. It should also shift without hesitation of extreme movements from the clutch or gears. The fork operations are next to be tested. See how well it rises and lowers by lifting and lowering the forks as high and as low as they go. Next, tilt them forward and back all the way in both directions. All of the movements should be smooth and should hold in position. Once this is complete, listen for anything unusual and check the hydraulics for leaking.
It doesn’t matter whether you have a new TCM forklift, a used Toyota forklift, or how long you have been operating this type of machine. These checks are the only things that stand between a productive day and a dangerous situation. Forklifts are a valuable tool, and by maintaining them and keeping them in top condition, you can enjoy them for years to come without incident.