Why a CFTS Thorough Examination is measurably better

15 September 2020

No place for guesswork in a Thorough Examination

One of the fundamental reasons behind industry bodies BITA and the FLTA creating the CFTS Thorough Examination standard was the need for consistency throughout the process. 

A key part of this is ensuring that all inspections are carried out with accurate, precise equipment. 

For example, lift truck chains are a vital component of the lifting mechanism. That’s why every CFTS examiner is trained to identify chain damage and to use an accurate chain gauge which precisely measures wear in a repeatable manner. 

CFTS Chairman Geoff Martin explains: “When you take your car in for its annual MOT, the results generated are replicable. At CFTS, we believe your lift truck’s Thorough Examination results should be, too. 

“With chain wear this is particularly important. Chains play such a significant role in the lifting mechanism that a failure could be catastrophic. You don’t want any room for error.” 

The high-precision FB Chain Gauge used by CFTS examiners shows wear in 0.25% increments, giving a clear indication of exactly how much wear has occurred since the last test. 

With these types of tiny measurements, using a ruler or a tape measure — as favoured by some inspection providers — can introduce mistakes in calculations as well as having high potential for visual errors. 

A common reason for poor repeatability is taking measurements from different sections over different sample lengths of chain. BITA Guidance Note GN15 identifies that the sections of chain running over pulleys typically have the highest wear. The FB Chain Gauge ensures that the sample length is consistent and in accordance with the Guidance Note. 

Some industries are particularly vulnerable to chain wear. Operations like construction, metal manufacturing or aggregate processing use abrasive materials, which over time can damage equipment.  

Similarly, if a truck is used on a site where chemicals are present, corrosion is a serious hazard to look out for. 

CFTS chairman Geoff Martin concludes: “Chains are vulnerable, even though they have been made and tested for the stresses of day-to-day operations. A CFTS Thorough Examination will identify any signs of corrosive fatigue on your chains or other lift truck components. 

“When there’s the potential for serious failure, you don’t want to take even the slightest chance of undermeasuring with sub-par equipment. 

“There is a time and place for rulers, but it’s clearly nowhere near a lift truck’s chains where accuracy is crucial for safety.” 

Steps like this ensure CFTS offers the industry’s highest standard of Thorough Examination, in alignment with LOLER and PUWER, giving you confidence that it genuinely is thorough.