Man-up Truck Guide
Beware: not every Examination is truly "Thorough". CFTS is a national standard guaranteed to fulfil your obligations under LOLER 98 and PUWER 98.
Some so-called "Thorough" Examinations only cover a fork truck's lifting mechanism, doing the minimum to meet LOLER 98 (in blue, below); but you also have a duty under PUWER 98 to ensure equipment is safe to use - and that requires a much more detailed examination (also including the items in red). A CFTS Thorough Examination is certain to cover both parts.
Hover your mouse over any section of the truck below to see which regulation covers that particular section of the vehicle. For example, would you want to use a truck that hadn't had its brakes checked?
The mast must be inspected throughout its full range of lift to ensure smooth, safe operation and structural integrity.
Lift chain failure is potentially lethal, but the wear, elongation or corrosion that can cause it are gradual, and tricky to spot: a change of just 2% is a cause for concern. Chains must therefore be checked carefully, in at least three places, along with anchors and pulleys.
All controls must be clearly marked and fully functional. All safety functions (i.e. driver present switches) must be checked.
The hydraulic check is a major task, covering all hoses, pipes, cylinders and reservoir, along with a prolonged load test to rule out unacceptable descent. Filters are also inspected, for any signs of debris.
Clear rating information is absolutely critical to the safe operation of any fork lift truck. The plate must be clear and securely attached.
The mini mast carriage must be fully secured and free from damage and distortion.
Fork arms are subject to constant abrasion and stress, making them particularly vulnerable. They must be of the correct capacity, meet ISO 5057 for wear, and must not be cracked, deformed or damaged. Fork location and end stops are also checked.
The mini mast must operate smoothly and safely throughout its lift, reach and rotate movements. It should be mouthed securely and free from damage and distortion.
Visibility Aids (if present)
Any visibility aids (e.g. lights, mirrors or cameras) must be clean and free from any defects. *may not be checked in a non-CFTS examination*
Overhead Guard / Cab
As well as compromising protection from falling loads, a damaged overhead guard or cab can be a clue to potentially lethal structural problems. The cab or guard must therefore be sound and securely mounted. Any transparent screens must be clear and undamaged to ensure optimum visibility. *may not be checked in a non-CFTS examination*
Safety systems can only protect workers if they operate correctly. Moreover, because operators come to depend on them, any failure can cause serious unsafe practices. Any audible alarms and visible warnings are checked. Gate switches and a speed reduction at height must also be checked. A safe means of egress in case of truck failure must be available for the driver (e.g. safety harness or secondary alarm) *may not be checked in a non-CFTS examination*
To ensure the truck can be operated safely, all mechanical and hydraulic steering parts are inspected for signs of failure, corrosion, damage or excessive wear. Proper steering response is confirmed by manoeuvring the truck at low speed. *may not be checked in a non-CFTS examination*
The seat mounting must be absolutely secure, along with the panel where it is attached. Any anti-vibration mechanism is also checked for signs of damage.*may not be checked in a non-CFTS examination*
Important structural fastening components, such as those holding axles, fluid reservoirs and batteries, must be secure and undamaged. *may not be checked in a non-CFTS examination*
Because of the forces involved, wheel failure not only causes accidents, but can be a fatal hazard in its own right. Bearings and rail guidance wheels must be checked as they are crucial to a smooth operation in-aisle. Brake failure is a fork lift truck operator's worst nightmare, but brakes are left unchecked in many inspections. A CFTS examination covers both service and parking brakes – checking all hydraulics, pneumatics, mountings, pedals, levers and linkages to ensure the brakes operate exactly as expected. *may not be checked in a non-CFTS examination*
The chassis must be fully checked for signs of damage or cracking. Particular attention must be given to the structural integrity of articulated trucks. *may not be checked in a non-CFTS examination*
Final Safety Check
The truck must be driven in and out of the aisle whilst checking off of the truck's safety functions. Particular attention must be given to the truck's traction and braking systems. *may not be checked in a non-CFTS examination*
Because the battery acts as a counterweight, it must be correctly fitted and secured. This is more crucial if there is a battery exchange system fitted. *may not be checked in a non-CFTS examination*
Emergency Lower Valve
There is a risk of operators being stranded up high, so CFTS accredited companies inspect the marking and test the operation of the emergency lowering function. *may not be checked in a non-CFTS examination*
A truck leaving the railings or coming off wire guidance can not only cause serious damage to racking but ultimately put the driver or other staff at risk of injury. This must be tested during an examination along with the truck's end of aisle slowdown systems. *may not be checked in a non-CFTS examination*
Read more about CFTS, the Industry Standard for Thorough Examination,here.