Thorough Examination: the interactive guides
Reach 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?
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.
Mast and Reach Carriage
The mast and reach carriage must be inspected throughout its full range of movement to ensure smooth, safe operation and structural integrity.
To enable safe operation, the tilt must move in an even, controlled way. It must also be checked for damage and scoring, which can indicate more serious issues.
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.
As well as the controls themselves, which must all be fully functional, securely mounted and clearly marked, all linkages and cables must be inspected to prevent potential failure through damage, corrosion or wear.
Clear rating information is absolutely critical to the safe operation of any fork lift truck. The plate must be clear, securely attached, and updated to take account of any attachments or side-shifts fitted.
The fork arm carrier must be free from distortion and cracking, and any load rest extension must be sound and properly mounted.
Attachment / Side-Shift (if present)
Any attachment or sideshift must operate smoothly and safely throughout the full range of its movement. It should be mounted securely, and free from damage, distortion and cracks. NB: attachments and sideshifts that are permanently fitted are included in a truck's usual Thorough Examination schedule. Ones that can be removed must have a full examination at least twice a year. For clarification, please ask your CFTS accredited examiner.
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.
Must be structurally sound and securely mounted; otherwise it may not only cause falling loads, but become a hazard in its own right.
Overhead Guard / Cab
As well as compromising protection from falling loads, a damaged overhead guard can be a clue to potentially lethal structural problems. The guard must therefore be sound and securely mounted. Finger guards must be in place and secure to prevent crush injuries. *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*
Any operator restraint – including seat belts and any other devices designed to keep the operator safely seated in the event of a tipping accident – is checked to ensure it is fully functional and free from 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*
The drive motor and gearbox must be checked to ensure smooth and progressive acceleration. CFTS accredited companies also check that the truck can drive at slow and creep speeds. *may not be checked in a non- CFTS examination*
The chassis is inspected for cracking and signs of damage, with particular attention paid to the welds.*may not be checked in a non-CFTS examination*
Tyres are essential for safe and efficient operation. They provide grip for movement and braking and an element of suspension for safety and comfort. CFTS accredited Thorough Examinations are guaranteed to check the tyres are correctly specified and fitted, and free from excessive wear, damage, or bonding issues. *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. CFTS Thorough Examination ensures wheels and assemblies are sound and securely fixed. Bearings are given special attention. 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*
Safety systems can only protect workers if they operate correctly. Moreover, because operators come to depend on them, any failure can instantly cause serious unsafe practices. Any audible alarms and visible warnings are checked, along with interlocks and seat switches if present. Capacity and data plates must also be present, secure and easy to read. *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*
Read more about CFTS here.