Thorough Examination: the interactive guides
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?
A truly Thorough Examination should include all the following...
Often a one-piece weight in itself, the counterweight suddenly coming loose can be catastrophic - both to truck stability and as a hazard in its own right. All fastenings must therefore be safe, secure and undamaged. *May not be checked in a non-CFTS examination*
The prime mover and transmission systems are inspected to ensure the operators can drive smoothly. The exhaust system (and emissions) are checked to ensure safe operation when used indoors. On electric equipment, the battery and connections are checked. *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*
Seat And Mountings
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. The seat itself must be comfortable and free from excess wear or 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 in the cab or 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*
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*
Brake failure is an 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*
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 tractor chassis is inspected for cracking and signs of damage, with particular attention paid to the welds and stress points. *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. A CFTS Thorough Examination ensures wheels and assemblies are sound and securely fixed. Bearings and lock nuts are given special attention. *May not be checked in a non-CFTS examination*
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 excessive wear.
Load charts and rating plates are critical to the safe operation of any loading mechanism and must be checked. Charts, including those for attachments, must be clear to read and attached securely.
To enable safe operation, all hydraulic functions - including frame levelling and stabilisers - must move in an even and controlled manner. These must also be checked for damage and scoring, which can indicate more serious issues. Rams and hoses must also be checked for leaks or signs of damage.
The mounting plate must be checked for structural integrity with no signs of corrosion or damage. Locking bolts/pins must also be checked for security with no signs of excessive wear.
The loader arms must be inspected throughout their full range of extension and movement, to ensure smooth, safe operation and structural integrity. Loader arm pivot points must also be checked for excessive wear.
Tines (forks) 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, modified or damaged. Tine location and end stops are also checked.
Any attachment must operate smoothly and safely throughout the full range of movement. It should be mounted securely, and free from damage, distortion and cracks. NB: attachments, side shift, frame levelling or stabilisers that are permanently fitted are included in a machine'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.
Read more about CFTS here.