Published 11 Nov 2023
What is a Forklift Maintenance Checklist?
A forklift maintenance checklist is a structured document or set of procedures used to inspect, assess, and maintain forklifts, which are commonly used in warehouses, industrial facilities, and construction sites. This checklist outlines a series of maintenance and inspection tasks that need to be regularly performed on a forklift to ensure its safe and efficient operation. It typically includes a range of items to be checked, such as tire conditions, safety features, and the overall condition of the forklift.
In this article
- Why Use a Checklist During Forklift Maintenance
- What to Include in a General Forklift Maintenance Checklist
- Other Types of Forklift Maintenance Checklists
- How Do You Maintain a Forklift Using a Checklist?
- Forklift Maintenance Checklist Example
- FAQs About Forklift Maintenance Checklists
- Effectively Maintain Forklifts Using SafetyCulture
- Related Forklift Maintenance Checklists
Why Use a Checklist During Forklift Maintenance
As part of ensuring forklift safety in various situations and industries, maintaining its pristine working condition is a must. In this aspect, a well-structured checklist is an invaluable tool.
Forklift maintenance checklists provide a systematic approach to inspecting and servicing forklifts, offering numerous benefits that contribute to the overall safety, efficiency, and reliability of these industrial vehicles. Apart from those, the following benefits can be achieved by using these checklists:
By systematically inspecting forklift components, issues and wear-and-tear can be identified early, allowing for timely repairs or replacements. This approach minimizes the likelihood of sudden breakdowns, thereby preventing disruptions and costly emergency repairs.
Documentation and Compliance
Checklists serve as vital documentation of maintenance activities. This record-keeping not only demonstrates compliance with safety regulations but also aids in tracking maintenance history. In the event of an inspection or audit, a well-maintained checklist can be a valuable resource to prove adherence to safety standards and regulations.
Efficiency and Longevity
Using a checklist helps optimize the performance and lifespan of forklifts. Regularly maintained forklifts operate more efficiently, reducing fuel consumption and increasing productivity. Also, businesses can maximize their return on investment by extending the longevity of these expensive assets.
What to Include in a General Forklift Maintenance Checklist
A comprehensive general forklift maintenance checklist should cover various critical components and systems essential for the safe and efficient operation of a forklift. Hence, make sure to include the following in your checklist to have them inspected and maintained during regular checks:
- Safety Features – brakes, lights, horns, backup alarms, seat belts, and operator controls
- Fluid Levels – engine oil, hydraulic fluid, coolant, and brake fluid
- Tires and Wheels – signs of wear, damage, and adequate tread depth
- Electrical System – condition of the battery, wiring, lights, and indicators
- Forks and Attachments – signs of damage, wear, and proper alignment
- General Condition and Lubrication – overall condition of the forklift, signs of wear, damage, or corrosion
- Operational Test and Calibration – checks of steering, braking, lifting, and other functions
- Documentation and Records – date, name of the inspector, and details of any issues
Other Types of Forklift Maintenance Checklists
Customizing your forklift maintenance checklist based on the specific type of forklift in use is also helpful to tailor your maintenance tasks to the unique needs and components of each forklift type.
Here are some examples of unique requirements depending on the most common types of forklifts:
Internal Combustion Engine Forklift Maintenance Checklist
Internal combustion engine forklifts, which typically run on gasoline, diesel, or natural gas, have specific maintenance needs, including the following:
- Fuel System Inspection
- Engine Oil
- Air Filter
- Exhaust System
- Cooling System
- Ignition System
- Transmission and Drivetrain
- Suspension and Steering
Battery Powered Forklift Maintenance Checklist
Battery-powered forklifts require specific maintenance tasks to ensure the longevity of their battery systems. The checklist may include these aspects to check:
- Battery Condition
- Charging System
- Water Levels
- Battery Ventilation
- Battery Storage
Liquid Propane (LP) Forklift Maintenance Checklist
LP forklifts are powered by propane gas, and their maintenance checklist includes tasks related to the propane system:
- Propane Tank Inspection
- Fuel System
- Propane Cylinder Exchange
- Fuel Level
- Safety Valves
How Do You Maintain a Forklift Using a Checklist?
Maintaining a forklift is a critical aspect of ensuring its safe and efficient operation. Using a forklift maintenance checklist provides a systematic approach to these tasks. As a guide, follow these steps during forklift maintenance:
- Inspect and test safety features such as brakes, lights, horns, and safety mechanisms to ensure they function correctly. Make sure to address any safety concerns immediately or endorse them to responsible personnel to avoid accidents.
- Examine and maintain appropriate fluid levels, including engine oil, hydraulic fluid, coolant, and brake fluid.
- Assess the condition of tires, ensuring they have adequate tread and are free from damage.
- Inspect the electrical system, checking the battery, wiring, and all electrical components. Make sure all lights, indicators, and alarms are in working order.
- Examine forks and any attachments for damage, wear, and proper alignment. These components are crucial for the safe handling of loads.
- Maintain moving parts and components through proper lubrication. Additionally, inspect the overall condition of the forklift, looking for signs of wear, damage, or corrosion.
- Conduct operational tests to evaluate steering, braking, lifting, and other functions. Address any operational issues promptly to maintain efficiency and safety.
- Document each inspection, recording the date, the inspector’s name, and any identified issues to help track maintenance history and regulatory compliance.
Forklift Maintenance Checklist Example
Now that you’re aware of the benefits of forklift checklists, especially in conducting maintenance, knowing what they look like in practical applications is the next step.
To help technicians, forklift operators, and drivers follow a step-by-step process of maintaining forklifts, check out the sample checklist exported into a report below:
FAQs About Forklift Maintenance Checklists
For forklifts in intensive-use environments such as warehouses or manufacturing facilities, a daily maintenance checklist is recommended. This daily inspection should be conducted before each shift to ensure that the forklift is in optimal working condition.
On the other hand, weekly or biweekly checklists may be needed for forklifts in less intensive-use environments or with lower operating hours. These less frequent inspections can still provide the necessary maintenance and safety checks to keep the forklift in good condition.
Lastly, monthly maintenance checklists may be suitable for very low-use forklifts, but they should be more comprehensive to compensate for the reduced frequency of inspection.
Yes, maintenance checklists can be instrumental in helping organizations save on forklift operation-related costs. By systematically identifying and addressing maintenance needs, these checklists help avoid costly emergency repairs and reduce downtime, allowing operations to run more smoothly. Moreover, they help extend the lifespan of forklifts, maximizing the return on investment and reducing the need for premature replacements.
Yes, a forklift maintenance checklist can and must be a key component of a comprehensive equipment maintenance program in a warehouse or industrial facility. A centralized program ensures consistency in the care of all equipment, promoting a culture of safety and reliability throughout the facility. By combining forklift maintenance with that of other machinery, it’s easier to enforce standardized procedures, training, and recordkeeping.
Effectively Maintain Forklifts Using SafetyCulture
Why use SafetyCulture?
By using digital tools, businesses can maintain a higher quality of maintenance records, enabling them to demonstrate compliance with safety regulations and industry standards, which is crucial for audits and inspections. Overall, this modern approach to checklist management provides a well-rounded solution that contributes to efficiency, safety, and quality within industrial operations, ultimately benefiting both the workforce and the bottom line.
Further, the integration of tools and technology like SafetyCulture (formerly iAuditor), an operations platform, to streamline the process of creating forklift maintenance checklists offers immense value to businesses across various sectors. This significantly enhances efficiency by simplifying the checklist creation and management process, empowering organizations to allocate their resources more effectively.
SafetyCulture helps companies improve workplace safety, ensure thorough checks are consistently conducted, identify potential hazards, and prevent accidents by doing the following:
- Streamline forklift maintenance processes to ensure everything is well-checked and verified using checklists and templates from the Public Library.
- Prevent equipment downtime, save on long-term costs, and protect operators’ safety by regularly scheduling maintenance tasks across various sites in your organization.
- Efficiently document and access previous forklift maintenance and inspection history in one platform using the Asset Management feature. You can also assign asset QR codes for easier information retrieval.
- Provide supporting documentation on inspection and maintenance findings by attaching media such as annotated photos and other files.
- Ensure optimized processes of reporting forklift maintenance concerns by easily raising them as issues and assigning corrective actions to address them.
- Communicate results of conducted maintenance activities to relevant stakeholders by generating and sharing reports in various formats, including PDF, Excel, Word, or Weblink. You can also store them on SafetyCulture’s secure cloud.
- Benchmark your organization’s performance on regularly maintaining forklifts by accessing historical data using the Analytics dashboard.
- Ensure everyone involved in maintaining forklifts is properly equipped with the right tools (e.g., Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)), knowledge, and skills they need by creating and deploying training programs.
- Promote transparency and accountability in your organization by sharing Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and best practices using Heads Up.
- Monitor the safety of lone workers doing forklift maintenance through the unique features of SHEQSY by SafetyCulture.
Related Forklift Maintenance Checklists
Conduct regular and pre-start inspections on your forklifts to help ensure safety and mitigate risks of accidents as part of your overall maintenance efforts. Also, check if the driver is trained and licensed to operate the forklift and if a daily visual inspection was conducted.
Use this monthly forklift inspection template and other safety checklists to monitor improvements across your organization. Evaluate the overall forklift condition and the operator’s practices with the help of this form that contains general questions.