Why Are Forklift Pre-start Checklists Important?

Shariq Ansari
January 4, 2023
5 mins to read
Forklift operators conducting an inspection at a warehouse.

The use of forklifts in the mining sector is vital for the transportation of heavy tools and equipment, while their attachments provide a variety of useful functions. Due to their excellent utility, it becomes even more important to make sure they are always in good working order without any faults or breakdowns. To verify that industrial forklifts are in good operating order before usage, forklift operators employ tested and proven checklists. The checklists allow for standardized safety and maintenance checks to minimize preventable accidents brought on by malfunctioning forklifts in warehouses or mine sites.

Before starting the engine, the operator is required to use the checklist to ensure the forklift is in good working order. In addition to this, safety inspections should be conducted soon after the engine starts. The pre-start checklist tool covers the following aspects on a daily basis:

  1. Vehicle inspection pre and post-start
  2. Photo/video documentation of damaged parts with supporting notes.

Forklift checklists must include a list of all components that need to be inspected along with the kind of inspection that needs to be performed.

What does the Forklift Pre-start Checklist contain?

Before the engine is started, the forklift has to undergo multiple inspections, which include:

  • Assessment of fluids like oil, water, and hydraulic fluid
  • Ensuring that the forklift is free of leaks, cracks, and visible faults
  • Strictly visual assessment of mast chains
  • Checking the health and pressure of all tires
  • Inspecting the fork with emphasis on the top clip
  • Maintaining a functional load backrest extension
  • Ensuring safety decals and nameplates are legible and match the forklift model
  • Inspecting the operators' manual and logbook for legibility
  • Keeping the operators' manual compartment clean
  • Testing seat belts, horns, and other functional safety devices
  • Testing the brakes, steering controls, and other operational components
Mechanic inspecting a forklift
Automated Pre-start Checklists need to be adopted to ensure forklift inspection is carried out thoroughly and regularly in the quickest way possible.

What to do next?

Once the forklift is started, regular inspections should still go on from time to time to ensure it works perfectly during operations. Breaks should be taken to check the following:

  • Controls, pedals, and indicators
  • Revers buzzer and beacon
  • Lights and flashing strobe
  • Steering wheel
  • Park brake and foot brake
  • Hydraulic lift

In 2022, Pre-Start Forklift Checklist is frequently conducted via pen-and-paper, where employees fill out a checklist and submit it before starting work. However, filing, storing, and managing these documents can be a time-consuming and expensive task. It's much easier and more efficient to use a digital Forklift Checklist system such as the one built into Grid. It's available as a template, which means you can set it up in minutes, and have your employees begin using it immediately.

How Grid digitizes your Forklift pre-start inspection?

Being a no-code platform that templatizes all your tasks, Grid automates filling, storing, and managing all your checklist data in the fastest way possible, on our expert-proven Checklist System. Grid factors in the following criteria:

  1. Location - On your mobile device, the Grid app automatically detects the geolocation of the user when the vehicle inspection is conducted.
  2. Asset ID - Every asset has an ID that's stored in the Masters workspace on the Grid app, which can then be entered along with the Registration Number to identify and track every vehicle.
  3. Windscreen - Operating in rough terrains means windscreens are susceptible to the accumulation of dirt or cracks, both of which should be inspected to rule out visibility issues.
  4. Brakes - Drivers need to check if the brakes and handbrakes are not just operational but in perfect working condition.
  5. Dashboard - Dashboards are essential as they update drivers with necessary vehicle warnings and readings. Every panel must be checked after turning on the ignition.
  6. Steering Wheel - Steering wheels must be tested before every trip because any form of loss of control can lead to injuries or even fatalities.
  7. Recovery Kit - No trip should be initiated without the presence of the complete recovery kit. Users need to enter all the components present in the toolkit, like wheel jack, jumper leads, toolkit, tire repair kit, etc.
  8. Radio - Mine sites occupy a massive area, which means vehicles may be far apart from the nearest point of contact. This means that all radio communication needs to be working to-and-fro, for quick response.
  9. Tires - Drivers must be on top of their tire condition, as any faults here combined with the demanding terrain can lead to serious accidents. The form provides you the option to record the health, pressure, and presence of a spare tire.
  10. Lights - It's impossible to light up the whole tenement, and at multiple times and areas, drivers might face low visibility conditions. This is when drivers must ensure front and rear lights are working properly.
  11. Tray Latch - Unlike ATVs, light vehicles like pickup trucks are loaded with equipment, hence to avoid losing any material, ensure that the tray latch is operational.
  12. Fluids - Grid users need to check for any form of leak, and also if the coolant, engine oil, washer fluid, and fuel are in an adequate amount along with reserves.
  13. Battery - The batteries must be regularly tested, along with the examination of the water level indicator.
  14. Cables - All the necessary cables must be investigated thoroughly, so as to cancel out the chances of an electrical fault when the drivers try to use a function.
  15. Comments - There's also the option for users to add comments or remarks to further elaborate on any issue during the inspection.

With added options to generate highly insightful dashboards, reports, and much more, this is just scraping the surface of Grid's abilities to forever transform your vehicle inspection process and productivity. Learn more about the scale at which your mining operations can grow with the edge Grid brings to your frontline processes. Don't wait, take the first step toward a safer and more efficient workspace!

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Shariq Ansari
Digital Marketeer
“Using Grid to track drill program progress and day to day expenditures has allowed VR Resources to make better decisions more quickly. The highly customizable and elegant interface allows me to track and manage all aspects of our field work and it’s clear after just a few weeks that the possibilities are nearly endless. Cost tracking estimates were consistently within expected variance of invoices received giving me further confidence in managing agile drill programs. Further the development team and customer support have been top notch!”
Justin J. Daley
PGeo, MSc, Vice President Exploration
VR Resources
VR Resources
“Grid has been extremely helpful in changing the course of multiple operations, here at U-Solar. We started with one module for Materials Management, and have now adopted Grid for 3-4 more processes, all of which have been smooth and quick to implement.”
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