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The forklift has long been one of the most efficient and reliable pieces of machinery in a warehouse situation. They have the capability and components to easily transport products and other goods around a warehouse and aren’t too difficult to operate once you have undergone Australian regulation training.


However, forklifts, like other transport machinery, are liable to mechanical problems over time that need to be checked before operation. It’s important to check your electric forklift before operation to ensure it will run at full, safe capacity.


Here are some things to check before operating your warehouse forklift…


  1. Check from the top down


The best method for checking a forklift’s operational standard is to start at the top and work your way to the bottom. The thing you have to check first is the overhead guard: are there any bolts or screws that seem loose or weathered? Is there hazardous rust forming in the guard’s metal? Obviously, the guard is there to protect you from falling warehouse stock, but anywhere where two pieces of metal meet can potentially provide a hazard.


  1. Move on to safety features


Your forklift is equipped with a myriad of safety features that are designed to alert you if you are too close to an object or person as well as other important safety features. Therefore, it’s important to check that these features are running at full capacity so that they will not fail you in the event of a potentially hazardous situation.


Check the sensors and alarms, ensuring that they are working properly and can easily perform their function if called upon. Finally, check your lights, signals, windshield wipers and seatbelt to ensure each of these safety features are fulfilling their purpose.


  1. Check the mechanics


Now that your overhead guard and safety features are cleared for use, it’s time to check the mechanics of your forklift. Check all the batteries, hoses, lines, engine components and cables to see that there is no damage and that they are running at full capacity, being sure to take note of any hose kinks, cracks and leaks along the way.


Finally, check all hydraulics, fluids and sensors, then ensure that all hoses and wires are set up effectively.


  1. Brakes


Once you have checked all these safety features and have your forklift up and running, you need to ensure that some of their most important operational features are safely working, one of the most important ones being the brakes. First, ensure that the brakes’ fluid levels are fine and that the brakes work efficiently and smoothly. Finally, check that the brake lights are in full operation.


  1. Is your attire safe?


The last thing you need to check, once all is good to go, is yourself - are you wearing the right attire? Do you have the necessary safety equipment, including helmets, well-fitting hi-vis and steel-capped shoes? Ensuring your attire is right for the job is just as important as checking all the above-listed forklift features - it is always recommended that you wear the right safety gear before getting on your forklift and never operate one without it.


Contact your forklift maintenance team if necessary


If you find a problem with your forklift that cannot be easily fixed by the team, then it is imperative that you contact a forklift repairs expert who can come to your location and provide the necessary maintenance or repairs to have the forklift back up and running without any problems.