Daily Things You MUST Check Before Using a Forklift 

09 Sep 2019

conducting forklift checks

Daily forklift inspections are crucial to ensure the forklift is safe to use and saves time and money. Not only is inspecting your forklift a good way to identify potential problems, but according to the Safe Work Australia Forklift Guide “A pre-start safety check should be completed every time an operator uses a different industrial lift truck and at the beginning of each shift”. Here are some things that your pre-start safety checklist should include.

Forklift Visual Pre-Start Checklist 

Warehouse Workspace & Forklift Exterior

Before you set foot on your forklift and begin operating it, you should survey your workplace area and forklift exterior. Make sure to look out for the following things: 

  • Check your forklift structure for any dents, broken parts or cracks.
  • Check that the floor of the warehouse is clear of objects that may get in the way.  

  • You should also check overhead to make sure there is no obstructions that could cause an accident.  


It is important to check your tyres before you get behind the wheel. As poorly inflated or flat tires can affect how well the brakes work and cause an accident.

  • Check your forklift tyres for excessive wear. 
  • Ensure there is no damage such as cuts or gouges.  
  • Check the tyre pressure and that they are properly inflated.  


  • Check that the forks are not bent or cracked. 

  • Locking pins are in place. 


  • Ensure that the forklift is on an even surface before checking your fluids.
  • Check your oil, hydraulics, water and coolant.  
  • Check for any leaks under the forklift.  


  • Ensure the battery is fully charged 
  • There is no damage, exposed wires or loose connections.

Forklift Operation Pre-Start Checklist 


  • Once you start your forklift, check your dash control panel and ensure all lights and gauges are working correctly.
  • Ensure there are no unusual noises. 


  • Check the foot brake pedal holds and the unit stops smoothly.
  • Check the parking brake.  
  • Also check the dead man seat brake holds when you rise from your seat.  

Tilt and Lift mechanism 

  • Check the tilt mechanism is moving smoothly by tilting the mast.
  • Check the lift mechanisms is working by raising and lowing to forks to max height.
  • Check attachments such as chains and cables. 

Other controls to check 

  • Seatbelt is working reliably.  

  • Brake pedal and parking brakes.  

  • Reverse buzzer and horn. 

  • Headlights and warning lights. 

  • Steering moves smoothly. 

  • For gas operated forklifts, check the gas levels are good and there is no damage to the cylinder.  

  • Capacity load plate is fitted and legible. 

  • Operators’ manual and logbook are present.  

Forklift Daily Checklist

If you need a daily forklift checklist, you can use this one from Workplace Safety, which covers all the basic checks a forklift operator should conduct each day. As well as daily checks, you should also conduct Forklift Maintenance Checks, including monthly, quarterly, and semi-annual maintenance. 
Simon’s Mechanical are experts in all thing’s forklifts, so if you are looking for forklift maintenance, forklift hire or to buy a forklift in Perth, get in contact! 



5 Oxford Court
Maida Vale
Western Australia 6057


Mobile 0419 954 303
Fax +61 8 9454 2696

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