BIBA associate member Thurra reveals the top 5 most common defects with forklift trucks

17th December 2019

The Thurra team of Engineer Surveyors who are out in the field in all sorts of workplaces, inspecting plant and equipment, gave their thoughts on the most common faults they find with forklift trucks and what can be done to help avoid life threatening accidents and costly insurance claims.

  1. Ineffective parking brakes – this defect should be picked up on daily checks.  As with the parking brake on a car, if this is defective, it should be reported as a serious defect, however, our surveyor can risk-assess the site and use of the truck, before deciding on an appropriate course of action.
  2. Inoperative / disconnected seat safety switches – again, should be picked up on a daily check, however, we often find these disconnected and it is apparent that the operators have carried this out. The seat switch should do one of three things, cut the operation of the mast/fork controls, bring the truck to a stop, or just sound a warning alarm/provide a warning on the truck dash.
  3. Worn / distorted forks – the allowance for fork wear at the heels is 10% material loss.  For deflection (the fork tip), this is calculated as 3% of the length of the fork. Check frequently against the original measurement.
  4. Seized load chain links – proper maintenance should prevent this, however, in harsh environments, cold store use, timber yards etc, the chain links can seize easily, so extra vigilance needed here.
  5. Ineffective / inoperative seat belts – again, should be picked up on a daily check. Quite often driver’s do not bother wearing them, but they should work in the correct manner. Common faults are the seat belt not locking, or the retaining clip not locking the belt in position.

If you require advice or help on any of the above, the team at Thurra is happy to provide technical advice over the phone, or arrange a visit by an experienced engineer, who will be happy to advise.

Company information

You can’t leave anything to chance when it comes to inspecting engineering plant and equipment, but you can leave it to Thurra. We’re 100% dedicated to engineering inspections and undertake thousands at factories, warehouses, construction sites, offices, garages, care homes and commercial premises; taking a careful look at everything from passenger lifts to excavators; steam boilers to air receivers. As a result, no-one has a greater appreciation of inspection services than Thurra. Just as importantly, by continually refining our methods, we’ve turned inspections into a fine art which ensures we pass on efficiency savings through our really competitive fees.