Forklift Mechanics Corner – Forklift Safety Newsletter – December 2013

Forklift Mechanics Corner

Did you ever come to work and YOUR forklift was broken down? So, you start looking for the spare forklift to operate. You find the old clunker sitting in the corner and remember how poorly the controls work, the seat is cut up and doesn’t adjustForklift Mechanics Corner 1 very well, and it’s filthy. The thought of having to operate it for the entire shift makes you cringe. The thought of having to repair it makes the forklift mechanics cringe too.

Later in the day you stop by the shop and ask the forklift mechanics when your forklift is going to be fixed. That’s when you find out that the engine seized from a lack of motor oil and it will take a week or two before it can be fixed.

It is frustrating for forklift mechanics to repair forklifts that are not being taken care of. When a mechanic performs routine maintenance on a forklift and finds it low on oil it tells him/her that the operator is not performing a thorough pre-operation check of the forklift. This may happen when forklifts are used by multiple operators who assume that the other operator checked the fluid levels. They may reason that they only need to use the forklift for a minute so why perform a pre-operation check.

OSHA and most company policies require forklift operators to perform a daily pre-operation check at the start of their shift. Although OSHA doesn’t require a written checklist it is a best practice to do so. Otherwise you wouldn’t be able verify that the pre-operation check is being done properly.

IT’S SIMPLE: The better you care for your forklift the less it will break down! The more you care the less visits with the forklift mechanics.


1) Train your forklift operators how to perform a thorough pre-operation check.
2) Maintain your fluid levels at all times.
3) Notify your forklift mechanics of any issues with the forklift.

If you would like to share your experiences/photos of forklift incidents that can educate others on the principles of safe forklift operation please send them to:

We will not publish company or individuals names.

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Bruce Hulberg February 10, 2016
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