How do you know if your forklift is ready to be used before a shift? Before starting work for the day, you need to run through a forklift maintenance checklist. Not only does this help you keep track of the condition of the forklift over time but is required to be competed by OSHA in order to help uphold safe work conditions for the operator.

Here are some things to check regularly as part of your forklift maintenance checklist.


With the forklift engine powered off, take the time to check the exterior parts, the engine compartment and the fluid levels.

  1. Check Exterior Parts: Take a closer look at your tires and forks. Do your forklift tires look worn enough to be replaced? Do you need to adjust the tire pressure? Are your forks worn or need to be serviced? Are there any visible fuel, oil or coolant leaks underneath your forklift? Also take the time to look around your facility’s floor to make sure there are no obstacles in the way.
  2. Check the Engine Compartment: See if the engine oil and filter need to be changed. Check the lift truck’s fuel lines for leaks. Inspect the condition of the belts and make sure the hose clamps and tight.
  3. Check Fluid Levels: You’ll want tot check that all fluid levels are above their minimum mark. The main systems to check are your hydraulic, coolant, master brake cylinder, steering and transmission systems.
  4. Lubricate: Make sure all the forklift parts are ready to operate smoothly. Make sure chains, brakes, hinges, clutch pedals and any attachments are lubricated as needed.


Turn on the lift truck’s engine and test the following operations:

  1. Is the forklift horn loud and able to be hard over the sounds of your facility?
  2. Is the seatbelt working smoothly?
  3. Are the forklift’s foot and parking brakes responding appropriately?
  4. Do the headlights and warning lights turn on?
  5. Is the exhaust discharging smoke freely

No matter where you are in Kentuckiana, the safety of your forklift operator is always your biggest priority. One way to ensure this is to maintain your forklift daily. So, once you’ve checked all of these operations, you can feel confident that your forklift is ready for the shift ahead.

Note: This is not a comprehensive checklist for all classes of lift trucks. Contact your forklift dealer and refer to the operator manual for a detailed maintenance checklist. You can also visit the OSHA website for more details.



Checking your forklift every day is a great way to prevent major damage. But your forklift still needs to be service on a regular basis. How often varies on the class of the lift truck and how many hours a week it’s run. We recommend having a technician check it every 3-6 months. Contact YKI today to schedule a service appointment and our expert technicians and service team can answer any questions on how to maintain your equipment and keep your operation running smoothly! Contact us at (888) 269-3198 today!