Local dealer Ability Handling Ltd has warned that many companies operating fork lift trucks in the area may be risking prosecution and serious accidents through ignorance of ‘Thorough Examination’.
Often described as the fork lift truck’s equivalent of a car’s MOT test, but much stricter, Thorough Examination is a legal requirement for every truck aged 12 months or above.
“Unfortunately not everyone knows or understands their obligations under the law,” says Lee Brown, Sales Manager of the Rotherham-based business. “Whether you buy or rent the truck, and even if you only hire it for a day, you need to be sure it has a valid Report of Thorough Examination before you use it.”
He adds: “Some people wrongly believe that the regular servicing of their trucks covers Thorough Examination. It doesn’t. Just as a car needs a regular service and an MOT test, a fork lift truck needs a regular service and a Thorough Examination. In fact, depending on the nature of its work, the truck might actually need to be examined more than once a year.”
Another pitfall pointed out by Mr Brown is that not every ‘inspection’ carried out on a fork lift truck counts as a Thorough Examination. Truck users should always look for the words ‘Report of Thorough Examination’ on the inspection report.
One very big difference between MOT tests and Thorough Examinations, he advises, is that there is no strict government control of who is allowed to carry out a Thorough Examination, what procedures they should follow and what standards they should meet.
“With MOTs, you can reasonably expect a test at one garage or test centre to be the same as that obtained from any other… and that each of those tests will ensure you comply fully with the law. By contrast, Thorough Examinations can vary widely from one provider to another – unless, that is, you go to a company accredited to deliver ‘CFTS’ Thorough Examinations.”
CFTS (Consolidated Fork Truck Services) is the organisation set up by the fork lift truck industry’s two major trade associations – the Fork Lift Truck Association (FLTA) and the British Industrial Truck Association (BITA) – to develop and administer the industry’s national accreditation scheme for Thorough Examination.
Companies accredited to deliver CFTS Thorough Examinations agree to abide by a procedural code which ensures that the examinations they carry out, and the documentation they provide, comply fully with the law. Only accredited companies are allowed to use the CFTS Certification Mark.
“We will be very happy to discuss this further with anyone who is still unsure about Thorough Examination,” says Lee Brown. “You can also find out more by visiting the CFTS website www.thoroughexamination.org.”
As well as CFTS Thorough Examinations, Ability Handling provides a single, local point of contact for all fork lift needs in Yorkshire, North Derbyshire and North Nottinghamshire – including sales, hire, training, service, parts, repairs and transport. Ability supplies a comprehensive range of new and rebuilt equipment and is the authorised dealer for Doosan fork lifts, CombiLift multi-directional trucks and Aislemaster articulated trucks.
For further information visit www.abilityhandlingltd.co.uk, email firstname.lastname@example.org, call 01709 821821 or fax 01709 821421. Address: Ability Handling, Mangham Way, Barbot Hall Industrial Estate, Rotherham, S61 4RL.