6 Forklift Fleet Goals for the New Year

A new year means a chance to evaluate your current business practices and set attainable goals for the future. Consider these six lift truck resolutions as a starting point for greater efficiency in the year ahead.

1. Complete A Daily Lift Truck Pre-Shift Inspection

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires forklift vehicles to be inspected at least daily or after each shift when used around the clock1. A forklift inspection form or sheet is the easiest way to check your lift truck from carriage to counterweight.

2. Complete Annual Operator Training For Employees

Properly training your forklift operators helps keep your employees safe and your business healthy. In addition, OSHA requires forklift training for all operators 2. Proper operator training can also help your business reduce the risk of product, rack and equipment damage during operation.

3. Review Your Warehouse Layout For Maximum Efficiency

An efficient warehouse is a productive and profitable warehouse. Look around and ask yourself these questions:
  • Are we traveling in the most efficient path possible? Can we reduce travel time by changing where items are stored and where activities are performed?
  • Is Is your fleet size leading to congestion that stops workflow – especially in receiving, assembly, packing and/or shipping areas?
  • Can, or should, your fleet be reduced by using more efficient and productive processes or lift trucks?
  • Are items being handled more than once to get through the warehouse?

  • If the answer is ‘Yes’ to any of the above, you should review your warehouse layout and rearrange it for maximum efficiency.

4. Ensure Proper Battery Charging Practices

Properly charging your electric forklift battery could potentially save you thousands of dollars in productivity gains3! Below are five key OSHA forklift battery charging guidelines to keep in mind.
  • Always charge batteries in the designated battery charging area.
  • Wear proper safety equipment such as gloves and protective glasses.
  • When charging batteries - pour acid into water, never pour water into acid .
  • Check the water level. Do not add water prior to recharging. Record the battery level in your service log.
  • Check the voltage and if the battery has sealed vents, do not recharge with a current greater than 25 amperes.

  • For the complete list of OSHA forklift battery charging guidelines, click here. 

5. Perform Timely Planned Maintenance 

Forklift maintenance programs and the quality of technicians who service them have a greater impact on bottom line profit than you might think. A solid PM program follows manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule.

6. Reinforce Safe Lift Truck Operation

Unsafe forklift operations can cost your warehouse time and money in addition to raising safety concerns. Reinforce safe lift truck operation by encouraging your operators to actively communicate any forklift maintenance issues or unsafe lift truck practices with a daily inspection checklist or a pre-shift meeting.

Additional Resources



  • Sample Daily Checklists for Powered Industrial Trucks. (n.d.). Retrieved January 7, 2016, from https://www.osha.gov/training/library/materials
  • Frequently Asked Questions about Powered Industrial Truck Operator Training. (n.d.). Retrieved January 7, 2016.
  • Select the Proper Battery Charger and You Could Save $1 Million a Year. (2006). Material Handling Solutions, 13(4), 16-17.

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