Machinery pre-starts are a critical part of maintenance and work safety. A good pre-start process for machinery can surface any underlying machinery and maintenance issues, and ensure that no silly or avoidable mistakes are made during normal truck operations. It is important to carry out a series of checks before using a piece of machinery. This is particularly important in situations in which a number of people use the same machine. The grounds/greenkeeping department as a whole is responsible for checking and maintaining all machines, this can include sending machines off to be serviced or repaired. Use this resource as a guide not as an official company document.
Before use of any machinery users should be able to follow this checklist to ensure that they complete all the necessary checks. These checks should be carried out before every use. Any breakages, damage or issues should be reported immediately to the person in charge of maintaining machinery. Any machinery that is deemed unsafe to use should be clearly labeled to ensure that it is not used. The same checklist applies even for machinery without engines, just leave out none applicable checks. If you are unsure, ask.
Before starting the machinery:
– Visual inspection, checking for damage, excessive corrosion and any signs of fluid leaks. (leaks can occur from but not limited to engines, hydraulic pipes, fuels tanks a radiators)
– Visual inspections of belts and hoses for damage and wear.
– Check levels on engine oil, hydraulic oil, fuel, brake fluid and coolant/antifreeze.
– Check none moving parts are safely secure such as the battery and radiator.
– Seats and seatbelts if applicable are functional and safe to use.
– Ensure the correct safety decals and safety equipment are in place and in good condition.
– Blades, or pto driven attachments should be checked for wear, damage and blockages.
– Check to ensure safety pins are in place and working correctly.
– Following the maintenance schedule check and lubricate moving parts where necessary.
– Tyre pressure and tyre wear/damage should be checked at this stage. Along with wheel nuts.
– Check the security of any towbars, linkages or attached equipment.
– Check windscreen washer and horn work.
Now turning the key or pulling pull cords, ensure that the engines start. Diesel machinery may require the glow plugs to be warmed. Petrol may require priming and/or choking and electric machinery will require batteries and ensure safety switches are in the on position.
– Before moving ensure that the machinery turns off and stops using the safety switch.
– Checking foot pedals and controls are working properly. Especially the brake.
– Check for warning lights and ensure instrument measures are reporting correctly.
– Lights, parking brakes and any power assisted parts should be checked at this stage.