Heavy Equipment Inspection Checklist + How To Streamline Operations With Mobile Forms

Last Updated: August 5, 2022

Whether it’s ensuring that batteries are charged, gas tanks are full, or signal and brake lights are working a complete and detailed heavy equipment inspection checklist is key to making sure your operators and employees are safe while preventing unexpected costly repairs. 

We’ll cover what a heavy equipment inspection checklist should include and explain how to digitize your own heavy equipment inspection checklist to prevent accidents in the workplace and save money on costly repairs, using mobile forms.

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What Is A Heavy Equipment Inspection Checklist? 

A heavy equipment inspection checklist contains a list of machine parts that need to be assessed to ensure that equipment is ready and safe to use. 

Typically, a heavy equipment inspection checklist is used by machine operators in the warehousing, manufacturing, retail, and construction industries. 

A heavy equipment inspection checklist protects your equipment operators from potential workplace accidents

Key Benefits Of A Heavy Equipment Inspection Checklist 

A heavy equipment inspection checklist ensures that the heavy equipment your operators handle is working properly and safe to use. This helps avoid serious issues such as workplace injuries and expensive repairs. 

Prevent Accidents 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, heavy equipment caused 1,038 fatal occupational injuries in 2020 alone. 

Checking equipment ahead of time and keeping track of all near-miss reports will ensure all equipment is working properly. Also, identifying any potential safety hazards (like a forklift maintenance checklist) can help safeguard your employees from possible accidents. 

Save Money 

Heavy equipment replacement is anything but cheap. For example, a new mini excavator can range from $80,000 to $150,000 while a full-size excavator can cost anywhere between $100,000 to $500,000. 

Inspecting heavy equipment allows you to pinpoint issues as they arise, so you can schedule more cost-effective repairs before the problem snowballs and a replacement is needed instead. 

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Heavy Equipment Daily Inspection Checklist 

A detailed heavy equipment checklist ensures your equipment is properly working before, during, and after it is used, to prevent costly replacements and employee injuries.  

Here’s what your heavy equipment daily inspection checklist should include: 

Pre-Start Checklist 

Before firing up heavy equipment, conduct the following checks: 

  • Parking: Check if the equipment is parked in a safe place. 
  • Hazards: Check for overhead or tripping hazards. 
  • Seatbelt: Check if the seatbelt works by inserting it into the buckle. After hearing the click sound, gently tug to see if it works properly. 
  • Parts: Check worn, damaged, or loose parts. 
  • Leaks: Check for puddles or wet spots under the equipment. 
  • Fluids: Check power steering fluid levels, engine oil fluid levels, and windshield washer fluids. 
  • Undercarriage: Check for missing or worn-out rollers, excavators, or track tension and replace if needed. 
  • Oil: Check the oil level. 
  • Engine: Check knocks, oil pressure, and leaks. Assess guards and covers in the engine compartment and make sure they are properly installed. Verify if hoses and belts are properly connected. 
  • Engine support, main springs, springs, and equalizer bar: Check shackle bolts and shifted spring leaf. 
  • Idlers and sprockets: Check for sharp sprocket teeth, and cracks in spokes and ensure there are no welds. 
  • Gauges and lights: Check if the speedometer is working. Check lights and gauges are mounted properly and if they are functioning. 
  • Tires: Check for nails, screws, or other debris mounted in the tires. Check for cuts, sag, general wear, or holes and replace them if needed. Check if tires are properly inflated and ensure tires are not overloaded. 
  • Rims: Check rims for visible damage and replace them if needed. Check if bolts or nuts are in place. 
  • Valves: Check if caps are in place and securely screwed. 
  • Steering wheel: Ensure the steering wheel doesn’t turn freely. Check for excessive play. 
  • Belts: Check for splits and cracks. 
  • Hoses: Check for holes, cracks, pinches, or looseness. 
  • Suspension system: Check if the equipment vibrates or bounces when in use. Check for unusual noises when turning the wheel or going over bumps. 
  • Battery: Ensure the battery is connected and charged, check battery cables, connections, and clamps for corrosion and limpness, and replace them if needed. 
  • Fan and fan belts: Check tension and check for cracks and frays. 
  • Cooling system: Check for damage and leaks. 
  • Radiator guards and belly plate: Check for debris and ensure they’re properly mounted 
  • Fuel system: Check for damage and leaks. 
  • Cab condition: Check mirrors, horn, glass, wiper blades, and seat belts. 

Warm-Up Checklist 

When the equipment has been working for five to 10 minutes, perform the following checks: 

  • Alarms: Check backup alarms. 
  • Horn: Check if the horn is working. 
  • Air filter system: Clean the filter or replace it if needed. Listen to unusual noises and check for warnings. 
  • Lights: Check signal lights, brake lights, headlights, backup lights, and high beams to make sure they’re working. 
  • Hydraulic system: Check hydraulic systems and lines and check for irregular noises. 
  • Fluid levels: Check hydraulic oil, engine steering tank, engine coolant, power terrain, and swing drives. 
  • Brakes: Check if the brakes work properly and replace worn-out brake pads. Check for fluid and air leaks. Assess the parking brake. Find any valves or hardware in the braking systems that need to be replaced. 

Shutdown Checklist 

Once your shift has ended, conduct the following tasks to streamline pre-start checks for the next day:   

  • Fuel tank: Fill up the gas tank until it reaches full capacity. Ensure the fuel tank cap is securely screwed. 
  • Engine: Before shutting down the equipment, wait five minutes for the equipment to remain idle. 
  • Parking: Park the equipment in a safe place, ideally where trees aren’t around to prevent the risk of damage from falling debris.

Heavy Equipment Inspection Checklist: Preventive Maintenance Schedule  

In addition to construction equipment daily operation checks, preventive maintenance or scheduled checks must be performed in between a standard set of hours, where wear and tear typically occur. 

Every 250 To 500 Hours 

  • Conduct oil changes 
  • Change engine air, oil, and fuel filters 

Every 1,000 To 1,200 Hours 

  • Replace cabin air filters 
  • Replace the coolant filter if needed 
  • Assess air dryer 

Every 4,800 To 5,000 Hours 

  • Check hydraulic tank 
  • Check the radiator  
  • Check bushing and pins and replace them if needed 
  • Change return filters for heavy equipment such as hydraulic excavators and bulldozers 
  • Inspect hydraulic filters 
  • Check hydraulic oils and fill them up or change them if needed 
  • Perform transmission service 

A heavy equipment inspection checklist allows your operators to check every machine part, from engines to tires

Simplify Heavy Equipment Inspection Checklists With doForms 

doForms offers mobile forms solutions that transition your heavy equipment operations to a digitized system. 

Our mobile forms allow you to create custom heavy equipment inspection checklists, edit forms, and save and store checklists in a centralized location for easy and secure access.  

With doForms, you can quickly customize your mobile forms from anywhere, collect data in real-time, and create reports on the go.  

With our paperless approach, your operators don’t need to carry around paper-based heavy equipment inspection checklists during their shifts, which can get crumpled and disorganized. 

Going paperless allows you to organize your checklists, streamline your inspection process, and save a considerable amount of money — the average business allocates as much as $8,000 on paper per year! 

Select from our extensive library of forms or personalize your own form to create a heavy equipment inspection checklist you can edit, save, store, and send, whether you’re on the road or on-site, thanks to our user-friendly mobile forms app. 

While your operators are marking their heavy equipment inspection checklists with or without access to an internet connection, you can easily manage employee payroll, time sheets, inventory, and more — storing all of your forms in one secure location.  

On top of heavy equipment checklists, which you can customize and easily adjust when a new task arises, switching to paperless allows you to: 

  • Streamline Commercial Drivers Licenses (CDL) pre-inspection checklists 
  • Create near miss and heavy equipment maintenance reports 
  • Manage engine hours, fault, rules and exception reports, maintenance reminders, and maintenance history reports 
  • Manage your heavy equipment operators whether you’re on-site or on the go 
  • Modify templates and manage employee payroll 
  • Prevent the exposure of sensitive details, such as work performance reviews and payroll information, with security features such as multi-factor authentication and HIPAA compliance

Say goodbye to messy paper checklists.
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Streamline Heavy Equipment Inspection By Going Digital 

A heavy equipment inspection checklist allows heavy equipment operators to ensure each machine part is in proper working condition, from brakes to tires, engines, and beyond. 

Conventional paper checklists are expensive, tedious to create, and messy. 

doForms allows you to streamline your heavy equipment operations by creating, editing, saving, and sending custom mobile forms, from checklists to employee schedules, payroll, heavy equipment inventory, and everything in between.  

Cut down on paper costs, improve organization, and streamline operations with doForms!


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