CFTS has enjoyed one of its most successful years ever, introducing award-winning new technology to increase the accuracy of members’ Thorough Examinations and expanding the number of depots to enhance customer convenience.

Geoff Martin
Chairman at CFTS

Over the past 12 months, the number of examinations undertaken by CFTS-accredited companies has increased. This is largely attributable to a growing awareness that, unlike many competitor inspections, a CFTS Thorough Examination complies fully with both LOLER and PUWER as per HSE requirements.

In practice that means not simply checking the lifting systems and components (including mast, forks, chains, etc.) covered by LOLER, but also the steering, braking and traction systems, along with overhead guards, wheels, tyres, seats, etc., in order to comply with PUWER.

As part of its drive to make examinations as accurate, repeatable and transparent as possible, CFTS Technical Manager Matthew Kennedy played a leading role in the development of the Professional Fork Wear Gauge that scooped the Safety Ancillary Product award at the Archies 2022 (the UKMHA’s Awards for Excellence). It is now an essential tool in the armory deployed by CFTS-accredited inspectors.

That armory typically includes the professional chain wear gauge (rather than, say, a steel ruler), fork wear gauge, fork wear caliper, digital angle protractor and set square. Alongside that, you can expect CFTS inspection engineers to carry a harness for working at height, truck blocks to secure equipment, torches to inspect defects, UV torches for crack detection, toe jacks for better access, rachet straps to secure masts and forks, mast blocks for checking wear on mast pivot brushes and for securing equipment during steering inspections, plus cones or barriers to ensure inspections take place in segregated areas.

These tools are not merely essential equipment though. They serve as a strong indicator of the type of inspection you’re likely to receive. If an inspector isn’t equipped with these items, there is a very good chance your equipment is not being assessed to the very highest standard.

Just as the number of trained engineers delivering a CFTS-accredited examination has increased, so too has the volume of training delivered not only to examining engineers – each of whom receives regular refresher training – but also to the support and supervisory staff.

Procedures and paperwork have also undergone continuous review to ensure CFTS-accredited Thorough Examinations meet the requirements of new categories of equipment as well as any changes to legislation. That also goes for the comprehensive information you receive after an inspection, identifying what remedial actions are required and when the next Thorough Examination is due.

Importantly, and unlike most competitors, CFTS inspectors are trained and practising engineers whose remit covers not simply examining and reporting a fault, but also repairing it (much as your local garage might do if your car were to fail its MOT).

One final piece of good news is that the number of CFTS-accredited depots grew during 2022 to more than 700 nationwide meaning the gold-standard in examinations is even closer than ever before.


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