FLTA said that Fork Truck Watchdog is the industry’s first-ever national, joined-up initiative designed to protect customers. It works by gathering evidence and providing the mechanism for taking fast and decisive action against wrongdoers.
“Now there is someone fork lift buyers can turn to if they come across a truck being sold in an unsafe condition, unfit for purpose or dishonestly described,” said FLTA CEO Peter Harvey. “What’s more, they can do so with confidence that the information they give will help to eradicate bad practice nationwide.”
The scheme has been set up through close collaboration between the FLTA and West Berkshire District Council, under the government’s Primary Authority Partnership scheme, which allows one local authority to take UK-wide responsibility for an issue of regulatory advice and guidance.
FLTA provides the forklift expertise, while West Berkshire District Council will deal impartially with Trading Standards on behalf of the public, truck users and FLTA members.
“If you’ve bought a truck and believe it to be in unsafe condition or missold, you can report it by filling in the Fork Truck Watchdog form online at www.fork-truck.org.uk and submitting it online or by post,” said Harvey. “And if you are unsure about your complaint, or need guidance, you can ask an FLTA member for help in evaluating the nature and scale of the problem.”
Should the trader’s activity constitute a criminal offence, for example a truck being sold in a dangerous condition or if mis-described, then the complaint will be passed directly to Trading Standards.
“Importantly, because the reporting taps into a national network, poor patterns of practice by particular dealers are immediately identified,” he added. “That’s a game changer as, until now, they would have appeared to be isolated instances in a number of local Trading Standards offices – all waiting, quite understandably, to gather a more substantial body of evidence before opting to investigate.”