Title:
Maintenance Log Book, Holder for Log Book, and Method of Using Both
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A maintenance log book and maintenance related items are held in a case that includes a top cover which can be opened to remove the book and a tag holding arrangement provided inside the case. There is also an elongate, interior wall arrangement located inside the case and defining a passage for receiving and holding a flexible connector suitable for attaching a tag to a vehicle. The log book for use with material handling equipment includes a plurality of pages containing inspection checklists. There are additional pages provided in duplicate which are maintenance request forms. Prior to use of the equipment, the operator completes one of the checklists, each of which lists working parts and components, and fluids to be checked. If maintenance is required, the user completes one of the request forms in duplicate and then removes a detachable copy from the log book to request maintenance.



Inventors:
Cormack, David (Brampton, CA)
Application Number:
11/470358
Publication Date:
03/20/2008
Filing Date:
09/06/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D1/24; B65D25/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BRADEN, SHAWN M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
CONLEY ROSE, P.C. (HOUSTON, TX, US)
Claims:
We claim:

1. A holder for holding a maintenance log book and maintenance related items for a commercial or industrial vehicle, said holder comprising: a case having spaced apart, front and rear walls, a bottom, two side walls extending between and connecting the front and rear walls, and a top cover movable between open and closed positions, said case forming an enclosed chamber when the cover is in the closed position and being adapted to receive and hold the maintenance log book; a tag holding arrangement provided inside said case and connected to at least one wall of the case, said arrangement allowing a maintenance tag to be placed in or removed from said holding arrangement through an open top of the case when said top cover is in the open position; and an elongate, interior wall arrangement located inside said case and connected to said case, said wall arrangement defining an elongate, narrow passage suitable for receiving and holding an elongate, flexible connector for attaching said maintenance tag to the vehicle when vehicle maintenance is required.

2. A holding according to claim 1 wherein said case is a molded plastics case and said top cover is integrally and pivotally attached to said rear wall.

3. A holder according to claim 1 wherein said tag holding arrangement comprises two, elongate ribs formed on one of said front and rear walls, said ribs being spaced apart and forming grooves having open sides which face each other, each groove being adapted to hold a respective side edge of said maintenance tag.

4. A holder according to claim 1 wherein said interior wall arrangement includes two, elongate divider walls located adjacent a corner of said case formed between one of said side walls and one of said front and rear walls.

5. A holder according to claim 4 including a notch formed at a top end of said one side wall and adjacent top ends of said divided walls, said notch being adapted to and sized to receive a connecting head provided at one end of said flexible connector.

6. A holder according to claim 2 wherein said top cover includes a front flap pivotably connected to a remaining section of the top cover and said holder includes a magnetic strip closure for detachable connecting said front flap to said front wall.

7. A method of tracking inspections and maintenance of material handling equipment, said method comprising: providing a holder containing equipment maintenance forms on said material handling equipment, said maintenance forms being removable from said holder and including a book having a plurality of pages having printed thereon inspection checklists listing working parts, components and fluids to be checked on a regular, predetermined operating schedule; having an operator of said equipment carry out a predetermined equipment inspection covering said parts, components and fluids and filling out one of said inspection checklists prior to operating said equipment a period of time, said book being removed from said holder prior to completion of said checklist; and if maintenance is required after said equipment inspection, having said operator complete a maintenance request form which is one of the provided equipment maintenance forms; upon completion of said maintenance request form, if required, delivering a copy thereof to a person responsible for maintenance of the equipment; and placing said book back into said holder.

8. A method of tracking inspections and maintenance according to claim 7 wherein said book also includes a plurality of carbonless maintenance request forms including non-detachable duplicate copies thereof and a plurality of carbonless accident report forms including non-detachable duplicate copies thereof and wherein said method includes the additional step of completing one of said accident report forms in duplicate if an accident involving the material handling equipment occurs during its operation.

9. A method of tracking inspections and maintenance according to claim 7 including providing a lock-out tag in said holder, removing said lock-out tag from said holder and attaching said tag to the material handling equipment if said equipment inspection determines that the equipment cannot be used or cannot safely be used until the equipment has been repaired or certain necessary maintenance has been completed.

10. A method of tracking inspections and maintenance according to claim 8 wherein said material handling equipment is a forklift truck and said holder is mounted on said truck.

11. A method of tracking inspection and maintenance according to claim 7 wherein the step of filling out said inspection checklist includes recording a start time for operation of the equipment by said operator and includes the additional steps of removing said book from said holder after the operator has finished operation of the equipment for said period of time and recording an end time on said inspection checklist.

12. A method of tracking inspections and maintenance according to claim 7 wherein said book also includes a maintenance log for recording time and type of routine maintenance on said material handling equipment, said maintenance log being one of said equipment maintenance forms, and wherein said method includes the additional step of recording a routine maintenance job performed on said equipment after completion of said routine maintenance job.

13. A method of tracking inspections and maintenance according to claim 7 wherein said book includes a plurality of maintenance request forms including non-detachable carbonless duplicate copes of said request forms and wherein, after completion of one of said maintenance request forms in duplicate, the duplicate copy of the completed request form remains in said book.

14. A log book for use with material handling equipment for the purpose of conducting inspections of said equipment and maintaining said equipment, said book comprising: a plurality of printed pages bound together, each page containing at least one inspection checklist for completion by one or more operators of said equipment; a plurality of additional printed pages arranged in pairs in order to provide duplicate copies with one of the two copies being detachable and the second of the two copies being non-detachable from the log book, said additional printed pages being maintenance request forms, wherein during use of said log book and prior to use of said equipment, a user of said equipment can check off one of said checklists, each of which lists working parts and components and fluids to be checked by the user, and if maintenance is required after said equipment inspection, said user can complete one of said maintenance request forms in duplicate and remove said one detachable copy from the log book in order to request maintenance for said equipment.

15. A log book according to claim 14 including accident report form pages arranged in pairs in order to provide duplicate copies with one of the two copies of each accident report form page being detachable and the second of the two copies of the accident report form page being non-detachable from the log book.

16. A log book according to claim 14 including at least one maintenance log page having printed columns for recording the date and nature of maintenance jobs carried out on said equipment, said at least one maintenance log page being non-detachable from said log book.

17. A log book according to claim 16 wherein said log book is for use with a forklift truck and the inspection checklists on said printed pages each list forklift components including forks, mast, lift cylinder, and overhead guard.

18. A log book according to claim 17 wherein each printed page containing at least one inspection checklist has a plurality of columns for completion by an operator of the forklift truck, each column being usable for a respective single forklift truck inspection.

19. A log book according to claim 14 wherein said additional printed pages comprise two part carbonless forms for making duplicate copies.

20. A log book according to claim 19 including a movable flap member which can be inserted by a user of the log book behind a selected one of the two part carbonless forms in order to prevent data being recorded on said selected two part form from being transferred wholly or partially to any two part carbonless form underlying said flap member.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to holders for log books, log books for use with material handling equipment for the purpose of conducting inspections of this equipment and maintaining same, and methods of tracking inspections and maintenance of material handling equipment.

There is a recognized need for material handling equipment, such as forklift trucks, to be inspected on a regular and timely basis in order to ensure that the equipment is working properly and is safe to operate. In the case of forklift trucks, which often are used for full work shifts, operators skilled in the operation and maintenance of these trucks and their manufacturers generally agree that it is necessary to inspect these trucks at the beginning of each shift (for example: a seven hour or eight hour shift) to insure that it is working properly and not in need of repair or maintenance. Thus it is generally agreed that the operator should conduct a visual inspection of various working parts, components and fluids to ensure that these parts and components are operating safely and that there are the proper amounts of fluids such as hydraulic oil and coolant and to confirm that these parts, components and fluids are in accordance with the operator's manual. In particular, items such as brakes, controls, the hydraulic system, the horn and lights must be functioning properly.

If the inspection of the equipment by the operator reveals that a repair to the equipment or truck is required or that maintenance is required than this should generally be reported to a supervisor responsible for same or to a maintenance department or to other persons responsible for maintenance of the equipment or truck in order that the necessary maintenance or repair can be carried out. Furthermore, if the inspection reveals that in fact the equipment or truck is unsafe to operate, then steps should be taken to ensure that the equipment is not in fact used until the necessary repairs have been completed.

In the case of forklift trucks which do require regular inspections for safety and maintenance purposes, it is known to provide a plurality of inspection forms for the operator's use so that these inspections can be carried out. These forms in duplicate are held in a container attached at a suitable location on the forklift truck. This container, which is made of polyethylene can be equipped with a top flap that is secured to the main body of the container by an integral hinge and that can be moved to an open position in order to remove the inspection book. With this known inspection system each inspection record is prepared in duplicate and one of the two copies is given to the supervisor in order that he can confirm that the inspection has been carried out and in order that he has a record of this inspection. The second copy of the completed form remains in the book. This system can result in an undue amount of paperwork for the supervisor and the need to keep a lot of inspection form copies.

Early U.S. Pat. No. 1,798,401 issued Mar. 31, 1931 to A. L. Danielson teaches a log book container which can also be used to hold a license or certificate. This container is provided with a cover which is attached to the main body of the container by a hinge member. The certificate held in the container is protected by a transparent shield member, the sides of which fit into channels formed by two retaining strips mounted inside the container at opposite ends. This container can be mounted to a steering post of a vehicle by means of a clamp member.

U.S. Pat. No. 2,797,935 issued Jul. 2, 1957 to C. E. Carney teaches a holder for supporting a pad of notepaper, this holder being suited for use in a vehicle. The holder includes a rectangular metal box with a lid at one end, the lid being attached to the box by a hinge pin. Extending over the top wall of the container is a so called partition or external wall which has a pencil holding loop formed at its lower end. The external wall can be used to hold a pad on the top of the container by inserting the pad's cardboard back between the external wall and the top of the container.

Despite these known log book and paper pad holders, there remains a need for a holder that is capable of not only holding a maintenance log book for a commercial or industrial vehicle or for material handling equipment but also other maintenance related items, which the operator of the vehicle or equipment may need from time to time. There also remains a need for an improved log book for use with material handling equipment, such as forklift trucks, for the purpose of conducting inspections of the equipment and maintaining this equipment. In particular there is a need for a simple-to-use log book for material handling equipment that includes a plurality of printed pages containing inspection checklists for completion but also additional printed pages which can be used to make a specific request for maintenance of the equipment when this is required.

Furthermore, there is a need for a good method of tracking inspections and maintenance of material handling equipment, this method employing a holder containing equipment maintenance forms which is provided on the equipment, the maintenance forms including not only a book of printed inspection checklists listing working parts, components and fluids to be checked on a regular schedule, but also a maintenance request form that can be completed if maintenance is required

SUMMARY OF THE PRESENT DISCLOSURE

The present disclosure provides an advantageous holder for holding a maintenance log book and maintenance related items for a commercial or industrial vehicle. Further the present disclosure provides an advantageous log book for use with material handling equipment for the purpose of conducting inspections of the equipment and maintaining the equipment. In addition, the present disclosure provides an advantageous method of tracking inspections and maintenance of material handling equipment using a holder for containing equipment maintenance forms that is provided on the material handling equipment and maintenance forms including a log book that contains pages of printed inspection checklists.

According to one aspect of the present disclosure, a holder for holding a maintenance log book and maintenance related items for a commercial or industrial vehicle includes a case having spaced apart, front and rear walls, a bottom, two side walls extending between and fixedly connecting the front and rear walls, and a top cover movable between open and closed positions. This case forms an enclosed chamber with the cover in the closed position and it is adapted to receive and hold the maintenance log book. A tag holding arrangement is provided inside the case and is connected to at least one wall of the case. This arrangement allows a maintenance tag to be placed in or removed from the holding arrangement through an open top of the case when the top cover is in the open position. An elongate interior wall arrangement located inside the case and is connected to the case. This wall arrangement defines an elongate, narrow passage suitable for receiving and holding an elongate, flexible connector for attaching the maintenance tag to the vehicle when vehicle maintenance is required.

In a particularly exemplary embodiment of this holder, the case is a molded plastic case and the top cover is integrally and pivotally attached to the rear wall.

According to a further aspect of the present disclosure, a log book for use with material handling equipment for the purpose of conducting inspections of the equipment and maintaining this equipment includes a plurality of printed pages bound together, each page containing at least one inspection checklist for completion by one or more operators of the equipment. A plurality of additional printed pages are also provided and are arranged in pairs in order to provide duplicate copies with one of the two copies being detachable and the second of the two copies being non-detachable from the log book. These additional printed pages are maintenance request forms. During use of this log book and prior to use of the equipment, a user of the equipment can check off one of the checklists, each of which lists working parts and components and fluids to be checked by the user. If maintenance is required after the equipment inspection, the user can complete one of the maintenance request forms in duplicate and remove the one detachable copy from the log book in order to request maintenance for the equipment.

According to a particular exemplary embodiment of this log book, accident report form pages are arranged in pairs in the book in order to provide duplicate copies with one of the two copies of each accident report form page being detachable and the second of the two copies of the accident report form page being non-detachable from the log book.

According to another aspect of the present disclosure, a method of tracking inspections and maintenance of material handling equipment includes providing a holder containing equipment maintenance forms on the material handling equipment, these maintenance forms being removable from the holder and including a log book having a plurality of pages having printed thereon inspection checklists listing working parts, components and fluids to be checked on a regular, predetermined operating schedule. The method of the present disclosure includes having an operator of the equipment carry out a predetermined equipment inspection covering the parts, components and fluids and filling out one of the inspection checklists prior to operating the equipment for a selected period of time. The book is removed from the holder prior to the completion of the checklist. If maintenance is required after the equipment inspection, the operator completes a maintenance request form which is one of the equipment maintenance forms. Upon completion of the maintenance request form, if required, a copy thereof is delivered to a person responsible for maintenance of the equipment. The book is then placed back into the holder.

According to an exemplary embodiment of this method, the book also includes a plurality of maintenance request forms including non-detachable carbonless duplicate copies thereof and a plurality of accident report forms including non-detachable carbonless duplicate copies. This exemplary method includes the additional step of completing one of the accident report forms in duplicate if an accident involving the material handling equipment occurs during its operation.

These and other aspects of the disclosed holder, log book, and method of tracking inspections and maintenance of equipment will become more readily apparent to those having ordinary skill in the art from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the drawings provided herewith.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

So that those having ordinary skills in the art to which the present disclosure pertains will more readily understand how to make and use the subject invention, exemplary embodiments thereof will be described in detail herein below with reference to the drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a front view of a holder or case for holding a maintenance log book and maintenance related items for a commercial or industrial vehicle;

FIG. 2 is a right side view of the holder of FIG. 1, this view showing a pen mounted on the holder;

FIG. 3 is a vertical cross-section of the holder taken along the line III-III of FIG. 2, this view omitting the pen and its clamp;

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of the holder taken along the line IV-IV of FIG. 1, this view also showing a flexible connector mounted inside the holder;

FIG. 5 is a left side view of the upper portion of the holder of FIG. 1 with the top cover in the closed position;

FIG. 6 is a horizontal cross-section of the holder taken along the line VI-VI of FIG. 1;

FIG. 7 is a top edge view of a maintenance log book constructed according to the present disclosure;

FIG. 8 is an exploded view of printed pages in the log book, these pages being seen from their side edges, and this view showing how printed pages serving different functions are bound on top of each other to form the log book of FIG. 7;

FIG. 9 is a front view illustrating the format and layout of an inspection checklist form according to the present disclosure, this view illustrating that more than one copy of this form is provided in the log book;

FIG. 10 is a front view of a maintenance tag that can be held in the holder of FIG. 1 when maintenance or repairs are required;

FIG. 11 is a side view of a flexible plastic connector that can be used to attach the tag of FIG. 10;

FIG. 12 is a front view of a maintenance request form, this view showing the general layout of the form and the provision of a duplicate copy thereof;

FIG. 13 is a front view of an accident report form, this view showing the general layout of the form and indicating that a duplicate copy is provided;

FIG. 14 is a front view showing the general layout of a maintenance log that can be included in the log book, this view indicating the provision of more than one copy of this form; and

FIG. 15 is a perspective view of a standard forklift truck shown in dot-dash lines and equipped with the holder of FIG. 1, the holder being mounted on an easily accessible surface of the truck.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EXEMPLARY EMBODIMENT(S)

In the detailed description which follows, various exemplary embodiments are described, particularly with reference to the figures appended hereto. However, the particularly described embodiments are merely illustrative of a holder for holding a maintenance log book, a log book for use with material handling equipment, and methods of tracking inspections and maintenance of material handling equipment.

Referring now to the figures, FIGS. 1 to 6 illustrate a holder 10 for holding a maintenance log book and maintenance related items for a commercial or industrial vehicle, such as the forklift truck illustrated in FIG. 15. FIG. 15 illustrates how this holder and its contents can be mounted on a commercial vehicle such as a forklift truck. Although the means for attaching the holder to the vehicle can vary, according to one exemplary embodiment, two sided adhesive tape 12 is used. As illustrated, two strips of this tape can be attached on the rear surface of the holder and can extend most of the length of the holder. The surface to which the holder is attached is preferably substantially flat to enable a very good bond using this tape.

The holder of the present disclosure includes a case which can be made by injection molding and an exemplary type of plastic for the case is polypropylene, this type of plastic allowing labels and stickers with suitable text to be attached, for example, to the front surface of the case. The illustrated case includes spaced apart, front and rear walls 14 and 16, a bottom 18 and two side walls 20 and 22 which extend between and rigidly connect the front and rear walls. The case further includes a top cover 24 movable between an open position (see FIG. 3) and a closed position, the latter position being shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. It will be understood that the case forms an enclosed chamber 26 when the cover is in the closed position and is adapted to receive and hold a maintenance log book such as the log book 28 illustrated in FIG. 7. An exemplary form of the top cover 24 is integrally and pivotably attached to the rear wall 16. It is also possible to construct the cover as a separate, detachable member such as one, for example, which has sidewalls that telescope over the top section of the main portion of the case in a snug fitting manner. The illustrated top cover has a front flap 30 pivotably connected to a remaining section 32. In an exemplary embodiment, a so called living hinge 34 can be provided between the front flap 30 and the section 32 and a further living hinge 36 can be provided to pivotably connect the section 32 to the rear wall 16. In a well known manner, such living hinges are made by reducing the thickness of the plastic material which is sufficiently flexible to permit pivoting to take place. In an exemplary embodiment, an attachment mechanism is provided to detachably connect the front flap 30 to the front wall 14 of the case. As illustrated, this attachment mechanism comprises a magnetic strip closure 38. This closure can comprise two magnetized strips with one strip 39 being affixed to the front wall 14 and the other strip 40 being affixed to the inside surface of the front flap.

The illustrated holder 10 is provided with a tag holding arrangement comprising two elongate ribs 42, 44 that can be formed on either the front wall 14 or the rear wall of the case. These ribs as illustrated are formed on the rear wall 16. The ribs can extend a major portion of the height of the holder as shown in FIG. 3 and they can extend to the bottom 18 of the holder. According to one form of these ribs, this form being shown in FIG. 6, the ribs slope inwardly, for example at an angle of about 45°, to the adjacent wall 16. In this way, they form grooves 46 having open sides which face each other. Each groove is adapted to hold a respective side edge of a maintenance tag 48, one version of which is illustrated in FIG. 10. In order to be held in these grooves, the tag, which can be made of suitable cardboard or suitably stiff plastic sheeting, has a width W which is slightly greater than the distance D between the inner or free edges 50 of the ribs. The maintenance function of this tag 48 is explained below in the description of FIG. 10 and in the description of the method of this disclosure for tracking inspections and maintenance. It will be appreciated that alternative forms of tag hold arrangements inside the case are possible. For example, instead of the sloping ribs 42, 44, it is possible to provide ribs or edge holders of similar length that are L-shaped in cross-section with one leg of the L projecting from the rear wall 16 and the other leg projecting inwardly towards the other rib. It is also possible to provide a complete partition wall that extends substantially the width of the case and that is a short distance from the rear wall or the front wall, thereby forming a narrow compartment or slot for receiving the tag. It is also possible to form ribs or ridges that extend inwardly from the side walls and that are a short distance from either the rear wall or the front wall of the case, thereby forming relatively narrow slots or grooves to receive the edges of a maintenance tag.

The holder 10 of the disclosure is also provided with an elongate interior wall arrangement indicated generally at 55, this arrangement being located inside the case and connected to the case. The wall arrangement defines an elongate, narrow passage 56 suitable for receiving and holding an elongate, flexible connector 58 for attaching the maintenance tag 48 to the vehicle when vehicle maintenance is required. In the illustrated embodiment of the arrangement 55 there are two, elongate divider walls 60, 62 located adjacent a corner 64 of the case formed between one of the side walls 20, 22 and one of the front and rear walls. In the illustrated case, this corner 64 is located where the sidewall 20 meets the rear wall 16. In an exemplary embodiment, these divider walls 60, 62 extend for most of the height of the case and they can be separated by a gap 66, this gap helping to keep the passage 56 clear and unobstructed. Alternatively, the two walls 60, 62 could meet and be joined so that the passage 56 is substantially enclosed, except for its top end. As a further alternative, it is also possible for the wall arrangement 55 to be a curved wall extending from the side wall to the adjacent rear or front wall.

A notch 68 can be formed at a top end of one side wall of the case and adjacent top ends of the divider walls 60, 62. This notch, which can be seen clearly in FIGS. 4 and 5, is adapted to and sized to receive a connecting head 70 of the flexible plastic connector 58. This head is integrally formed at one end of the connector as shown in FIGS. 4 and 11. In a known manner, this head has a rectangular passageway 72 formed therein and, when the connector is being used to secure a maintenance tag to the vehicle, an opposite, tapered end 73 can be looped around and inserted through the passage 72. Because of a gripping jaw 74 mounted inside the passage 72, the portion of the connector inserted through the passageway cannot readily be withdrawn. A more detailed description of the flexible connector herein is deemed unnecessary as this type of connector is known per se in the connector art. It will also be appreciated that other forms of flexible connectors than the plastic connector shown can also be used to attach the maintenance tag. For example, a strip of easily bendable metal wire can be used and, if desired, this wire can be encased by a paper strip covering to make it easier to handle and manipulate.

Turning now to the construction of the maintenance log book 28, a top end of which is shown in FIG. 7, this book of the present disclosure is constructed for use with material handling equipment, such as a forklift truck for the purpose of conducting inspections of the equipment and maintaining the equipment. The book comprises a plurality of printed pages indicated generally at 76 which are bound together. The binding, which can be of standard construction, can comprise an edge binding 78 which is glued to the edges of the pages along one side of the book. If desired, the book can include a front cover 80 which can be suitably labeled to indicate the purpose of the book and a rear cover 82 and both of these covers can be the usual rectangular shape and sufficiently large to cover the front and back of the bound printed pages. The book includes a first group of pages 84 which comprises a plurality of printed pages, each containing at least one inspection checklist 86. One of these pages and the general layout of the checklist is illustrated in FIG. 9 which also indicates a second and a third page of the same inspection checklist. In one exemplary embodiment of the maintenance book, the first group of pages 84 comprises one hundred and eighty pages. Moreover, on each of these pages as illustrated in FIG. 9, there are five blank vertical columns 88 to 92 and thus, using this particular checklist page, it is possible to conduct five separate inspection procedures before using the next checklist page. In accordance with good maintenance practices, this inspection checklist form is completed at the beginning of each shift by the operator. The pages of the first group 84, which are not provided in duplicate, remain in the maintenance log book at all times. This procedure avoids unnecessary duplicate copies of the checklist form and avoids the use of loose or unattached copies of the checklist forms which can get lost or misplaced.

In addition to the aforementioned five columns, an exemplary embodiment of the checklist form can be provided with an upper end section 94 on which can be printed the title of the form, for example, “Lift Truck Log” as well as the particular type of lift truck for which the form is intended, for example, the type known as Counter Balance Propane. In the upper corner of the wide left hand column of the form there can be printed the following list of information to be inserted in each of the columns to the right.

    • Date
    • Time Start
    • Meter Start
    • Time End
    • Meter End
    • Start of Shift

On a horizontal band provided at 96, there can be inserted a suitable title for the inspection items to be listed below this band and a further title can be printed on the next horizontal band 98. For example, the band 96 can have printed thereon the title “Visual Inspection” in order to indicate to the operator that the items in the section below this title that are listed in the left hand column are items that must be visually inspected prior to operation of the truck. Then in the left hand vertical margin 100 there can be printed category titles for the visual inspection which, in the case of a propane driven forklift truck can be the category “Propane” printed at 102, the category “Engine” printed at 104 and the category “Forklift” printed at 106. In the left hand column beside the category “Propane” can be listed the following inspection items (as an example only).

    • Relief Valve Pointing UP:
    • Fuel Level:
    • No Fuel Leaks:
    • Safety Strap Secure:

In the left column beside the category 104, the following inspection items can be listed, if appropriate, for the machine:

    • Oil Level:
    • Radiator Fluid Level:
    • Air Filter:
    • Fan Belt:
    • Hydraulic Oil:
    • Battery and Connectors:

Beside the category “Forklift” in the lefthand column, there can, for example, be listed the following inspection items:

    • Overhead Guard:
    • Tires/Wheels:
    • Tilt Cylinders:
    • Carriage:
    • Forks and Locking Pins:
    • Mast:
    • Lift Cylinder and Chains:
    • Capacity Data Plate:
    • Other:

In the horizontal band at 98, a title such as “Operational Inspection” can be printed to indicate that the items listed below this title must be actually operated in order to see if they operate properly. In the right margin at 108 there can be listed a category description suitable for this portion of the inspection, for example, the category “Operator Controls”. Under this title and this category in the left hand column there can be listed the following inspection items (as an example only) which are listed in a single column.

    • Seat Belt:
    • Parking Brake:
    • Service Brakes:
    • Lifting and Lowering Controls:
    • Tilt Controls:
    • Lights:
    • Horn and Warning Devices:
    • Gauges:
    • No Oil Leaks:
    • Optional—Attachments:
    • Other:

In the bottom box at 110 below the left hand column of inspection items there can be printed the word “Pass” and it is here that the operator after the inspection has been carried out indicates on the form whether or not the machine or truck has passed the inspection and is in condition for normal use. This could be indicated by a check mark.

In the next rectangle 112, can be printed the word “Fail” and this indicates where the operator should indicate that the machine or truck has not passed the inspection. A check mark or X beside the box 112 indicates that maintenance or repair of the machine was considered necessary and was requested by the operator in the manner explained below. The bottom rectangular 114 can have printed thereon the words “Operator's Initials:” which indicates that the operator must initial the bottom of the inspection form and, in particular, a bottom rectangle 116 located at the bottom of one of the five column 88 to 92, thereby officially confirming that he has carried out the necessary inspection of the vehicle or truck.

The maintenance book 28 also includes a plurality of additional printed pages that are arranged in pairs in order to provide duplicate copies. This plurality of pages is indicated as a second group 120 in FIG. 8 wherein the various groups of pages that make up the complete maintenance log book are shown separated by small gaps 122 for sake of illustration and understanding. This second group of pages can be maintenance request forms. An example of this form is shown in FIG. 12 and is identified generally by reference 125. Only an exemplary layout for this particular form is illustrated in FIG. 12. The fact that this form is provided in duplicate is indicated by the duplicate copy at 126. One of the two copies, for example, the front copy, is detachable from the log book 28 while the second of the two copies is non-detachable from the log book. The request form 125 must be filled out by the operator if maintenance or a repair is required on the material handling equipment. The detachable copy is removed by the operator and given to his supervisor or other designated person responsible for maintenance or repairs done on the vehicle or truck. The non-detachable copy remains, of course, in the log book for record keeping purposes. At the same time, the operator must also determine if the equipment or truck is unsafe to operate. If so, the truck or equipment must be locked out of service using a maintenance tag such as the aforementioned tag 48 illustrated in FIG. 10.

According to one embodiment of the request form 125, the form is laid out as will now be described and is printed with suitable language to facilitate its use. In particular, at the top of the form in the horizontal space 128, can be printed a descriptive title such as “Repair Request Form” or “Maintenance Request Form”. Below this title in the left side area indicated at 130 there can be listed the following headings to provide identifying information concerning the request:

    • Truck No.
    • Location
    • Hour Meter
    • Name
    • Date
      The operator fills in the requested information in the right side area indicated at 132 which can be suitably lined. Then, in the rectangular area 134 located under the identifying information, there can be written a description of the required repair or maintenance. At the top of the area 134 can be a suitable subtitle such as “Repair Description:”. In a particular embodiment of this form, there is also provision for the operator to indicate the condition of the truck or vehicle and, in particular, to indicate whether or not it is considered safe to operate or unsafe operate. Thus, in the area 136 there can be printed the descriptive words “Condition of Truck”. Two check off squares can be provided at 137 and 138 and to the right of these squares in the area 139 can be printed information to identify what information is being provided by a check mark in either of the two squares. For example, beside the first square 137 can be printed the words “Safe to Operate Until Repairs Completed”. Beside the second square 138 can be printed the following:
    • Unsafe to Operate
    • 1) Keys Removed
    • 2) Fuel Turned Off
    • 3) Tag Placed on Steering Wheel

There may also be a provision on this request form to indicate whether or not the truck, vehicle or equipment was involved in an accident. A prompt for indicating this state of affairs can be printed in the area 140. In one embodiment, the words printed in this area are “Truck was Involved in an Accident:”. To the right of the area 140 can be two small squares, one of which is checked off to indicate that the truck was involved in an accident and the other of which is checked off if the truck was not involved in an accident. Beside the first square can be the word “YES” and beside the second square can be the word “NO”. If desired, or if required by the rules of operation of the vehicle or truck, there can be printed a reminder below the area 140 such as the following statement:

    • “if YES is selected, an accident report must be filled out and submitted to your Supervisor.”
      There can also be a further printed area at the bottom of the request form, this area indicated at 142. This area can provide a printed reminder concerning how the request form is to be used. For example, the following words can be printed in the area 142:
    • “This form must be submitted to the designated Supervisor for approved repairs of the lift truck.”

The number of repair request forms provided in any particular log book can, of course, vary depending on such factors as the equipment with which the log book is used, the known amount of maintenance required for such a vehicle and other factors. In one particular log book, the number of request repair forms provided in duplicate is twenty-four. Automatic transfer of the printing or writing on the first copy of the accident report form can be provided by using a known type of carbonless paper form which is able to transfer the writing or printing to the duplicate copy 126. The detachable copy of this form can be provided by means of a line of perforations along the edge of the form where the form is bound in the log book. As an alternative, of course, it is possible to use carbon paper inserts between the two printed copies so that the printing or writing will be transferred to the second copy. This form can be color coded, if desired. For example, the first copy of the form can be yellow while the second copy is light green.

The maintenance log book 28 according to the present disclosure can also include accident report form pages which are also arranged in pairs in order to provide duplicate copies. One embodiment of such an accident report form is illustrated in FIG. 13 and indicated by reference 150. A duplicate copy of this report form is indicated at 152. Again, this duplicate form can be a carbonless type form wherein writing and printing on the first or top copy is automatically transferred to the duplicate copy 152. One of the two copies of this form is detachable, for example, the top copy, while the second of the two copies is non-detachable from the log book. A third group of forms which can be these accident report forms is indicated at 154 in FIG. 8. As shown, these accident report forms can be provided in the log book below the second group 120 which are the maintenance request forms. Although the number of accident request forms provided in duplicate will vary depending on the equipment or vehicle, in one embodiment of the log book there are four of these report forms provided in duplicate. Vehicles such as lift trucks are often involved in accidents that may involve pedestrians and/or physical objects. Whenever such an accident occurs, the accident report form must be filled out. Once the report is completed, the detachable copy is removed and given to the supervisor or other person having responsibility for such accidents and the reporting of same while the other copy remains in the log book for record keeping. The two copies of each accident report can be colour coated, if desired. For example, the detachable copy can be coloured pink while the non-detachable copy is beige or white.

As for the text appearing on the accident report, at the top of the report in the area there can be a suitable title such as “LIFT TRUCK LOG: ACCIDENT REPORT”. Below this title in the area 158 there can be written on the lines provided important identifying information. On the left side of this area can be written a list of items to be covered such as the following list.

    • Lift Truck No.:
    • Date of Incident:
    • Time of Incident:
    • Name:
    • Position:
    • Place of Incident:
      If desired, there can be a smaller, central section 160 which relates to the locking out of the vehicle or truck after the incident and indicates whether or not this occurred. For example, the following question can appear in this area:

“Was lift truck immediately locked out after the incident?”

Beside this question there can be two squares 161, 162 for a possible check mark and beside these squares can appear the words “YES” and “NO” respectively.

Below the area 160 there can be provided an enumerated list of the persons who were involved in the incident, their names being listed at 164. At the top of this list can appear a written explanation such as “Names of Those Involved in the Incident.” Beside this description of the list there can be a right side column having two side-by-side check off squares indicated at 166. Beside each pair of squares (each pair being associated with one person) there can be the words “YES” and “NO” respectively. At the top of this column of check off squares can appear an indication of the purpose of the check mark, for example, the word “INJURED?”. Thus, if the reporting person checks off the YES box beside a person's name, this would indicate that the listed person was injured. In the lined area 168 appearing at the bottom of the form, the reporting individual can fill in the details of the accident A suitable subtitle such as “DETAILS OF ACCIDENT” can be provided at 170, A line for the signature of the reporting person is provided at 172 and the word “SIGNED” can appear at 174 in order to indicate that the person is to sign the completed report. Finally, a space for the date of the report can be provided at 176 with the description “DATE:” appearing at 178.

An optional additional form that can also be included in the maintenance log book is a “Near-Miss Incident Report.” This report can be similar in set up and format to the accident report form described above and shown in FIG. 13. Again, the form can be provided in duplicate on carbonless paper so that text written on the first copy will be transferred to the second copy. At the top of this optional form can be a suitable title such as “Near-Miss Incident Report” and below this can be words to identify the truck or vehicle such as the words “Truck No.:” with a box on the right side of these words to insert the vehicle or truck identification number. Below this on the form can be the following list of prompts for details to be filled in beside each prompt on one or more lines provided:

    • Date of Incident:
    • Time of Incident:
    • Name:
    • Position:
    • Location of Incident:
    • Describe details of Near-Miss Incident:
    • What acts or conditions may have contributed to the incident?:
    • What action could be taken to prevent a similar incident?:
      At the bottom of this form can be printed the prompt “SIGNED.” beside a space for the signature of the operator completing the report as well as the prompt “DATE.” beside the space for the date. There can also be an indication at the bottom of this form that the first copy, which can be the detachable copy, must be given to the supervisor (or other responsible person responsible for reporting such occurrences). At the bottom of the second, non-detachable copy, there can be printed words to indicate that this copy remains in the Maintenance Log, for example, the words “This form remains in Lift Truck Log”. It will be appreciated by those skilled in the operation of such vehicles as forklift trucks that this form should be used, or a form containing similar information, whenever the vehicle or truck is involved with an incident that almost resulted in an accident in the opinion of the operator. The purpose of this form is to hopefully avoid future accidents by possibly taking steps which will avoid such an incident occurring again.

An exemplary embodiment of the maintenance log book can also include at least one maintenance log page having printed columns for recording the date and nature of a maintenance job carried out on the equipment. One embodiment of such a maintenance log page is illustrated in FIG. 14 and is indicted generally by reference 180. This maintenance log page can be non-detachable from the log book 28 and more than one maintenance log page can be provided in the book, if desired A second maintenance log page is indicated in FIG. 14 at 182. These pages can be grouped together as a fourth group of forms indicated at 184 in FIG. 8. This group can be found underneath the third group 154. In one embodiment of the maintenance log book only two of these printed pages are provided. A suitable title for this page such as “ROUTINE MAINTENANCE LOG” can appear at the top of the page in the area 186. Below the title, in the horizontal strip 188 can be a reminder concerning the maintenance frequency required for the vehicle or truck. For example, the area 188 can contain the words “PROTECTIVE MAINTENANCE (PM) SERVICE TO BE DONE EVERY: _ HRS.” In the blank space before the word “HRS.” the operator, supervisor or other maintenance person can fill in the stipulated or agreed upon number of hours between routine maintenance sessions. In the case of lift trucks, these must be maintained on regular intervals based on hours of use. This maintenance log will ensure that the truck is consistently inspected for safety and operational soundness. Providing maintenance services too frequently is wasteful while not servicing a truck or other vehicle sufficiently frequently can constitute a safety hazard.

In the horizontal strip indicated at 190 can be printed the title of the columns of the maintenance log. In the illustrated maintenance log which has four vertical columns these titles can, for example, be “DATE”, “TYPE”, “HOUR METER”, and “HOURS BETWEEN LAST SERVICE”>. Of course, each time routine maintenance is carried out on the vehicle or truck, the requested information is filled out on the first empty horizontal strip extending across the four columns in the area 192.

An optional but desirable feature of the log book is the provision of a movable flap member 194 that is illustrated in FIG. 7. This flap member, for example, can be an extension of the rear cover 82 of the book and can be a flexible plastic panel of sufficient thickness. The member 194 can be inserted by a user of the log book behind a selected one of the two part carbonless forms in the book in order to prevent data being recorded on a selected two-part form from being transferred wholly or partially on any two-part carbonless form underlying the flap member. It will be understood that the position of the movable flap member in the book can be moved each time a two part carbonless form has been completed so that it underlines the next carbonless form to be completed in the book.

FIG. 10 illustrates an exemplary form of a lock out tag 48 that can be provided in the holder 10. The tag can include a hole 200 near one end through which the aforementioned flexible connector 58 can be inserted in order to attach the tag to the vehicle or truck. A suitable warning word such as “DANGER” can be printed in large letters in the area 202. In an adjacent area, explanatory language concerning the purpose of the lock out tag can be printed. For example, in the area 204 there can be printed “EQUIPMENT LOCKED OUT” in large letters. If desired, there can also be printed in area 204 further warnings or instructions that may be required or desirable. For example, the warnings “DO NOT REMOVE THIS TAG WITHOUT AUTHORIZATION” and/or “DO NOT USE” can be printed in this area. It is possible to direct the reader to read the other side of the tag by such words as “SEE OTHER SIDE” placed in the region 203. The other side of the tag can also have warning words such “DANGER” and “EQUIPMENT LOCKED OUT” printed thereon. On this other side, there can be provided an area for pertinent information to be written on the tag on lines beside suitable prompt headings such as “EQUIPMENT NO.:”, “DATE:”, “NAME:” and “REASON:”. If desired, a separate removable tab 206 can be provided at the end of the tag 48 opposite the hole 200. This tab (which acts as a receipt) can be removable by means of a line of perforations 205 extending transversely across the tag. This tab or receipt can also have a substantially blank area for the same information to be written thereon, namely, “EQUIPMENT NO.:”, “NAME:”, “DATE:” and “REASON:”. This end tab in one embodiment has a height extending in the longitudinal direction of the tag of about 1.54 inches while the overall tag length is 6.3 inches. The tab can be removed when the rest of the equipment lock out tag has been attached to the equipment or truck and handed into a supervisor or other official with the repair request form to which the tab can be attached by two-sided adhesive tape, if desired. It constitutes a form of proof that the equipment lock-out tag was in fact attached by the operator or mechanic. The exact manner in which the tab is used or to whom it is given will depend on the particular safety procedures adopted by the owner or company. In order that the tag will not be overlooked when placed on a vehicle or truck, it can be colored or patterned in a distinguishing manner that will catch the attention of the observer. For example, in one particular embodiment, the tag has diagonally extending red and white strips 2008 that alternate.

An additional optional attachment for the holder 10 is illustrated in FIGS. 1, 2 and 6. This attachment is a ballpoint pen 210 which can be connected by a coiled plastic wire 212 to the case. In particular, one end of the plastic wire can be attached to the top end of the pen while the other end is attached to a pen clamp 214. The clamp 214 is attached to the side of a case, for example, by means of a suitable adhesive strip. The illustrated clamp has two, spaced apart clamping members 216 which extend generally parallel and which form an open ended slot that can snugly receive the pen.

FIG. 15 illustrates one way in which the holder 10 can be mounted on a truck such as a forklift truck. Shown in chain-link lines in the figure is a typical forklift truck 220 having front wheels 222 and rear wheels 224. An operator's seat is provided at 226 and the operator is protected by an overhead guard 228. Mounted for vertical movement at the front end of the truck are two lift forks which are mounted on a carriage 232. As the construction of a truck of this type is well known in the equipment handling art, a further description of this truck herein is deemed unnecessary. Although the holder 10 is shown mounted on the side of the truck, with the top flap located at the top end, it will be appreciated that it is also possible to mount the holder with its rear surface on a horizontal surface, if desired. Thus, the terms “top” and “bottom” as used herein to describe the holder or case are only used herein as terms of reference and an indication of one manner in which the holder or case can be mounted on a vehicle or truck (but not the only way that it is possible to mount same).

It will be appreciated by one skilled in the inspection and maintenance of material handling equipment, and in particular forklift trucks, that by employing the holder, maintenance log book and other optional features described above, there has been disclosed herein a method of tracking inspections and maintenance of material handling equipment. According to a basic form of this method, the method includes providing the holder 10 and equipment maintenance forms on the material handling equipment such as the forklift truck 220 with the maintenance forms contained in the holder. The maintenance forms are removable from the holder and they include a book having a plurality of pages having printed thereon inspection checklists 86 listing working parts, components and fluids to be checked on a regular, predetermined operating schedule. The method further requires an operator of the equipment to carry out a predetermined equipment inspection covering these parts, components and fluids and filling out one of the inspection checklists 86 prior to operating the equipment a period of time, for example, a work shift, the book being removed from the holder prior to completion of the checklist. Then, if maintenance is required after the equipment inspection, the operator completes a maintenance request form such as the form 125, which is one of the provided equipment maintenance forms. Upon completion of the maintenance request form, if required, a copy thereof is delivered to the person responsible for maintenance of the equipment and then the book is placed back into the holder 10.

As indicated, if an accident involving the material handling equipment occurs during its operation, the aforementioned method of tracking inspections and maintenance can include the additional step of completing one of the accident report forms in duplicate. An example of this report form is the form 150 shown in FIG. 13.

In an exemplary form of this method which can include the use of the checklist 86, filling out the inspection checklist includes recording a start time for operation of the equipment by the operator. This information can be inserted near the top of the checklist 86 in a space provided for this purpose. This inspection method can also include the additional step of removing the maintenance log book from the holder 10 after the operator has finished operation of the equipment for a period of time, such as a work shift, and recording an end time on the inspection checklist. Again, provision for recordal of this time can be provided near the top of the checklist 86.

If desired, the holder 10 can be formed or molded to provide bottom drainage holes 290 (see FIG. 3). These allow water or other fluids to quickly drain from the holder if such a fluid should inadvertently enter the holder.

While the present invention has been illustrated and described as embodied in various exemplary embodiments, ie. embodiments having particular utility with respect to conducting inspections and maintenance of material handling equipment, vehicles and trucks of various sorts, it is to be understood that the present invention is not limited to the details shown herein. It will be understood that various omissions, modifications, substitutions and changes in the forms and details of the disclosed holders, maintenance log books, and methods may be made by those skilled in the art without departing in any way from the spirit and scope of the present invention. For example, those of ordinary skill in the art will readily adapt the present disclosure for various other applications without departing from the spirit or scope of the present invention.