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Guidelines for Industrial Truck Usage

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I. Applicability

This Policy applies to any use of all three (3) or four (4)-wheeled carts (classified as industrial trucks under Cal OSHA) that are powered by electrical motor or internal combustible engines by Caltech employees, contractors, and others on the Caltech campus.

II. Purpose

The purpose of these Guidelines is to provide guidance regarding acquisition, use, and disposition of all carts on campus. Contracts must reference this policy.

III. Authorized Use

The use of Caltech-owned carts at Caltech is limited to Caltech employees in the course and scope of Institute business. Contractors with contractor-owned carts on campus agree to follow the Operational Procedures in these Guidelines.

IV. Driver Requirements

Drivers must be at least 18 years old and possess a valid driver's license. Drivers must complete the cart operation and safety training course online. In addition, all drivers must have hands-on training provided by their Division or Department. Each Division or Department must ensure that these requirements are met and that all drivers are provided a copy of this policy.

V. Operational Procedures

a. Approved Areas

Use of carts is restricted to designated routes/times shown on the attached map. A laminated copy of the map must be carried in each cart. At no times shall carts be on public streets or sidewalks, except for crossing as shown on the map.

b. Safety

- Carts must not be operated in a manner that endangers passengers, other individuals, or damages Institute property.

- Pedestrians and bicyclists have the right of way at all times.

- The speed limit for carts is 5 mph.

- Brakes must be set when carts are parked. Consider using chocks when parked on an incline.

- Passengers must keep their heads, legs, and arms within the cab of the cart and remain seated while the cart is in motion.

- Persons may only ride sitting in designated seats.

- Occupancy must not exceed the passenger limit and load capacity stated by the manufacturer.

- Drivers should not honk their horn unless necessary to avoid an accident.

- Carts may not be modified beyond manufacturers standards and accessories allowed.

- Carts may not be loaned to students. Exception is student employees for work- related use if they are otherwise a qualified driver.

- Drivers must avoid being distracted while operating carts, including limiting the use of communication devices.

- Do not travel along Olive Walk and San Pasqual Walk between the hours of 11:30

a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

- Do not drive on grass or off paved paths.

c. Storage and Battery Charging

- Carts should be property secured after hours and/or when not in use.

- Keys should be removed to prevent unauthorized use.

- Follow manufacturer's instructions for recharging. Beware of overloading charging circuits.

- A cart may not be used to jump-start another vehicle.

- The cart's power source must not be accessible to rain or other moisture.

- Designated locations for charging carts must be established. For consultation/evaluation contact EH&S or the Electrical Shop.

VI. Acquisition and Registration

A Division or Department purchasing a cart must do so through the Procurement Department. Procurement has negotiated discounted pricing agreements for purchases of carts and supplies. Upon delivery, the Division or Department must notify the Facilities Management Motor Pool to register the cart, get an identification number for the cart, and have it added to the maintenance schedule and master list.

VII. Disposition

Prior to disposal of any cart, contact the Facilities Management Motor Pool to discuss protocol and options.

VIII. Cart Loaner Program

Divisions and Departments which have an infrequent need for carts are encouraged to use the Cart Loaner Program. 

To borrow/reserve a cart for a few hours up to a few days please contact Mail Services ext. 6371 or darrell.goudeau@caltech.edu for details.  

IX. Maintenance

Divisions and Departments must ensure that their industrial carts are routinely inspected and maintained as recommended by the manufacturer, but in no case less than annually. Maintenance must be performed by the Facilities Management Motor Pool.

X. Accident Reporting

All accidents and injuries must be reported immediately to Security and to your supervisor.

[Download the Campus Cart Map]


  • Speed LIMIT 5 mph
  • Pedestrians and bicycles have the right of way
  • Don't honk unless necessary to avoid an accident
  • Do not travel along Olive Walk and San Pasqual Walk between the hours of 11:30 am to 1:30 pm Monday - Friday
  • Do not drive on the grass or off paved pathways
  • Do not travel on the city streets, except in a designated crosswalk


  • Do not block building entrances
  • Do not park in locations shown in maps
  • Park in designated "cart parking" spaces whenever possible
  • Do not leave keys in an unattended parked cart


  • Notify your supervisor immediately
  • Inspect both the cart and object that was struck for damage
  • Notify Security immediately at ext 5000