Small Cart Program


It is the policy of the CSUDH Risk Management Office to establish a program whereby administrators and operators of small electrical or gasoline-powered carts are provided with rules and regulations for safe operation of these carts.


The Small Cart Program affects all employees, and supervisors of those employees, who operate a small cart during any part of their job duties.


For the purpose of this program, a small cart is defined as a utility or transportation vehicle (licensed or unlicensed) used to transport personnel, students, on-campus mail, equipment, goods, or services throughout the CSUDH property. These vehicles may be either gas or electric powered. In the California Code of Regulations, these vehicles are considered powered industrial trucks.


Risk Management/Environmental Health and Occupational Safety

  • Develop, coordinate and administer procedures relating to the Small Cart Program.
  • Ensure departments using small carts comply with all provisions of the small cart program.
  • Receive information from the Auto Shop any maintenance problems related to misuse or damaged caused by accidents.
  • Annually review the Small Cart Program and implement changes as needed.


  • Ensure employees complete the University’s online defensive driver training and small cart training prior to their use and every four (4) years thereafter.
  • Ensure that carts are kept in safe operating condition and report maintenance issues to the Auto Shop as soon as a problem develops.
  • Annually review the Rules for Safe Operation of Small Carts with employees.
  • Monitor the safe driving habits of employees.
  • Report all accidents by completing the STD 270 and STD 274 forms.
    • Send completed forms to Risk Management/EHS.
  • Incorporate this program into your department’s safety program.
  • Maintain training documentation.

Cart Driver

  • Maintain a valid driver’s license and a good driving record.
  • Take Defensive Driver Training every four (4) years.
  • Abide by all rules and regulations in this program.
  • Allow only those authorized to ride in the carts.


The following program is intended to assist you in training individuals on the safe operation of all four wheeled electric and gasoline powered carts used on campus.


Training on small carts is required every four (4) years and can be conducted by the employee’s supervisor or Risk Management.

Training must include the following:

  • Review of the Small Cart Program
  • Review of the daily and weekly maintenance required of carts
  • Annually review the rules and regulations with the driver

Daily Maintenance

The following should be checked prior to daily use:

  • Windshields and windows shall be kept clear of anything that may obstruct the vision of the driver.
  • Brakes shall be tested by the driver at the start of each day.
  • The accelerator pedal shall be checked daily for smooth and non-binding movement (in neutral position).
  • If so equipped, lights and other signaling devices shall be inspected daily.

General Maintenance by the Facilities Services Auto Shop:

  • Electrical Carts: Check all batteries and add water as needed. Keep battery tops free from dust and dirt.
  • Gasoline Carts: Check oil level. (If a driver detects a gas vapors leak, it should be reported to the Facilities Services Auto Shop at (310) 243-3999.
  • Check tires for proper air pressure.

Any problems discovered during operation or in the course of routine maintenance should be immediately reported to the Auto Shop at (310) 243-3999.

Battery Charging of Electrical Carts

Batteries emit explosive gases. During normal operation the concentration of these gases is rarely sufficient to be considered dangerous unless flame or sparks occur in the battery compartment close to the vent holes in the battery caps. It is important that this not be allowed to occur at any time. During the charging process, emissions are greatly increased. Any area in which charging batteries are confined must be well ventilated, and flame, sparks, or lighted cigarettes must be kept out of the charging area and away from ventilator openings associated with the charging area. Battery connections must not be disturbed while batteries are being charged. The following are procedures for safe battery maintenance:

  • Use caution when plugging in the cart to the charging system. Be aware of the correct charging time. Overcharging can cause damage to the batteries and drastically shorten the battery’s useful lifetime.
  • Do not fill the batteries. The Auto Shop will service the batteries as needed. Batteries which require unusually frequent watering may indicate overcharging.
  • Charge batteries in a well-ventilated area.
  • Make no modifications to the battery or charger without Auto Shop approval.

If you have any problems with your carts, do not attempt to do the work yourself. Call the Auto Shop at (310) 243-3999 for assistance.

Operating Procedures

The following rules pertain to both electric and gasoline operated small carts.

  • Only drivers authorized by the University and trained in the safe operation of small carts shall be permitted to operate such vehicles.
  • Only use the carts for University business and only permit those individuals authorized by the University to ride in those vehicles.
  • All new cart operators must receive training before they are allowed to operate a small cart.
  • Stunt driving and horseplay are prohibited.
  • No passengers will be permitted on carts unless provided with adequate seating. No one is permitted to ride on the running boards, fenders, or any part of the cart except on the seats.
  • Seatbelts for operator and passenger must be used if the cart is so equipped.
  • Operators or passengers shall not jump on or off carts in motion.
  • Carts should be driven on University streets whenever possible. In the event a sidewalk must be used, speed should be no faster than the average pedestrian. Allow pedestrians the right of way.
  • Unlicensed carts may not be driven outside the campus boundaries.
  • Carts shall not exceed 15 mph on all campus roadways.
  • Operators shall be familiar with and observe all established traffic laws. Citations will be issued for violation of traffic and speed laws.
  • Materials and equipment shall be loaded so they will not cause a hazard by shifting or falling off.
  • Do not exceed the maximum load capacity of the cart.
  • Top-heavy equipment is especially dangerous and should be secured near the center of the cart to avoid tipping. Be extremely careful during turning maneuvers. Carts are particularly subject to tipping on uneven athletic fields and curbing.
  • No cart shall be operated at night without properly working headlights and taillights.
  • Do Not:
    • Allow feet, legs, and/or arms to hang out of the carts.
    • Drive with the door open or unsecured.
    • Operate a cart while talking on the phone or texting.
    • Drive with more people than the cart is designed to carry.
    • Drive or park on grassy areas unless an emergency.
    • Operate carts off university property.
    • Park carts in areas that would obstruct the means of egress from the buildings.
    • Play or rough house on carts.
    • Hold and/or operate electronic devices, including smart phones, while driving.

Cart Operator Training Record

Prior to allowing a new cart driver to operate the vehicle on their own, the driver must be instructed in the following:

Loading Operations

  • Equipment safely loaded to avoid a high center of gravity
  • Equipment tie-down demonstration

Battery Charging

  • Connection procedures demonstrated

Operation of Controls

  • Lights, turn signals, and horn located and tested, if so equipped
  • Emergency brake located and engaged.
  • Accelerator and brake pedal identified.
  • Forward-reverse switch located and its operation demonstrated.

Demonstrate the Following Equipment and Driving Maneuvers

  • Turn signals or hand signals
  • Brakes
  • Steering
  • Emergency brakes
  • Forward/reverse switching
  • Forward Turns
  • Reverse Turns
  • Backing

Driving on Campus

  • Drive on campus roads
  • Locate all authorized parking areas
  • Speed limits observed

The Small Cart Training Checklist is available on the Risk Management Forms page.