Forklift trucks are an indispensible piece of equipment for many in the materials handling industry. Traditionally used for lifting and stacking, they can also be customised by adding attachments, adding to their versatility within your business.
Fork mounted sweepers and shovels can be used to clear large amounts of loose objects or debris, as well as snow. The shovels are also useful for transporting loose items such as wood chips or grains. Magnetic sweeper attachments are useful when it comes to clearing warehouse floors and car parks of metal hazards such as nails, screws and shavings, all of which can be hazardous to tires and foot wear. A four-fork attachment unit is useful when lifting un-palleted items, keeping them safely balanced and supported, while a heavy duty access platform allows access to higher placed items for maintenance or stock take, though we recommend you check your vehicle’s suitability before attaching this item. Detachable skips and wheelie bin rotators make moving waste and large quantities of items a snap, while the yard scraper makes short work of clearing floors of loose rubbish.
Before you attach any of these items to your vehicle you need to ensure it is safe to do so, and that your fork width and capacity are suitable for the task at hand. Other general safety tips to consider when operating a forklift truck are:
- Always look in the direction of travel. A vital part of fork-lift training, whether you are moving forward or in reverse you always need to have eyes on the direction of movement, to avoid hitting stationary objects or, worse, people.
- Lower your load before moving. Often it seems easier, especially when in a hurry, to leave the forks raised as you move around the premises. But you only need to hit a pothole or other obstruction for the whole vehicle to turn over.
- Choose the right size vehicle for the space. Don’t take a large truck into a small area, as you run the risk of racking damage or even breakage. Knocking out a support column is easily done when trying to manoeuvre in a small space, and can result in thousands of pounds worth of damage, not to mention risk to the operator and staff in the area.
- Don’t overload. It seems like common sense, but again a sense of urgency can lead to overloading as the operator tries to get the job done more quickly. All operators should be trained in proper materials handling procedures, and be aware of the maximum load capacity for their vehicle.
Of course these are general recommendations, and you should always check within your workplace as to correct procedures when using a forklift truck.
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