Driving a forklift on rough terrain is not an easy task. In fact, if the operator doesn’t know what he’s doing, it can result in a serious accident. Before the operators drive on rough terrains, discuss the different hazards they may face and the right safety habits they must follow.
5 Safety Tips for Operating Forklifts on Rough Terrain
- Maintain Cleanliness
Driving forklifts on rough terrains will cause a buildup of dirt. This will lead to an inefficient performance of the machine. It may even become a safety hazard.
For instance, if there is mud stuck around the tires, the forklift’s grip on the ground may be compromised and lead to an accident.
Clean the forklift regularly from top to bottom. Use a pressure washer to get rid of the dirt instantly. You can also use specialized soaps and detergents to clean the forklift. Make sure you use protective clothing and goggles if you handle hazardous cleaning materials.
- Never Overload the Forklift
The load that the forklift carries also determines its safety. If the forklift is overloaded, it can tip to the side or over a steep corner or edge. An overloaded machine may be pushed to the side when you are driving it forward, which can be quite hazardous. Use a heavy-duty industrial scale to check the load to make sure it doesn’t exceed the weight.
It is also important to load and unload the forklift properly. When it is not done carefully, the person doing the task may get hurt. A rough terrain forklift is usually set up to deal with a number of weights and loads. However, it is the operator who must focus on keeping the machine and everyone around it safe.
- Be Cautious While Driving
You need to first check if the forklift is safe to drive or not. Check the terrain on which you have to operate the forklift.
If you misjudge the terrain, it can lead to serious accidents. When you drive it on rough terrains, you need to be absolutely sure that the forklift can handle anything. You have to be attentive while driving so that you can identify potentials hazards or respond to them correctly when they occur.
Always have seatbelts on and drive the forklift at safe speeds. You must also consider factors like load stability, surface conditions, machinery operating nearby or people present in the area.
- Do Regular Inspection Checks
The operators must inspect the forklift before each job. They must check if the seatbelts and tires are in good condition.
Next comes the horn, brakes, backup alarms and lights. The fluid levels, and the moving and load supporting parts of the forklift must be checked next. By making sure that everything is in proper condition, you can ensure a safe job without the risk of an accident.
The forklift must also be inspected regularly even if it is not in use. Regular inspection and maintenance make sure that the forklift runs smoothly whenever it is operated.
- Be Aware of Fuel and Fire Safety
Rough terrain forklifts are generally powdered by internal combustion engines which require refueling. You must be aware of the hazards that are associated with the fuel, regardless of whether it is gasoline, diesel, or propane. No matter what the fuel type is, a fire extinguisher must always be readily available when refueling the forklift.
Operators who are careless or don’t have proper training increase the risk of an accident that may result in serious injury or even death. Make training programs that combine lectures, written instructions, and tests along with hands-on training. This will ensure safe operations on the site.
Kevin Hill heads the marketing efforts at Quality Scales Unlimited in Byron, CA. Besides his day job, he loves to write about the different types of scales and their importance in various industries. He also writes about how to care for and get optimized performance from different scales in different situations. He enjoys spending time with family and going on camping trips.