Operating a forklift safely and responsibly is hard enough in ideal conditions. Throw in some rough terrain and adverse conditions, and the job gets exponentially harder. Controlling the lift and loading on rough terrain requires a steady hand and patience. Rushing across a rough area will increase the chances of an accident or a spilled load. Read these safety tips for forklifts on rough terrain, and get the job done safely.
When people rush, they make mistakes. In every kind of job, in every kind of setting, when people hurry to get something done, they make mistakes and miss things. From brain surgeons to forklift drivers and office workers, rushing the job will lead to problems. When you move across rough terrain, with or without a load, take your time. Even forklifts made for rough terrain have their limits, and bouncing up and down in the seat isn’t good for the driver either.
Scan the Path
Keep your eyes up, and look at what’s in front of you. It’s just like driving a car, and you need to see what’s coming. If you see a pothole, loose gravel, or a slick spot in front of you, they can all pose potential problems. Mind the load on the forks, but keep your eyes open for pedestrians and road hazards.
Overloading the forks will affect the truck’s performance. Know the load capacity, and make sure it doesn’t exceed that. If there’s too much weight, the truck will lean forward and the wheels will lift off the ground. Obviously, if the wheels aren’t solidly on the ground, you can’t turn, and you’ll have less traction. Make sure your load keeps all the wheels on the ground, so you can get the best performance out of the truck.
Inspect the Terrain
Before you get on the forklift, inspect the terrain. Take a quick walk around, and check out what you will drive on. Note if the ground is soft, rocky, icy, or has any potential hazards. Knowing the state of the terrain will inform you on how to drive. Pretty much anything other than smooth, concrete floors will affect how the forklift drives.
If you have an enclosed cab on the forklift, make sure the windows are clean. Clean them off before you start driving to make sure you can see. As always, travel in the direction that offers you a clear line of sight. If you have a tall load that obstructs your vision, drive backwards.
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