When selecting a forklift for your business, it is important to take into account several different factors. There is no “one-size-fits-all” type of solution, even within the same industry or market segment.
Rather, each forklift should be customized to fit your specific needs and requirements. You want to evaluate and consider each of the following factors:
- The environment where the forklift will be used. Do you plan on using it indoors or outdoors or both?
- The type of facility where the forklift will be operated. Will you use it in a warehouse, in a shipping dock, or in some other type of commercial facility?
- The aisle width and door overhead clearance. The lift truck must be able to navigate and turn in the aisles and pass under any doors or overhead obstructions.
- The surfaces upon which the lift truck will operate. Will the machine be operated on smooth level polished concrete, irregular or smooth paved surfaces, gravel or rough terrain?
- The number of hours per day or week the machine will be used.
- The type of fuel used by the forklift. There are electric, gas, and diesel models to choose from and the fuel type should match the environment where it will be used.
- The maximum lifting height you require. You want to make sure the forklift can safely reach the heights you require.
- The maximum load capacity of items the forklift will be hauling. You want to choose a forklift that exceeds this amount to allow for load discrepancies from normal wear and tear.
- The type and dimensions of the loads. Some loads may require longer forks, fork extensions or a special lifting attachment.
- New or used machine? You can find both new and used models for sale but be sure to check the accuracy of the manufacturers data plate on used machines which may need to be updated per OSHA requirements prior to use.
For additional information on selecting the right forklift for any operation, we invite you to continue reviewing the following infographic. Remember to check out the tools, resources, and services available at Lift Truck Capacity Calculator to help with your research and contact professional Forklift Engineering Services, LLC with questions.
Driving a forklift or similar heavy lifting equipment is a responsibility not to be taken lightly—if handled improperly, these heavy mobile vehicles can cause serious damage both to the immediate environment and to human beings in their path.
To a large extent, safe operating procedures are a matter of simple common sense, but sometimes accidents happen even to experienced, mindful drivers. In a significant number of these incidents, the problem can be traced to a very simple cause: inaccurate capacity data labels.
Data labels are easy enough to ignore. Some forklift drivers rarely, if ever, glance at them, preferring instead to trust gut feelings developed through long experience. This is a mistake, however. It’s important to refer to these labels to ensure the maximal operating safety of lifting equipment—but this information is useless if it is out of date or just plain wrong.
Inaccurate data labels can cause multiple problems for you; let’s explore the issue further in the infographic posted below.
Forklift safety is not to be taken lightly. This equipment is involved in around 90,000 accidents every year and sometimes people sustain severely, and occasionally even fatal injuries from these incidents. Even if a forklift accident at the workplace doesnâ€™t result in such serious consequences, itâ€™s likely that a business will find still itself embroiled in workersâ€™ compensation issues, and OSHA will always investigate the accident looking for regulatory violations. The infographic depicts the various recorded causes of accidents. Â Regardless of the ultimate resolution, a missing or incorrect data plate will be flagged, will result in OSHA fines, and can be legal fodder.
An incorrect or missing data plate can preclude an operator and the management team from understanding the lifting limitations of the machine. Properly trained forklift operators understand how to read the data plate and look for the forkliftâ€™s maximum capacity in a particular situation. Fortunately, there is now no reason to operate with an incorrect data plate because the specialists at Professional Forklift Engineering Services make it easy, quick, and cost effective to stay OSHA compliant. If we can help your business obtain the data plates and certifications you need please contact us for a quote.
Understanding the lateral stability of a forklift is essential in order to ensure that operators complete jobs safely when using the equipment. The best way to think about lateral stability for a forklift is to compare it to your car. When you make this comparison, you can see that a forklift is narrower, higher up, and without suspension to handle bumps. Therefore, it is crucially important for an operator to practice safe driving techniques so the lift does not overturn.
Driving and turning at a reasonable speed, as well as exercising caution on slopes, will help maintain the center of balance for the forklift. That way, each job can be safely completed while eliminating the risk of dropping the load or crashing. Be sure to read all safety information when using a rotational attachment, and perform a thorough equipment check before operating the forklift, so that any potential risks can be assessed by management if needed.
Understanding the capabilities and limitations of your machinery before use allows your employees to safely complete tasks. In addition, your business will see a decreased risk of injury, leading to greater productivity and efficiency. A boom capacity load map helps you achieve these goals, by giving your employees the information they need so they can safely lift materials in the warehouse or out on a job site.
Affixed to the forklift, the boom capacity load map shows the safe amount of weight that can be lifted at certain hook position intervals. The size of the load will affect the hook position, and you want to be sure to never lift over the capacity so that the highest levels of safety can be maintained at all times. Continually educating and retraining employees on the various equipment they use will ensure proper usage, and save time and money lost from injuries and broken machines.
The data plate on a forklift is broken down into different sections, which each stand for a different characteristic and measurement. Some of these include:
Mast and Back Tilt Refers to the type of mast and the maximum degree of back tilt allowable.
Tire Size Ensures proper replacement tires are used to maintain levels of safety.
Load Center Gives a capacity based on how far forward from the mast the balancing point of the load is.
If any modifications are made to a forklift, or if it has an attachment, the forklift capacity plate must be updated to reflect the new capacity. Similarly, if a data plate goes missing or is illegible, you are required to replace it. To do so, contact Professional Forklift Engineering Services at email@example.com.