If you are planning to hire a forklift truck, it is important that you understand how to stay safe while using the equipment. While forklift truck driver training will have covered the main points of safe operation, it is never a bad idea to review the factors which can place your safety at risk. Below is a guide to 3 features of a forklift truck which you should be aware of.
Forklift trucks typically have a 3-point suspension. While this set-up allows for greater manoeuvrability when using a forklift truck in a confined space such as a warehouse or construction site, it also increases the level of instability. If the forklift is not correctly loaded, the weight of the load may cause the forklift to topple over. You can reduce the instability of the machine by keeping the forks low to the ground when transporting heavy loads.
The majority of forklift trucks do not have a cab with a roof. This exposed top can present many risks. For example, if something falls from a height onto the forklift truck, it could cause serious injury to you. The exposed top can also pose a risk if the forklift truck topples over. If this occurs, serious crush injuries or even death. If you are concerned about this, you should seek out a forklift truck which is fitted with a roll-bar. A roll-bar is a piece of metal which sits behind the driver's seat. This metal bar will prevent crush injuries in the event that the forklift truck flips over.
Because forklift trucks are designed to transport heavy loads, they are speed limited. While limiting the speed of a forklift truck increases its stability, it can also create other hazards. The low-speed of a forklift truck can lull both the operator and those working in the surrounding area into a false sense of security. When operating a forklift truck, it is vital that both the operator and those working nearby maintain situational awareness. Just because a forklift is travelling at low speed doesn't mean it won't cause injury or death if it is involved in a collision. Before you start using your hire forklift truck, you should check that the horn and lights are working.
If you would like further tips on the safe operation of a forklift truck, you should speak with the staff when you contact the hire company.