When you are hiring or buying a new forklift, getting it to the warehouse or project site isn't the first thing you might think about. However, unlike a vehicle, you can't just drive away with a forklift. Most states do not allow this equipment to be driven on highways and other public roads as they can cause damage to the road surface. Determining how you will transport and operate the forklift is critical in ensuring your safety and that of the equipment. Read on for some insights on how to load and operate a forklift safely.
Loading the trailer
Whether you are using a flatbed truck or a tractor-trailer rig for transportation, you need to observe safety when loading the towing vehicle. Secure the trailer before backing up the forklift onto it, and make sure that its wheels are chocked so that doesn't roll away during loading. Lift the forklift up onto the trailer in such a way that the forks are pointed towards the rear of the vehicle. This loading technique prevents disastrous effects that could occur if the forks are forced through the driver's cabin in an accident.
Securing the forklift
The safety of your equipment throughout the journey to the warehouse or job site will heavily depend on how the forklift is secured to the trailer. Securing the forklift not only protects it from damage, but it also ensures the safety of other road users that you will pass on the roadway. Tie down the forklift to the trailer with chains to built-in brackets or sturdy points such as the forklift's mast. Do not place the chains near the batteries, hoses, or cylinders as they can be damaged during transportation.
After tying down the forklift, test its security using the trailer's emergency brakes. If the equipment doesn't remain still after hitting the brakes, you need to secure it properly. Repeat this test until you are sure that the forklift is secure enough for transportation.
Transporting the forklift
You need to mind your safety and that of other vehicles on the roadway when transporting a forklift. First, make sure that you have inspected the route beforehand and noted any overhead structures. Make sure that there's adequate overhead clearance to avoid damaging structures along the way. Once you have figured out the best route, stick to an acceptable speed, and be mindful of the equipment that is on the trailer. If the forklift begins to sway on the flatbed, pull over and inspect the chains. Secure them properly before proceeding with the journey.
Observe these safety tips every time you need to transport a forklift, whether it's from the showroom or from one job site to another.