The High Cost Of Forklift Truck Abuse

Read below to learn a few of the key causes of forklift and facility damage, then share this information with your employees to help reinforce a safer working environment.

Causes Of Forklift Truck And Facility Damage 

Why are forklifts so dangerous?

Forklifts aren’t dangerous in and of themselves, but these large, powerful machines can become dangerous and cause costly damages to your facility if the proper precautions are not taken. These are four common causes of forklift damage.

1. Poor Floor Conditions:

  • Driving forklifts over debris such as wood, plastic wrap, twine and banding can cause radiator or axle damage. 
  • If debris is blown into the engine compartment, it can also destroy the cooling system and cause engine failure.

2. Improper Operating Practices:

  • Congested work areas can cause impact damage to product, lift trucks or facilities.

  • “Bulldozing” or pushing pallets can result in premature tire wear and expensive transmission damage.
  • Losing control of the forklift can cause product damage or personal injury.
  • Any impact to the forklift can damage tires, wheels, body panels, frame parts, forks, attachments and the load backrest.

3. Unsafe Lifting and Speed:

  • Serious damage or personal injury can occur when forklift trucks operate at high lift and travel speeds.
  • Tip overs can also result from raising a heavy load while traveling too fast.

What is a safe speed for a forklift?

Where pedestrians are present, forklifts should not exceed speeds of 3 mph. In other areas a maximum speed should not exceed 8 to 10 mph. Typically a forklift going 10 mph will need 40 feet to come to a complete stop, so this should be kept in mind when setting speed regulations at a facility. 

4. Incorrect Equipment or Options

  • Using the wrong equipment for the job can cause premature wear and failure to major components.
  • Proper equipment selection helps ensure efficient forklift truck operation and performance, and helps to lower overall maintenance costs.
  • Operating forklifts with worn or incorrect tires can be a major contributor to your maintenance expense.

What are the most common types of forklift accidents?

There are many ways to cause damage with a forklift but the three most common types of forklift accidents include:

  • Forklift tip overs
  • Workers struck by forklifts
  • Falls from forklifts

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