6 Tips to Avoid Forklift Tip-Overs
What are the tips to avoid forklift tip-overs?
- Maintain a clean and organized site
- Drive the forklift on safe surfaces
- Ensure that the mast is tilted backward
- Be careful when driving on a slope
- Move at an appropriate speed
- Don’t overload the forklift
One of the most dangerous accidents when you improperly use a forklift is a tip-over. In this situation, your material handling equipment can tip forward or to one side. A forward tip-over often occurs when the center of gravity of the forklift moves too far forward. On the other hand, sideways tip-overs can happen when the center of gravity is too far to the sides of the wheelbase. In both incidents, you could suffer from an injury or cause damage to property. For this reason, it’s important to learn the tips to avoid forklift tip-overs. Keep on reading to learn more.
Maintain A Clean and Organized Site
Obstruction in your site can not only cause inefficiency in work but also cause an accident. That’s why It’s not recommended to drive a forklift over obstacles, as this can cause a tip-over—especially if you operate the material handling equipment at speed. Even though the obstacles can be avoided, doing so can cause sudden and erratic movements while driving, which can be dangerous too. For this reason, it’s essential to keep your site clean and organized.
Drive The Forklift On Safe Surfaces
Aside from obstacles, you’ll also need to be aware of sand, gravel, and mud in your pathway. If you can’t avoid going over them, make sure to slow down. On the other hand, make sure to steer away from potholes, dips, and edges. Avoid soft ground, too. Standard forklifts are best used on smooth concrete surfaces; as rough terrain can cause a tip-over.
If you need to drive on rough terrain on a daily basis, get the right type of forklift that can handle the surface application.
Ensure That the Mast Is Tilted Backward
Carrying loads in your forklift with the mast tilted forwards can be dangerous and result in a forward tip-over. This has a higher chance of occurring when you’re operating your forklift down an incline or a ramp. To stabilize your forklift’s center of gravity, it’s vital to have the mast tilted backward during transport.
Other than this, make sure to be alert when driving with a raised mast because you have a higher chance of tip-over when the center of gravity changes.
Be Careful When Driving On a Slope
Driving up or down an incline increases your chances of a tip-over. When you encounter a slope, make sure that it’s not too steep, or otherwise, it’s recommended to avoid it. Other than that, don’t load, unload, and turn while on a slope as this can change the center of gravity of the forklift. Be wary of driving too close to the edge of the ramp, as this can also lead to a tip-over.
When driving on an incline, make sure that the load always points uphill. For example, if you need to drive down a slope, drive the forklift backward. Wait until you arrive at a level surface before loading and unloading.
Move at an Appropriate Speed
It might be tempting to drive faster to get the job done on-site, but this can do more harm than good. Operating the forklift at high speed can make it harder for you to control it. Sharp movements, sudden stops, and accelerating too quickly can also cause the forklift to tip over.
Always maintain a steady speed when using your forklift. Avoid braking too hard, as this can cause the forklift to tip over. It’s also a good practice to reduce speed when turning on a corner, even when you don’t have a load. Other than that, slow down when traveling on rough surfaces or going over a bump.
Don’t Overload the Forklift
The major cause of a forklift tip-over is improper loading. To prevent this incident, don’t exceed the recommended load weight capacity of the forklift. You can double-check this information in your operating manual.
Always ensure that the loads are stable before driving. For instance, if you’re carrying oddly shaped loads, you can load them on pallets for stability. Use ropes or other binding materials to secure heavy loads. Be extra careful when moving tall or wide loads on your forklift.
When traveling with loads, keep the forks as low as possible to maintain the stability of the forklift. This is especially important when you’re driving on ramps.
Forklift tip-overs often happen due to improper use of the equipment and obstacles in the environment. Make sure that you maintain a clean and organized site that is safe for operating forklifts. Drive it at steady speeds and reduce speed on corners and rough terrain. Don’t overload the forklift and ensure a stable load before driving. Always double-check the center of gravity and you can prevent accidents.
Follow these tips to avoid forklift tip-overs on your site. If you’re looking for a supplier of material handling equipment in the Philippines, you can contact us here at Multico. We carry one of the most trusted brands in the industry — Clark Forklift!