Preventing a Tipped Forklift

Preventing a Tipped Forklift

Forklift tip-overs not only result in damage to the truck itself, but can also cause serious injuries or fatalities to the operator. Tipping is a cause of unsafe practices in which the forklift becomes unbalanced and tips over. In order to avoid tipping, the stability of a forklift must always be maintained. If the mass is centered, the truck is less likely to tip and cause damage to the truck and operator. A forklift can tip-over at any time, but fortunately it can be avoided by following safe operating procedures.

Pay attention to the load capacity and do not exceed it
Overloading a forklift causes the center of gravity to be thrown off, causing it to become unstable and tip-over. This information can be found on the data plate located on the forklift. With this, the forks must be loaded and centered properly to avoid imbalance.

Tilt the load backwards when travelling
This simple procedure helps stabilize the forklift. A forward tilting mast - especially carrying a load can result in a forward tip.

Drive with your forks low - a forklift should not be in motion with a raised load
Forks should not be more than four inches off the ground while the forklift is in motion. Travel with forks low, at a slow speed, then stop the truck and raise the forks once you're at your destination.

Drive your forklift at a slow speed & don't brake suddenly
Suddenly speeding up or braking too quickly can cause the center of gravity to shift and result in the forklift becoming unstable and tipping over. Whether you're travelling forward or backwards, aggressive braking can result in tip-overs.

Watch for Hazards
Avoiding obstacles, like potholes, can cause the forklift to become unbalanced and tip over. Other hazards that may seem obvious include pedestrians, wet/oily/icy ground, and debris.

Tips for Rainy Day Operations

Safely Operating a Forklift in the Rain

For some occupations, rainy days aren’t something to worry about. In other workplaces, inclement weather can play a vital role in operations. Although perfect weather conditions make forklift operations a breeze, we know that’s not the reality – so we put together a list of important things to keep in mind when operating a forklift on those dreadful rainy days.

Dress for the job

This is something that applies for every position, but it’s especially  important when operating a forklift in the rain. You should be wearing rain appropriate gear that will keep you warm, is well ventilated, and fits properly. It’s crucial that you’re not wearing clothing that’s too large or you’ll be busy adjusting it and it could cause more harm than good. If you’re wearing boots, try to aim for ones that have good treads on the bottom for better grip in slippery conditions. If you choose to wear gloves, they should fit nice and snug so they don’t affect your grip or control. A good rule of thumb is to avoid clothing that has a loose fit, dangling strings, or anything that could get in your way of safe operations.

Limit Distractions

One of the more important things to keep in mind when operating a forklift on any day, let alone on days of inclement weather, is to limit all distractions. Keep your cellphone and other electronics off the truck and avoid bringing food or drink. You want to make sure your focus is on the task at hand to limit the chances of an accident.

Slow Down

Similar to driving a car – it’s always safer and a good idea to lower your speed on rainy days as there is less traction and it takes longer to stop. The same goes for a forklift. Though many makes and models offer automatic deceleration, not all do and you should always drive with caution as if your truck doesn’t have this feature. Wet surfaces can create challenges when braking or turning, therefore it’s crucial to watch your speed, slow down, and minimize the risk of putting yourself and others in danger.

Plan your routes

Know the surface types and how to maneuver on them. Different surfaces require different speeds and levels of attention. Changing between smooth and rough terrain will require you to transition carefully and ensure you adjust your speed as necessary. For example, did you know that some surfaces are easier to turn on than others? Going indoors after being outside could mean your tires will still be wet, and you’ll need to be sure to transition to the indoors carefully and pay attention to the level of control of the truck.

The key things to remember while operating in the rain are: pay attention, limit distractions, and drive cautiously. If you have questions about extra safety features available for forklifts, reach out and our team will be happy to assist you!

Forklift Data Plate

The Importance of a Forklift Data Plate

There are many important components of a forklift – one of them being the data plate. The data plate contains vital pieces of information pertaining to the forklift including the fuel type, load capacity, model and serial numbers. When training, and prior to operating the truck, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the information found on this plate to minimize the risk of accidents and to better prepare yourself for operating the truck. Below you’ll see a list of key pieces of information that can be found on the plate and what they mean.

  • Load Capacity: The load capacity is the most critical piece of information you’ll need to know regarding your forklift. You’ll see in the example below, this is circled. The load capacity indicates how much weight the forklift can carry and should never be exceeded to prevent tipping and other hazards. 
    •  To the left of the load capacity in columns A,B & C are the load centre, the maximum fork height, and the vertical centre of gravity
  • Name of Manufacturer: In the example shown below, you’ll find this on the left hand side of the plate.
  • Model number: The model number of your forklift is important to have on hand in the case of needed service or ordering parts. It’s there so that you can quickly reference it if you need assistance regarding your truck.
  • Serial Number: The serial number is crucial for forklift technicians. This number allows them to better understand the truck you’re operating and to better match parts to it as well as knowing how to service the particular lift in question. 
  • UL Classification Type: In this case for electric truck, (EE) – this item is applicable to various hazardous zones, and range in safety level from ‘E’ or standard, ‘ES’, ‘EE’ and highest level of safety rating of ‘EX’.
  • Mast Type: The mast type varies based on the model of your forklift and specifications to meet your requirements.
  • Fuel Type: Specifies how the truck is fueled or the kind of truck it is. The data plate below, for example, indicates that it’s an electric forklift and lists the battery type underneath. This portion indicates the battery specific criteria required by the manufacturer when selecting the correct battery. It must meet the minimum battery weight requirement in order for the truck to maintain its lifting capacity.
  • Back Tilt: This number indicates the number of degrees the mast can tilt backwards to keep loads on the forks securely. 
  • Attachments: This tells you the type of attachment(s) the truck may be equipped with – in this case ISS (integrated side shift).
  • Tire Type & Size: The data plate will indicate the size and type of tire. In the plate below, you’ll see that this forklift is equipped with cushion tires. If you’re ever in the position to replace tires on your lift truck, they should always be replaced with the same type they came with.
  • Truck Weight: The overall weight of the truck.
data plate

For all your forklift needs, get in touch with Hansler! Our expert sales team is always available to answer any questions or concerns when it comes to your current or future forklift requirements.

Choosing the right tire for your needs: Cushion vs Pneumatic

Choosing the right tire for your needs: Cushion or Pneumatic?

When choosing the right forklift for your operations, there are many factors to consider in order to make the best choice for your financial investment. However, one that may be overlooked is the type of tire. To decide which type – cushion or pneumatic – would work better for you, it’s important to understand the differences and benefits of each. 

Generally speaking, forklifts are made to host specific tire types and specific tire types are meant for certain applications. When shopping for a new lift truck, you need to decide what your main use(s) will be for it. Will it mainly be used indoors or outdoors? Will it be used on smooth ground or rough terrain? Typically forklifts can not host interchangeable tires, and you may end up choosing a different forklift than you originally planned or thought based on the tire type. 

 

CUSHION TIRES

Cushion tires are well suited for indoor use, on loading docks, or light outdoor use. They are made of solid rubber fitted around a metal band – making them cheaper to manufacture and easier to maintain. This type of tire does not have as much traction as pneumatic, but they are smaller in size which makes them a great option in settings like factories and warehouses with less space as they have a small turning radius.

PNEUMATIC TIRES

Pneumatic tires are comparable to car or truck tires. They offer high performance and versatility while providing strong grip on rough terrain. Pneumatics can be solid rubber or air filled. The solid pneumatic is ideal for construction sites and lumber yards as they cannot be punctured by sharp metal scraps or nails, etc. Air filled work well in outdoor settings such as yards or on gravel.

If you’re still unsure which tire, or forklift, is right for you – give us a call at 877-442-6753 and our expert team will help you make an educated decision. 

Forklift operations in the sun

5 tips for operating a forklift in high temperatures


As we are well into summer at this point, it’s worth touching on safe forklift operations in the sun. With this heat wave we are experiencing in Ontario, the high temperatures are working against operators as well. With these two factors in mind, it’s important to take all precautions and set yourself up for the day to be best prepared.

Forklifts are pieces of heavy equipment and can be dangerous if the driver is not fully alert. We all know how the sun can affect us in many ways, but if you prepare yourself and keep these best practices in mind, you’ll be sure to keep yourself and others safe!

 

Get lots of rest

Being fully alert is one of the most important things when operating heavy equipment. This is especially important in the summer temperatures as lack of sleep plus sun exhaustion takes a toll on individuals. Making sure you get enough sleep prior to getting behind the wheel of any equipment is critical to safe operation.

Stay hydrated

Water, water, water! Staying well hydrated in the high summer temperatures is vital whether you’re operating a forklift or not. However, operating heavy equipment calls for more to reduce drowsiness and increase alertness. A best practice is to keep water nearby so that you’ll remember to reach for it. Heat stroke is no laughing matter and would hinder one’s ability to control a lift truck.

Protect your eyes

 We’ve all experienced that moment when we briefly get the glaring sun’s reflection in our eyes and feel blinded for a few seconds. To prevent this from happening while driving a           forklift, wear a hat and/or sunglasses to shield and protect your eyes from any glares from sunny reflections. Wearing a baseball hat will keep your eyes shaded enhancing your vision for the task at hand. This can help avoid potential collisions and not cripple our vision.             


Take more breaks than usual 

If you have a long day of work in the sun, make sure to increase planned breaks. Often times we feel fine and choose to continue working, but we should optimize down time and         head into a cooler temperature even if it’s just for five minutes. Though it may seem like an inconvenience when you just want to get the job done, it can help avoid heat or sun             stroke. 
 

Remain up-to-date with your maintenance schedule

Last but not least is ensuring that the forklifts are getting the extra attention they require in the summer as well. Overheating is a common problem that can be avoided by abiding by maintenance schedules. Daily checks and walk arounds should be done to ensure that the trucks are working to their full potential.
 

 
Forklift operation combined with the hot summer sun can turn into a disaster, but by following these 5 tips you’ll be sure to optimize forklift operation and safety in the workplace. 

Lithium-Ion Batteries: Is it worth the investment?



Although not new to the forklift industry, there is a lot to be said about Lithium-Ion batteries. There are so many positives that come with this investment, it’s important to note and highlight what this could mean for you.

The point that comes up most often is the increase in efficiency and decrease in downtime waiting for batteries to re-charge. It takes minimal time (approximately 2.5 hours) to regain a full charge. This is said loosely, because depending on the intensity level of the job, the battery will be good to go after a quick recharge at lunch! What this means for forklift operators is that you don’t need to have another fully charged battery on standby.

Another benefit worth noting is that the power-level doesn’t go down when the battery charge level does, so you will have the same amount of power to complete the job until the battery loses complete charge. This consistent power is a game-changer, especially if you’ve ever been in the position of trying to finish a task with a dying battery.

Lithium-Ion is a much safer option than lead-acid particularly due to the lack of contact that operators have with the battery itself, meaning that chemical reactions/spills will no longer be a top safety concern. The Li-Ion batteries are completely sealed, making them (for the most part) maintenance-free and easy to clean. No more worrying about charging in temperature-controlled climates or watering the battery.

Overall, lead-acid batteries may cost you a fraction of the price, but they need to be replaced more frequently, involve more down time and are a greater safety hazard. Lithium-Ion seems to be a worthy investment – but if you’re still not convinced, contact us at Hansler to learn more about the advantages of a Li-Ion powered forklift. 


info@hansler.com 877-442-6753

National Forklift Safety Day – June 8th, 2021

In honour of the eighth annual National Forklift Safety Day (NFSD), we are highlighting some best practices and tips for safe forklift operation. NFSD initially came to be as a chance for the forklift industry to reiterate the importance of proper training, review the safe use of lift trucks, and to revisit how crucial daily equipment checks are regardless of your level of expertise.

Warehouses and workplaces can be a dangerous place if safety isn’t taken into serious consideration. When workplaces include industrial equipment like forklifts, it’s important to ensure every precaution is taken prior to operation.


Best Practices

  • Review your forklift training periodically even if you’re considered an expert
  • Inspect your machine at the beginning and end of every shift (before and after use) – ensure you are noting any problems or concerns and reporting them to your employer promptly
  • Check your surroundings; ensure your pathway is well lit and there are no pedestrians in your path
  • Know the load capacity of the forklift and do not exceed it
  • Forklifts are not designed to carry passengers – do not operate with anyone else on the truck
  • Always use the 3-point contact system when entering or exiting the machine to create balance

 

Tips for optimizing safe forklift operation

  • Keep a safe distance from other machines
  • Use caution when approaching corners, doorways, and narrow aisles
  • Utilize the horn when needed or approaching a blind turn
  • Distribute the weight and load the forks evenly
  • Do not walk under raised forks
  • Be mindful of doorway heights and widths

Forklift safety begins with proper training prior to use, but it doesn’t stop there. Even experts should be reviewing their training and performance periodically. Whether you have been operating a forklift for one month or five years, daily checks of the machine before and after use should be performed to maximize safety and minimize the risk of accidents.

According the CCOHS, the operator should begin with a visual pre-use check followed by an operational pre-use check. This information and checklists can be found on their website here: https://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/safety_haz/forklift/checks.html

National Forklift Safety Day brings awareness to the dangers of operating a forklift. By following best practices and reviewing training periodically, the number of accidents, injuries and fatalities could see a drastic decline. 

Toronto DLS

Hansler Proudly Exhibits at DLS Toronto!

JOIN US AMONGST THE BEST IN THE INDUSTRY

Hansler Industries will be at this year’s Distribution Logistics Summit (DLS) in Toronto on November 5th & 6th at Pearson Convention Center. Within Canada’s $80 billion distribution industry, growing demand for advanced warehouse and logistics solutions has pushed suppliers to provide advancements in technology, machinery, automation and more. DLS is Canada’s industry event focused on distribution warehousing, fulfillment logistics, and general distribution operations.

Come visit us at BOOTH 401 to learn about our Linde premium material handling equipment and other brands including Karcher, Doosan, and COMBiLiFT. Receive free consultations regarding solutions for storage, transport, handling, and professional cleaning equipment. We’ll also be hosting a RAFFLE for 3 prizes – including a flatscreen TV!

To register and for more information visit www.dlssummit.com. Hope to see you there!

Why Forklift Maintenance Should Never Be Overlooked

Key Reasons Why You Should Schedule Regular Forklift Maintenance

Forklifts (and material handling equipment in general) play an integral role in the operations of a warehouse or distribution facility. Every day they lift, move, and transport products too heavy for manual labour. Equipment is selected based on its efficiency, its ability to perform a special application, and its durability.

Although forklift maintenance may not immediately come to mind when thinking about the operations of your business as a whole, it is a key factor that determines how much down-time you could experience when equipment fails.

Here are a few reasons why you should maintain a schedule of regular preventative maintenance for all of your lift truck equipment:

  • Equipment can be expensive. Not only that, you’ve spent time sourcing the right vehicles, gone through the purchase process, and invested in quality machines to keep operations running smoothly. Why jeopardize this investment with poor truck maintenance? Proper care for your equipment makes sure your entire investment isn’t wasted.

  • Regular maintenance keeps your warranty valid. If a component fails and you haven’t serviced your equipment regularly, you may not receive warranty coverage. To preserve your equipment and the warranty, service your forklifts according to the manufacturer’s service schedule to avoid paying for repairs that would have otherwise been covered.

  • Preventative maintenance helps you avoid major repairs by catching small things before they become big. Proper inspections, testing, and general care is provided by trained technicians to help you see issues before they become disruptive. Maintenance is a plan to ensure your forklifts last longer, avoiding future down-time, and repair costs.

  • Your total cost of ownership is better controlled by proper truck maintenance. Preventative maintenance is usually a more cost-effective approach to repairs on a lift truck than neglecting it until it breaks down, resulting in a long list of service needed to get that equipment running again.

We’ve outlined just a few important reasons to service your fleet regularly, but ultimately, the efficiency of your operations and the value of your merchandise is the top priority. Preventative maintenance is part of your management strategy and one of the links to successful operations.

Want to learn more about a planned maintenance program? Hansler offers competitive rates and we service all makes and models. Contact us today to discuss a plan that suites your application and budget.