The forklift revolutionized the material handling industry ever since its popularization in the 1930s. They create ease and convenience in moving equipment and loads from one place to another while reducing costs as well as the time it takes to complete tasks. Today, they are so widely used that there are over 850,000 forklifts in operation in the United States, of which a considerable portion is of pre-owned forklifts.
In fact, the market for used forklifts is so extensive now that you will find more used forklifts for sale than brand new ones. However with so many forklifts in operation, the chances for accidents occurring increase as well. Fleet managers and forklift operators must be particularly cautious of used forklifts. This is because pre-owned forklifts have been in use for longer as compared to newer forklifts and they were in someone else’s ownership at one point or another. This leaves a grey area in their service history and casts doubt in the mind of the buyer regarding their safety and reliability.
In order to reduce the risk of accidents occurring during the operation of used forklifts, certain precautions must be taken. Even if you happen to purchase a truly outstanding used forklift that is reliable and has a good service history, you can never be too careful. So let’s take a look at how material handling businesses can reduce the risk of accidents during operation of used forklifts.
Understanding Why Forklift Accidents Occur
The first step to reducing accidents is to understand why used forklifts meet with accidents. The most common cause is forklifts tipping over because of overloading. Used forklifts usually have a lower maximum load lifting capacity than newer ones. It might also be that their load lifting capacity may have diminished over the years. As such, the limit indicator as displayed by the manufacturer may not be valid anymore and operators usually overload on used forklifts without even realizing it. Thus, the weight of the load becomes greater than the counterbalance and the forklift tips over. This is why most material handling businesses now opt for piggyback forklifts since they have better stability even if they are pre-owned.
Regular Inspection of Used Forklift for sale
Whenever material handling businesses look for used forklifts, they may go for convenience over quality. As such, when you search for “forklifts for sale near me”, you may not end up finding the best retailers in your area. The right way is to look for reliable retailers such as Bobby Park Truck and Equipment who not only conduct a thorough inspection of the forklift before sale, but also provide instructions on how to carry out your own inspection.
The regular inspection of a used forklift is imperative to avoiding accidents. Most commonly, an inspection is conducted before every operating session and it includes checking everything from the lift chains and forks to the engine and driver’s cabin. Ensuring that everything works and is in order before beginning to operate the forklift is the best way to reduce the risks of an accident occurring.
Awareness of Safety Guidelines for All Employees
The responsibility to ensure that no forklift accidents occur lies with all the employees in the warehouse and not just the fleet manager and operators. As such, there should be detailed safety guidelines for all employees which should encompass their role in preventing accidents. This can include instructions for keeping the warehouse floor clear, ensuring there is sufficient lighting in the warehouse and not leave any equipment hanging from the shelves in the aisles. Moreover, it should be clearly stated that no employee should hitch a ride on the forklifts since this is a dangerous practice. Lastly, it is the manager’s responsibility to make sure that each and every employee is familiar with and follows the safety guidelines.
Refreshment Courses for Forklift Operators
There are so many variations in forklift models and capabilities nowadays that one universal training course is not sufficient for modern day forklift operators. The fleet manager needs to continually encourage the operators to refresh their training, especially if the last refreshment course was more than 2 years ago. As the OSHA updates requirements for forklift licenses and training requirements regularly, so not only is it a way to reduce the risk of accidents occurring, it may also be mandatory to keep your forklift operator license.
These were just some of the ways fleet managers, forklift operators and warehouse employees can make sure that the chances of an accident happening are at a minimum. These precautions are even more necessary when it comes to used forklifts since no matter what bargain you get on them, they are machines that have been in use for a long time. So be sure to follow these instructions to keep your business operations running smoothly and free from forklift accidents.