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5 Common and Avoidable Forklift Mistakes

5 Common and Avoidable Forklift Mistakes

May 26, 2016

Like any other type of vehicle, accidents can happen with a forklift and many of them are avoidable with proper forklift maintenance and operation.  Forklift accidents in the workplace can be very dangerous which is why operators go through training that includes forklift safety before getting their license.  Operators with experience know how to avoid mistakes that can lead to accidents by checking the forklift before using it and exercising caution.  However, because these mistakes are so common, it is important for forklift operators to know the most common mistakes and how they can be avoided.

Forgetting to Check Tire Pressure

The tire pressure of the forklift tires should be checked every time before use because maintaining good tire pressure decreases the risk for accidents while improving the fuel economy.  Forklift tires can be dangerous if they are under-inflated because this decreases traction which could lead to accidents, and also if they are over-inflated because this can cause your tires to blow out at the worst possible time.  Make sure you always check the tire pressure of your forklift with a gauge and adjust the tire pressure accordingly.

5-Common-and-Avoidable-Forklift-MistakesDriving Dangerously

Careless driving is one of the top mistakes made by forklift operators, particularly those with less experience.  This is normally the result of driving at too high of speeds which makes certain maneuvers very dangerous.  It can be tempting to move quickly on a forklift when there is a deadline approaching but it is best to never exceed the recommended speeds to avoid a major accident.

Forgetting to Check the Forklift Battery

Like the tires, the forklift battery should be checked before each use to make sure it has power.  If the battery loses power during operation, especially if it is lifting a load, the consequences can be dangerous.  Checking the battery, terminal, and power gauge before each use can help you avoid forklift accidents caused by loss in power.

Forgetting to Check the Brakes

The brakes are another part that should be inspected before each use of a forklift as they are subject to normal wear and tear and break failures can be catastrophic.  If you have to push harder on the break to get the forklift to stop, this could be a sign that your brake pads need to be replaced.  It only takes a few minutes to install new brake pads which can help prevent a major accident.

Not Using Turn Signal

Most warehouse settings involve foot traffic as well as traffic from forklifts which makes it important to exercise proper safety, including the use of turn signals, to avoid accidents.  This is one aspect of forklift safety that is continuously overlooked when using turn signals can easily prevent workplace accidents.  Even if the turn signals on the forklift are not working, you can still signal your turns with hand signals.

Forklifts are very important pieces of equipment in many warehouse settings but improper maintenance and handling can lead to serious forklift accidents.  You can help cut down on forklift related accidents in your workplace by making inspections of the equipment before use mandatory and emphasizing the importance of safe driving and turn signals.  If you have employees that need training to get their licenses, RHI Lifts provides complete forklift operator training that includes classroom study, a written exam, and hand-on training.  You can call us at (847) 447-0700 for more about our forklift operator training.

Improve the Efficiency of Your Forklift with these 4 Tips

Improve the Efficiency of Your Forklift with these 4 Tips

May 4, 2016

RHI Lifts 4 Tips to improve your Forklift EfficiencyWhen it comes to choosing and using heavy machinery such as forklifts, one of the most important qualities that people often look for is efficiency.  The level of efficiency of a particular forklift has a direct effect on your bottom line as machines that can handle more work at a lower operation cost will ultimately save your company money.  If you are not getting the efficiency you want out of your equipment, there are several ways you can improve the efficiency of both new and used forklifts.  The following 4 tips will improve the efficiency of your forklifts for noticeable immediate results and long term improvements for your bottom line.

Improve Fuel Efficiency

One of the main ways to improve the overall efficiency of forklifts that run on gasoline is to maximize their fuel efficiency.  The fuel efficiency of your forklift can be improved and maintained by regularly checking and changing the oil and consistently maintaining the tire pressure.  Forklifts working on under-inflated tires have poor traction that lowers their fuel efficiency and greatly increases the likelihood of a workplace accident.  Overinflated forklift tires are also a problem as they can blow out and put your equipment out of commission.

Electric Forklifts

Electric forklifts are rising in popularity with the growing trend in green technology and they are an efficient alternative to fuel powered forklifts.  In addition to not having the fuel costs of other forklifts, electric forklifts function on fewer parts which require less maintenance and have a lower chance of breaking down.  The parts of an electric forklift are also easy to service which will reduce your overall cost of maintenance.

Recycled and Used Forklift Parts

Forklifts consist of many component parts and over time, individual parts can become worn out or broken which requires them to be replaced.  Replacing broken or worn out parts with recycled and used forklift parts will save you money while also eliminating the need to reproduce new parts.  It is important to remember that recycled parts are not lower quality than new parts, they are revitalized to their specifications in compliance with institutional standards and occupational guidelines.  You can rest assured that used forklift parts meet the industry standard to perform as well as new parts.

Fleet Management Software

If your company uses a fleet of forklifts on a regular basis to handle a high volume workload, you can ensure that your fleet is being used efficiently with fleet management software.  Fleet management software tracks the activity of the forklift fleet such as usage and idle time and allows you to pinpoint specific jobs and other issues that are bringing down the overall efficiency.  With this information, you can cut down on idle time and adjust the least efficient tasks so that your fleet gets the job done quicker and smoother.

Forklifts are expensive equipment to purchase and maintain which makes it important for your equipment to be as efficient as possible to help keep operational costs down and improve your bottom line.  Maximizing fuel efficiency, using recycled replacement parts, and incorporating fleet management software are effective ways to improve the efficiency of your current forklifts and you can also purchase electric forklifts which have a better overall efficiency than traditional fuel powered forklifts.  If your Chicago forklifts need maintenance or repair services to get them running more efficiently, contact RHI Lifts.  We provide professional forklift maintenance and repair services in Chicago and the surrounding areas.