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  • Trick Out Your Forklift to Enhance Safety and Comfort

    There used to be a popular show on MTV that featured a custom car crew tricking out the cars and trucks belonging to famous rappers, athletes, and even ordinary people. The most entertaining part of the show came at the end when the customizers unveiled the amazing "before and after" transformation.

    While it's probably not advisable to add hydraulics that bounce your forklift up and down, a sparkly paint job that features an elaborate mural, or a horn that plays "La Cucaracha", there are add-ons you can install on your forklift to improve safety and comfort for the operator.

    Call it... Read more →

  • Toyota Rolls Out New Line of Heavy Duty Forklifts

    Photo courtesy of Toyota Forklift

    You could call them the monster trucks of forklifts.

    Toyota's new line of high-capacity vehicles is designed to lift up to 80,000 pounds. That's strong enough to lift an entire 18-wheeler semi-trailer truck ... that is fully loaded. Talk about power!

    Obviously, not every operation needs forklifts this big and powerful. But an increasing number of businesses do, including intermodal yards that work with heavy cargo containers, marina operations that lift boats in and out of the water, industrial operations that need to lift and move very heavy machinery... Read more →

  • There's More than One Way to Lift a Drum

    Fork Mounted Drum Lifter

    Legendary rock singer Todd Rundgren is known for singing, "I don't want to work, I just want to bang on my drum all day." But warehouse and dock workers who handle industrial drums day in and day out don't have that luxury.

    Without the proper tools, lifting and moving standard 55-gallon metal drums can be awkward and dangerous. An empty standard metal drum weighs about 40 pounds. Even an empty plastic drum weighs about 20 pounds.

    When filled with water or another liquid of the same viscosity, its weight goes up to 458.7 pounds. And a standard drum filled with sand... Read more →

  • Carbon Monoxide Is the Silent Killer

    Avoid using gas or diesel powered forklifts indoors.

    There's a reason electric and liquid propane forklifts are made for indoor use and gasoline and diesel forklifts are for outdoor use. The latter expel carbon monoxide exhaust as a byproduct of the internal combustion process.

    Carbon monoxide is highly toxic to people. It's also odorless, colorless, and completely silent. So if you are caught in an enclosed space such as an indoor dock or warehouse where there is a buildup of carbon monoxide exhaust from a gas or diesel fueled forklift, you could be overwhelmed by poisonous CO before you... Read more →

  • 'Can I Use My Forklift to Work on My Car?' and Other Dumb Questions

    On a recent episode of AMC's hit TV series "Better Call Saul", one of the characters was using was using a forklift to lift a car so that he could search the undercarriage for a tracking device.

    In the scene, which took place in an auto wrecking yard, the vehicle appeared to be precariously balanced on the forks of the lift truck, leaving viewers cringing with fear that it might come tumbling down at any moment.

    It's a legitimate fear. Using forklifts for unauthorized purposes -- even in fictional TV shows -- is never a good idea. While forklifts are powerful, highly useful tools, they... Read more →

  • Electric, Diesel, or Propane Forklift: Pros and Cons

    Forklift fleet.
    (Courtesy: USS George Washington on

    There are three primary types of forklift fuels: Electricity in the form of batteries, liquid propane gas (LPG), and diesel fuel. Which one you choose to power your forklift depends on a number of different factors, including where you intend to use it, what you want to do with it, and how much you are willing to spend.

    Here is a brief review of the three different forklift fuel types, including their benefits and drawbacks.

    Battery-Powered Forklifts

    The biggest benefit of electric forklifts is that they can run indoors... Read more →

  • Carpet Pole Forklift Attachments Require Special Care

    Carpet pole.

    Carpets, textiles, and other materials that are stored in long rolls can be awkward to handle. Not only are they heavy, but they require extra room when moving them with a forklift equipped with a carpet pole forklift attachment. One wrong move and the entire load can become unraveled ... literally.

    Working with carpet pole forklift attachments requires special care and training. Operating a forklift with a carpet pole extending 8, 10, or even 15 feet out from the vehicle is like a battering ram attached the front of the vehicle. It can make turning difficult, it can reduce... Read more →

  • Broken Forklifts Can Put Workers at Risk

    Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

    Modern forklifts working in properly ventilated workplaces can perform virtually non-stop without putting workers at risk. But forklifts that are malfunctioning can be dangerous to the health and safety of everybody in the workplace.

    Just ask the owners of Cleary Pallet Sales, in Genoa, Illinois. According to investigators from the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the business had defective forklifts that it allowed workers to continue to use despite the fact that the vehicles were emitting close to 10 times the permissible exposure... Read more →

  • Light Your Way to a Safe Workplace

    There are a number of different type of lights that forklifts can be fitted with that can improve workplace safety by increasing awareness of their presence. All serve a specific purpose.

    Like cars and trucks, many forklifts come equipped with headlights and tail lights or brake lights. But unlike other vehicles, these lights aren't there primarily so forklifts can operate at night. Instead, headlights and tail lights let pedestrians and other drivers know when forklifts are in the area.

    Red and Blue Pedestrian Side Lights

    Some forklifts also come equipped with red or blue side lights.... Read more →

  • 5 Forklift Distractions that Can Have Fatal Consequences

    Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

    Driving a forklift requires the operator's undivided attention. When thousands of pounds of steel are careening down an aisle carrying pallets that can often obstruct the driver's vision, even a momentary lapse of focus can have tragic consequences.

    The dark downside of recent technological advances is that distracted driving is more of a problem than ever. While there has been a growing social stigma against drinking and driving over the past 40 years, texting while driving is more widely tolerated.

    Yet it can be just as dangerous. In 2012, there were... Read more →

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