Forklift Attachments for Wintry Weather: The Snow Plow

forklift accessories

Photo courtesy Clement Bucco-Lechat via Wikimedia Commons

This year’s winter weather has been worst in decades, dumping several feet of snow on many areas. But snow plow forklift attachments may provide a secret weapon when it comes to snow removal.

One of the most popular forklift attachments is the snow plow. These forklift attachments come in a variety of sizes and include many different options. Some are even custom built to order, but they all work essentially the same way.

How This  Forklift Attachment Works

A plow is attached to fork pockets that can easily be fitted onto the tines of your forklift. After the plow is mounted onto the forklift, it usually is secured with pins to prevent it from falling off.

You can then use the power of your vehicle to push snow off of heavily traveled surfaces such as access roads, docks and work yards.

Adjustable Angles

Some snow plow forklift attachments are adjustable so that the angle of the plow can be changed so that the snow can be pushed to either the right or the left side as the vehicle moves through the snow. Angling can be achieved either through the forklift’s hydraulics system or manually, depending on the sophistication of the snow plow attachment.

There are even some plow attachments for forklifts that have a “V” shape so that they can push the snow to both sides simultaneously.

Icy Winter Solutions

When it comes to wintry weather, snow is only one of the problems. Another is ice.

A forklift that doesn’t have proper traction to deal with ice is dead in the water. Some forklifts can be equipped with tire chains that can provide the traction you need to run your vehicle over even the most slippery ice.

When purchasing tire chains for your forklift, make sure you select only those that have been approved for use with your particular model or forklift. If there is not enough wheel well clearance to accept the chains, it can damage your forklift and even result in accident or injury.

While forklifts with the proper winter weather equipment can be safely operated on icy or snowy surfaces in most cases, it’s important that you never drive your forklift onto an ice-covered body of water such as a river, lake, stream or culvert. Forklifts can weigh upwards of 3,000 pounds, so they may fall through thin or even thick ice if you are not careful.

Other Cold-Weather Dangers

Extremely cold temperatures are also the enemy of forklifts, especially those using battery power. Sub-freezing temperatures can quickly drain a battery of its power, so you always want to make sure your forklift is stored in a heated garage or space when not in use.

Also, make sure your forklift is fully charged before you use it in freezing temperatures. Don’t venture too far from a recharge station because you may not have enough power to make it back if the cold temperatures cause your batteries to lose juice.

Finally, make sure the forklift operator is bundled up and is wearing multiple layers of clothing to deal with the sub-freezing temperatures. Cold weather combined with even the most modest wind can cause dangerous wind chills that can result in frostbite on unprotected skin within minutes.

 

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