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Forklift Ettiquette: When Is It Appropriate To Lay On Your Horn?

(Courtesy: Keytroller)

Like cars and trucks, forklifts come equipped with horns. But unlike these other vehicles, using your forklift's horn frequently isn't likely to make other people angry. Instead, it can save their lives.

Forklift horns are loud and grating. And that's a good thing. They are designed that way so that they can be heard over the din of a busy warehouse, dock, or other workplace.

When to Use Your Forklift Horn

For forklift operators, their vehicle's horn is one of the most important -- and frequently used -- tools. Its purpose is to get the attention of other people, especially those pedestrians who are unaware that there is a fast-moving piece of heavy machinery approaching them.

Horns are honked whenever the forklift is approaching an intersection, coming around a corner, or approaching somebody who isn't making eye contact with the forklift operator in order to acknowledge their presence.

While the frequent use of an automobile or truck horn is likely to result in road rage -- or at least an obscene gesture -- this isn't the case with forklift horns. People working in and around forklifts are accustomed to constantly hearing their horns as a warning sign of their approach.

Testing Your Forklift's Horn

It's a good idea for forklift operators to test their forklift's horn at the beginning and end of every shift. They want to make sure their horn is working so that it will be available when they need it.

The last thing you want is to hit your forklift's horn to warn somebody that you are approaching and have it not work. That could be a disaster waiting to happen.

If the forklift's horn is not working, the vehicle should be taken out of commission until it can be repaired. The horn is among the most important safety features on any forklift. Without it, the vehicle poses a danger to pedestrians, other forklift operators, and the business itself.

Forklift Horn Use Becomes Second Nature

For safe forklift operators, tapping the horn frequently quickly becomes second nature. It's a warning to other people that you are approaching and alerts those who might not see you that you.

In conjunction with warning lights, back up alarms, and other safety features, forklift horns help keep workplaces safe. Unlike the horns equipped on cars and trucks, horns on forklifts should be used frequently and constantly in order to maintain the safest possible work environment.