How Steep is Too Steep? Driving Your Forklift on a Gradient

Driving on a Gradient

How do You Handle a Gradient?

Obviously, you want to try and avoid driving your forklift on any gradient, no matter how steep. Be that as it may, there are certain situations where you can’t avoid driving on an incline. In this post, we review forklift safety tips for driving on a gradient and preventing injury.

How much of a gradient can your forklift handle?

In the end, there is no single measurement for how much of a gradient your forklift can take on. Broadly speaking, a good framework to bear in mind is 5%, and 12.5% when driving on ramps. Driving on a gradient that is any steeper than this typically places you at risk. Still, the actual total depends on many factors, including the terrain, tires, and forklift model.

What can you do to reduce risk of injury?

When driving at a gradient, you need to exercise extra caution. This includes being aware of road conditions, and making sure that the overall environment is conducive to the forklift. Obviously, you do not want to elevate your load while on an incline. If you are carrying a load, you need to drive on the uphill trajectory. While driving, it is imperative that you meet the gradient directly. If you meet the gradient at a sideways direction, you are placed a much greater risk for injury. Turning corners is another potential hazard. If you need to turn a corner, make sure that you do not accelerate or brake while doing so as this could result in the forklift tipping over.

Know your environment

Having a keen knowledge of the workplace is an essential component to mitigating the risks imposed by gradients. After all, if you know exactly where gradients are, you can better prepare for them while driving. Your facility should be in good working condition. Before operating a forklift, make sure that you have received induction training. If changes are made to the workplace, you will also need to be re-trained until you are familiar with the landscape.

Regardless of whether you are a seasoned veteran or a forklift neophyte, gradients are tricky. By exercising caution and familiarizing yourself with your surroundings, you can survive gradients with your safety intact.

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