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You can have top-notch equipment, but you still won’t get the job done right without following proper loading protocol. Not loading properly can lead to damaged cargo, an equipment malfunction, or worse, personal injury. Here are some tips that will ensure that your cargo is loaded securely.
- Just because it fits doesn’t mean it’s stable: You have to recognize that even though your cargo may fit easily on the lift truck, it still may not be stable. For example, loading on the tip of the pallet or loading cargo so that it is unbalanced can result in the cargo sliding right off the lift truck. For this reason, you really want to make sure that you use some measuring tool, such as the Accu-Tilt (a handy tool discussed in an earlier post), which will give you a precise idea of whether your cargo is secure. Also, securing your cargo with rope is a great way of ensuring that everything is stable.
- Be mindful that the higher you lift your load, the less weight your lift truck can sustain. For this reason, you need to not only calculate in advance how heavy your load is but also how high you are going to lift your load. The data plate that comes with every fork lift gives an accurate reading of how heavy a load your lift can handle, so make sure to follow the specifications.
- It’s also important to remember that you need to lift your load in a straight trajectory—lifting at a diagonal angle carries the risk of your load falling off.
- When loading the pallet, make sure that the lift truck does not bump up against the pallet. The blades should never make contact with the pallet, as this can damage your load, as well as the pallet itself.
- Team-Up: Remember that somebody needs to be behind the wheel at all times operating the controls; if an adjustment to the load needs to be made, have a colleague do it while you stay inside the vehicle.