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The inherent instability of forklifts makes it important to exercise special caution when parking them. It is necessary to note that parking a forklift should not be treated the same way as parking any other automobile. Below are some safety considerations for parking with your forklift.
One way that parking a forklift differs from parking an ordinary vehicle is that the forklift simply cannot handle inclines. While it is true that there is a parking brake, it will not work on a steep incline. In fact, the parking brake should not be trusted even on small slopes; if you need to park on a small incline, make sure that you chock your wheels. The importance of chocking your wheels was covered in an earlier post, and it is a crucial step. You may even want to purchase a safety sign to remind forklift operators not to overlook this vital procedure.
Where should you park?
When deciding on where to start, it’s a good idea to consider where not to park. Under no circumstances should you park near a fire lane (this is prohibited), and you don’t want to park on walkways or near stairways. Make sure that there is plenty of space for entry and exit and that the forklift is not creating a safety hazard.
Standard procedure tips
After you’ve turned off the forklift, remember to remove the keys and set the emergency brake. The load should also always be lowered before exiting the vehicle, as you don’t want the load to fall or create the risk of someone tripping. The only time in which it is acceptable to leave the forklift on is if the operator is within 25 feet of it, the forklift is in plain sight, the emergency brake is set, and the controls are in neutral.
Parking a car is done so frequently that it is easy to apply that procedure to parking a forklift. However, forklifts are cumbersome and so you absolutely must apply the tips covered in this post when parking your forklift.