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Most of the time, forklift operators are used to the rough and tumble conditions of the workplace. In docks and warehouses worldwide, drivers quickly pick up and move wrapped pallets or crates that are built tough enough to stand up to less than delicate handling.
But some loads require a softer touch. Things like expensive rolled metals, unpackaged equipment or appliances, and other loads with bare surfaces could easily be scratched, chipped, marred, or scuffed during normal handling procedures.
Things like expensive rolled metals, unpackaged equipment or appliances, and other loads with bare surfaces could easily be scratched, chipped, marred, or scuffed during normal handling procedures.
Lifting and hauling these loads in the same way that you would handle wrapped pallets or crates could easily result in costly damage. The last thing you want is for products to arrive at their final destination damage for which your business could be held accountable.
Delicate materials require special handling, beginning with the fork surface.
White Glove Handling
People who deal with rare and priceless item will frequently don white cotton gloves before handling anything especially delicate or valuable. These gloves create a barrier between the object and their hands, preventing the high-value items from becoming stained, or damaged by oils or other impurities on the skin’s surface.
The same type of “white glove” handling procedures can be used with forklifts that haul super-delicate or expensive payloads.
Special forklift attachments that fit over existing forks offer a barrier between bare metal and the special loads. For example, a poly fork cushion made of a cushioned, non-slip surface is made from premium polyurethane and lets operators lift and carry even the most scratchable items carefully and without worrying as much about damage.
These specialized forklift attachments are helpful if you frequently carry delicate items with your forklift. But what about the one-off load that comes into your operation?
Not necessarily. If you are using your forklift to carry something special — such as moving a decorative wooden table or a roll of polished aluminum, for example — you can still reduce your chances of damaging the item without having to invest in a specialized forklift attachment you may only use a handful of times.
Consider covering your forklift’s forks with burlap or wrapping the item in moving blankets. Both can be secured using good, old-fashioned duct tape to provide a soft, slip-proof surface that gets the job done safely.