Use of Forklift Attachment Should Not Be Taken For Granted

Attachments affect the operation of a forklift. (Maktec Manufacturing at flickr.com)

Attachments affect the operation of a forklift.
(Maktec Manufacturing at flickr.com)

You know that your drivers have been trained to safely maneuver the forklift. However, have they learned the proper skills to handle a forklift with an attachment?

Nowadays the forklift is the Swiss Army knife of material handling. Just add the appropriate tool and it can lift heavier and oddly shaped loads and deliver a picker to the appropriate shelf height. It can also be used to sweep the floor of the warehouse to keep things tidy, dump trash into a waste container, and remove snow from the parking lot. It truly is a versatile machine.

However, you can’t just smack attachments on to a lift and then expect a forklift operator to perform the needed skills to maneuver and utilize the attachment in a safe manner. Just as the driver needs to be trained on how to operate the lift, he also needs to be trained how to maneuver the forklift with tools attached.

First, all attachments effect the operation of the forklift. Moreover, each attachment can affect the operation of the lift in different ways. If a lift is operated with an extension improperly, then an accident can be the result. Whenever a driver connects an attachment on to a forklift, he must take into account how the lift’s capacity has been changed. He must be able to recalculate to take into account the attachment’s weight and the new load center it creates.

Therefore, it is advantageous to train your drivers in the proper fitting and use of the attachment as well as how each attachment affects the operation of the lift. He must be able to take all these issues into account as he maneuvers the lift to the task and them performs the task with the attachment.

In addition, it is imperative that the attachments properly fit your particular fleet of forklifts. Forklift operators may connect an attachment that does not properly fit a lift and the result is that the tool is loose and could not perform the task it is meant to undertake. This too, can cause an accident.

If the attachment doesn’t fit the lift properly, then there is a temptation for the forklift operator to modify the attachment to perform a task. That modification could not only affect how the forklift operates, but could also affect how the attachment performs.

Assess your requirements, then select the proper attachments you need on a regular basis.

A warehouse may want to have an experienced forklift driver train a less experienced one in the proper use of attachments and how to maneuver the forklift with an attachment on it so the task at hand can be performed efficiently and safely.

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