Forklifts can be used in a variety of environments, from warehouses to factories, but forklift use isn’t merely confined to indoor activities.
Outdoor forklift use is pretty common but poses more challenges and risks than using one inside. This is primarily due to the increased health and safety issues related to the great outdoors!
Some terrains are much more forgiving and straightforward when it comes to operating a forklift. For example, there aren’t many issues that arise from driving on smooth tarmac. But that won’t always be the case. Sometimes, you need to drive over dirt, mud, uneven ground and in wet conditions.
Here are 5 safety tips for when you’re operating a forklift outdoors:
Prepare, prepare, prepare
If you’ve never operated a forklift outside you’ll need proper training. Using a simulator is a great (and safe) way to get to grips with the new terrain before you even step foot inside a forklift. It gives you great preparation and the confidence to tackle the outdoor elements.
Check your forklift prior to use
Whether you’re going to be operating indoor or outdoor, you should always check over your vehicle to ensure there are no problems with it before you begin to use it. However, the consequences for operating a faulty forklift outdoors can be much more severe than indoors. Always give yourself time to thoroughly check over your forklift and ensure it meets all safety standards.
Obviously, operating a forklift in any environment requires you to focus but you should be extra careful when outside. There are increased hazards to be aware of and more variables to consider.
Check the weather
You may start off working with a clear sky and dry ground but if you work in a region with temperamental weather, that can quickly change. Be sure to check the weather forecast for the day to ensure you’re not going to get caught in a flash storm or some tough conditions. Similarly, certain rough weather conditions should postpone your work such as heavy rain, ice and snow, which can cause the ground underneath your forklift to become compromised.
Regularly clean your forklift
A buildup of dirt is inevitable when regularly operating a forklift outside but this can cause your vehicle to run less efficiently and can even become a safety hazard. For example, if mud gets stuck in and around your tires, it could compromise your forklift’s grip on the ground and cause an accident. You can find our top tips for cleaning your forklift in last month’s blog.
If you’re looking to replace your forklift to use outdoors, or need one for a limited time, you can find information on forklift truck hire and our forklifts for sale on our website. Contact our team who will be happy to help! 0800 298 8790