Protecting Your Forklift from Tipping

A triangular yellow forklift safety sign

Forklifts are high-performance vehicles. They’re working continuously and because of this, they have some significant safety issues that need to be kept in mind all the time. Tipping is one of the most serious and dangerous of these safety problems.

Forklift Safety Essentials

The key elements in forklift safety are:

  • Good driving: Australian forklift drivers are licensed and they are also well aware of the safety essentials. NEVER allow an unlicensed person to drive a forklift. Even the most competent qualified drivers can have difficulties, so there’s no good reason to let an unqualified driver anywhere near a forklift.
  • Load balance: Forklifts are designed symmetrically to carry balanced loads. If a heavy load is lopsided or out of balance, only one thing can happen. Ensure that your load is properly loaded and properly secured.
  • Load management: The temptation to add more to a forklift load can be managed is extremely dangerous. Most people don’t realise that when you add a “small weight”, you’re adding to the entire load, the surest way of causing a forklift to tip. If there’s even the slightest doubt or your load is close to maximum, don’t add anything to the load.
  • Tyres: Forklift tyres take the full pressure of both the forklift and the load it’s carrying. It only takes one tyre to fail and the whole load will tip. Always check your tyres and be sure to keep them well maintained with regular forklift maintenance.
  • Masts: Masts rarely have problems but if they do, they can be catastrophic. A faulty mast will inevitably cause the load to tip. If you’re in any doubt about the condition of a mast, take the forklift out of service and get your service people to check it out immediately.
  • Access issues: Driving a forklift through “debatable” access points like a crowded warehouse floor is a sure way to unbalance your load. If the load impacts anything, it will block the forklift movement and you will almost inevitably have a tipping incident on your hands. Clear the space for the forklift or use another access point.
  • Suspension: Another critical component of forklifts, particularly for heavy loads, is the suspension. If a forklift is uncharacteristically bumpy or drives like a Demolition Derby truck, you’ve definitely got suspension problems. A faulty suspension will automatically compromise a heavy load, so call your forklift service people, as soon as possible.

Maintenance Saves Lives

The most effective way to eliminate the majority of your tipping hazards is to get your forklift maintained regularly. If you have a new vehicle and any of the above problems arise, you most likely even can get them fixed fast under warranty.

Technicians will spot any possible risks and prevent accidents by changing tyres, adjusting your suspension, fixing any damage and checking masts.  Look at it this way – for the cost of a phone call to your service people, you may save a life, maybe even your own. That’s good value.

Need Forklift Services?

Aussie Forklifts can provide any forklift services you need in Sydney. We know how to make sure your hardworking forklift is in good condition and we’ll be there when you need help in a hurry. Call us on (02) 9679 8992 or fill in our online contact form.  We’ll be in touch ASAP.