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Tips for Operating and Maintaining Your Forklift

A forklift is a powered truck used to carry, lift, stack, or tier materials. It is extremely important that workers operating a forklift are trained and aware of safety procedures, as using these machines can be dangerous.

There are various forklift hazards operators should be aware of, including worn down tires. By inspecting and performing maintenance on old, run-down tires, workers can stay protected and lessen the chance of suffering from an injury on the job.

Forklift Tire Maintenance:

It is important to regularly evaluate your forklift tire and identify if it is time for a replacement. Doing so will help significantly with reducing the chance of accidents and operator fatigue. When a tire is worn down past its useful life, it is due for a replacement.

In other cases, forklift tires can lose part of its tread, which is known as chunking. Chunking can impact forklift tires due to various factors like driven over dock plates or debris in the facility. Other hazards that can cause damage to forklift tires includes oils and solvents, as these chemicals can cause the tires to soften and become more vulnerable to chunking.

When a tire faces severe damages, replacing it completely is sometimes the only option. However, many times a worn down tires can actually be re-used, and by choosing to retread tires, you can save a great amount of money. Industrial Tire provides re-treading for many material handling and construction applications. The retreading process of tires involves undergoing a remanufacturing process to replace worn tread on used tires with new tread to help extend the life of the tire. If you are interested in learning more about the re-treading process and our services at Industrial Tire, please watch this video here [insert YouTube link].

Worn Down Forklift Tires Can Cause Injuries

Tires with chunking also decrease the stability of the forklift and cause a tip-over. Forklift tip-overs are extremely dangerous, and cause an average of 100 people to lose their life each year. Source: [insert link here]. It is important for operators to know that staying inside the guarded overhead area, with a seat belt on can significantly help you stay protected. In a tip-over situation, it is common for humans natural instinct to be to try to jump out. However, most people cannot get away from the machine fast enough, which then results in the overhead of the machine crashing down on them.

The best way to stay protected during a tip-over is to always wear your seatbelt, and keep your hands and  feet inside the confines of the forklift and overhead guard.

Operating a Forklift: Safety Tips

Before you start the machine, operators should do routine check of the equipment, checking on components including the brakes, steering, warning devices, and the tires.While driving a forklift, it is crucial to give your undivided attention to where you are going, and be sure to steer clear of edges of loading docks or ramps, as this can cause tipping. Also, stay away fro any bumps, uneven ground surfaces, and keep a safe distance between other vehicles.

The image below illustrates more key forklift safety tips to keep workers safe:

Before Operating: Do a visual inspection of the forklift and be sure to wear personal protective equipment, including eye protections, hard hat, and safety vest.

Prevent Tip Overs:

  • Carry it low and keep it slow
  • Balance your load
  • Slow down for corners
  • Drive only where approved for wheels / tires

Prevent Collisions:

  • Approach corners with caution
  • Check your turn radius
  • Avoid pedestrians

Our mission at Industrial Tire is to provide the best products and services to our clients, so we can keep Western New York running, building, and moving forward. If you are interested in learning more about our extensive variety of products and tire services, please contact us today.