Never Sacrifice Safety: Critical Factors for Lift Truck Selection

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There can be no “guesstimates.” Proper lift equipment selection can literally be a life-saving decision when it comes to worker safety. In addition, an improper lift selection can cause damage to product, the machinery and the workplace.   

An imbalanced lift truck is the number one cause of accidents when it comes to material handling according to OSHA studies of forklift-related accidents.1 For the sake of safety and efficiency, find a supplier like RICO that conforms to government and non-government mandated standards for a variety of lift truck environments. Find a comprehensive list on our web site.  A properly designed and engineered lift truck for special loads might be the best solution.  

Three primary considerations when selecting a lift truck include load weightload size and the overall size of the machine. Other factors that operators can sometimes overlook prior to renting or purchasing a machine can include:    

  • Reach: what size/type of lift equipment will allow the operator to perform the tasks to the limit of its requirements without straining maximum tolerances or machine balance to avoid tipping over? 
  • Accessibility: Will the lift equipment fit into all the spaces necessary to complete transition of material, including a delivery truck or loading dock, and from outside to inside the plant and around corners or within doorways/bay area clearance? 
  • Flexibility: Does the lift equipment have the turning radius necessary to perform tasks within the space designated for operations? Areas to consider include elevators, aisles, and plant layout (including corners). 
  • Surface: Are there potential slopes such as egress or access ramps between the dock or delivery truck and the load’s final destination? What surface/surfaces will the lift truck be expected to transverse—slick or rough, wet or dry, hot or icy?
  • False savings: Purchasers might try to cut corners and work a smaller machine with large loads, looking only at the upfront savings. An overloaded lift truck can cause excessive wear on the components translating into extra maintenance and premature and permanent breakdown. A more robust truck can offer two to three times the lifespan of a smaller vehicle, lending a greater return on the initial investment over time.  

And when you are ready to compare lift trucks or to investigate whether a specially engineered lift truck might be the best investment for your firm, come and take the RICO challenge to compare for yourself. Visit RICO or call us at 330-723-4050.  

1https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2001-109/