Despite being worth billions, the material handling industry is as vulnerable to the changes in the weather as any other. In fact, it can be argued that it is even more vulnerable due to the fact that it relies largely on heavy machinery such as forklifts. Even though the industry has come a long way in improving the safety of operators and employees alike, with the creation of more advanced forklifts such as the Moffett Truck Mounted forklifts, yet a lot can still be done to improve conditions when the weather changes for the worst.
That is what we shall be discussing in the article to follow. After all, taking adequate precautions can allow truck-mounted forklifts to function properly throughout winter without any accident and optimize business performance.
Use Snow chains on Tires
One of the biggest problems in winter is that of the grip of the tires. All vehicles suffer from a loss of grip during winters when the roads and surfaces are wet and slippery. However, machines used to lift heavy loads are even more vulnerable due to the added weight that they have to lug around. Usually, Moffett truck-mounted forklifts are better than most other forklifts when it comes to retaining a grip on slippery surfaces. However, that is not an argument not to take the necessary precautions.
The best way to ensure that the tires grip on snowy and slippery surfaces during winter is to put chains around the tire. These are also called snow chains since they are used particularly during winter for increased grip. These are especially useful when operating used Moffett forklifts since they may require additional grip because of wear and tear.
Utilize Antifreeze for Coolant system
Antifreeze is imperative during winters since it ensures the fluid in the coolant system does not solidify due to the cold. The antifreeze can also be used on the windscreen of the driver’s cabin to make sure the screen stays clear and does not hinder the driver’s view. Expert retailers such as Bobby Park Truck and Equipment actually encourage purchasing a can of antifreeze when you purchase a used forklift truck for sale. Although Moffett truck-mounted forklifts have a good track record of functioning during winters you still can’t take any chances.
Take Precautions before Operating Forklift
There are certain precautions you need to take before actually operating the forklift. Let’s take a look at what they are.
Let the Forklift Warm-up
The forklift engine can get extraordinarily cold during the winters because of the extreme temperature. That is why you need to turn the forklift on at least 5 to 10 minutes before you need to operate it. This allows the engine to get sufficiently warmed up before it has to drive the weight of the forklift. An insufficiently heated engine can lead to internal knocking that can be detrimental to the integrity of the Moffett piggyback forklift. Moreover, the operator is sure to feel a noticeable dip in the performance of the forklift if the engine is not warm enough.
Clear the Route of Snow beforehand
The reason the material handling industry can be more dangerous than others is because it deals with heavy loads, rough terrains and large machinery. If the material handling operation is taking place outside of a warehouse, in an open field, then it can be especially dangerous during winters. This is because the melted or frozen snow can make any normal surface quite slippery. The most sensible thing to do is survey the route the forklift will be traveling on and clear it of snow before you start out on the journey.
Not only can the snow make the tires loose grip, but it can also get between the lift chains of the Moffett truck-mounted forklift and prevent the correct lifting of heavy loads. This is a perfect recipe for disaster and so it is up to the manager and the operator to clear the snow before taking the forklift out on the route.
Use Anemometer to measure wind
Winds can be particularly speedy in the open countryside during the winter. The ideal way to deal with speedy winds is to measure the speed before the operation and not to lift heavy loads when the winds are high. The wind speed can be measured with an anemometer and it is an essential tool in the arsenal of a forklift operator.
It is up to the managers and operators to take extra precautions to ensure that no accidents occur. This is especially true when winter rolls around and working conditions become even more dangerous. Due to the additional dew and snow in the air, surfaces become slippery which makes lifting and carrying heavy loads a very real danger. In order to minimize the danger of forklifts malfunctioning during the winter season, these steps can be very useful for every operator and fleet manager.