Forklifts are essential equipment in various industries, from manufacturing to construction. They make it easier to move heavy loads and increase productivity in the workplace. However, operating a forklift comes with certain risks, and speed is a critical factor that can impact the safety of the operator and those around them.
This equipment can be used in many settings, including warehouses, manufacturing facilities, construction sites, and many other areas. If the forklifts are operated incorrectly, the person using the machine could get injured or even killed.
Being aware of forklift speed limits is crucial to avoid accidents. In this article, we will discuss what you need to know about forklifts and speed limits.
Why Forklift Speed Limit is Important
OSHA mandates that forklift drivers undergo training and obtain certification. It’s always advisable to lean on the side of caution and refer to your forklift operator’s manual for particular speed limitations when in doubt.
Forklifts have different speed limits depending on the vehicle type, load weight, and surroundings. It is generally reasonable to estimate that a forklift’s top speed is equal to half of its maximum load capacity.
For instance, a forklift with a 2-ton maximum load capacity should not travel faster than 10 mph. Finally, forklifts working in enclosed spaces or crowded places may be subject to slower speed limits.
Optimal Forklift Safety Procedures
Enforcing forklift speed limitations is important to prevent tip-overs and other lift mishaps. The speed should be lower the heavier the vehicle, the state of the aisles must be considered, and driver visibility should be considered when choosing a driving pace. Signs should be placed regularly to ensure everyone abides by the posted limit.
Additionally, you may guarantee that your staff members follow the following forklift safety guidelines:
- Always drive forklifts at a speed that enables controlled, safe stopping.
- Drive carefully and gently on wet, slick surfaces.
- Always keep an eye on the forklift’s maximum speed and operate the lift within the forklift’s legal speed range.
- On-ramps and sloping surfaces should be used with additional caution.
- When driving through junctions and blind zones, go more slowly and honk your horn.
- Turn the steering wheel in a smooth, sweeping stroke to slow down while approaching curves.
- Maintain a safe separation between forklifts.
Take Advantage of Radar Guns
Forklifts should maintain a speed of under five miles per hour when traveling from point A to point B due to the size and weight of the load. Most forklifts lack speedometers and odometers, making it difficult for drivers to gauge their speed.
Radar guns can be used to assist drivers in monitoring their speed, and warehouses should spend money on speed detection equipment to display the forklift’s speed and emit a warning alarm or indicator if it exceeds the safe speed threshold.
When using a low-speed radar gun like the SR3600 Low-Speed Radar Gun, floor supervisors may observe the speeds of forklift drivers from a distance.
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