Using warehouse forklift trucks in areas that are not suited to their specification will, inevitably, lead to equipment damage. To avoid costly repairs, truck operators need to be aware that certain areas of the workplace, however benign they may seem, should be avoided as much as possible.
- Driving over sliding door channels or rippled concrete yards causes problems to wheels, linkages and, eventually, the chassis
- Slotted drainage sumps or protruding manhole covers are a hazard to low-clearance machines that can ‘bottom out’ on them. This often causes under-chassis damage, plus drive and load wheel fractures
- Potholes are a major cause of bottoming out. Drivers should report them so that they can be fixed at the earliest available opportunity
- Loose steel plates and general debris can cause damage to the chassis, hydraulic hoses, engine sumps and hydraulic oil tanks
- Driving over pallet wrap, sawdust and paper can lead to blocked radiators and ineffective air filters. This kind of debris can also damage shaft bearings and seals and cause wheel bearings to fail
- Carrying sharp objects on the tool belt can cut the seat covering. Once a hole appears, it will soon deteriorate, making the seat uncomfortable and, ultimately, unusable (especially if it affects the driver’s concentration) Be aware of your work environment. Avoid potential trouble spots and keep the area clean and free of debris. It’s good practice and will help to improve safety, by reducing the risk of accidents, while also minimising truck damage.