In a material handling warehouse, it’s a common scenario to see the serious hazard. In most cases, a tip over results. This leads to damaged equipment, product loss and the chances of possible injuries to the operators. When a lift truck tips over, it’s often to the side, and regardless of the side, this happens for several reasons.
When you invest in a lift truck, and before you take the controls, regardless of the size and design, operators need to understand the basic science that helps to keep the forklifts upright. The basic rule is simple to understand. The center of gravity of the truck needs to have a position inside the vehicle’s wheelbase. Once the center of gravity moves far forward, or too much to the sides (either right or left), which often happens at sharp turns, the chances of tip-overs often increase.
Keep in mind that most modern and used forklift truck for sale have ratings. These indicate the recommended, maximum weight of a load placed on the fork extensions or fork. These ratings apply, regardless of the positioning of the load, since the weight bearing the forks will often be the same. The tip-over risks increases when the load becomes too much on the forks, leading to instability, a heavy top or poor balance.
1. Turning Quickly With an Elevated Load
In most forklift-related accidents, the major cause is elevated loads, which cause forklift accidents and deaths. This is quite common in the USA, where loads contribute to tip-overs because of sudden turning, or sudden raising and lowering of the loads. Eventually, this causes more exertion of force on the truck sides. This has a direct effect on the stability. In addition, laden trucks can become less stable, as the loads lift higher. Operators will have to maneuver the lift truck properly at this stage. When loading the loads, it is best to proceed with this task one load at a time. Be slow with the load. Lower the forks gently to offload them. You shouldn’t make sudden turns or handle the load too quickly. It is best to have the right skills on how to prevent the chances of accidents. In addition, you should choose a reliable used forklift from dealers like Bobby Park Truck & Equipment experts. They will be able to guide you on the best models.
2. The Causes of Sideways Tip-Overs
Sideways tip-overs are common, and here are the primary reasons:
- Quick turning on a corner
- A raised load that’s too high for the mast
- Driving the lift truck over a pothole or obstacle
- Lifting a heavy load on a slope
- Lifting an active or moving load
In these cases, it becomes quite difficult for the operators to reposition the center of gravity back between the wheels to where it belongs. Eventually, the truck will experience an unexpected and sudden displacement. This initiates the tip over, and a fault in the center of gravity.
3. Carrying a Load on an Uneven Slope
When lifting heavy loads on slopes, there’s a great chance that the lift truck will tip over. When driving with the load on uneven ground, this is also prone to happen. The best way to move with the load is up and down, and not in any other direction.
This will only boost tip-overs. When the load is on uneven ground, this is even more common. To avoid this, as mentioned, you should drive up or down the slope, and avoid diagonal cuts. The fork should have a downhill positioning, and the load an uphill position. This should improve traction, stability, and adhesion. Operate the truck on smooth terrain. Use a rough terrain truck for rough terrain or path.
4. The Causes of Forward Tip-Overs
Forward tip-overs are also common, and here are the common reasons:
- Lowering or lifting the load on a slope
- Lifting a load that exceeds the truck rating
- Carrying moving loads
- Lifting a load that has a tilting mast, positioned on an incline
- Overhead collision with obstacles
- Braking too quickly, and accelerating, which pushes the loads center of gravity backward or forwards
In each case again, the operator will not be able to reverse the sudden shift in their truck’s gravitational center. It is advisable that operators go through OSHA training, and warehouse owners should always encourage them to enroll in such programs. This will help in familiarizing them with the equipment and ensuring smooth operations in the warehouse. It will promote lower chances of forklift tip overs as well.
Before you invest in a used Moffett forklift, you should conduct a complete check to see the durability and quality of the truck. Check the load capacity; inspect the tires, the forks, and every other corner for signs of damages.