Eight Tips to Safely Operate a Forklift in the Winter

December 28, 2020 5:32 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Just like any heavy machinery, forklift operation shouldn’t be taken lightly. It’s a serious job that requires hours of training to master and an operator’s license to perform. The challenges and dangers of operating a forklift only increase in the winter, when the weather is cold and icy.

As a premier forklift rental company, we’ve put together this post of safety tips for forklift use in winter in Texas to ensure your safety throughout the season:

  • Check all parts and fluids: Winter weather affects all parts of a forklift, but it can be particularly brutal on the battery, hydraulics, electrical system and engine. Perform a full inspection of these parts and ensure the tires are properly inflated. Additionally, check the fluid and antifreeze levels before operating it.
  • Warm up the forklift: Just like cars, forklifts should be warmed up before using them in the winter. Giving the forklift time to warm up before driving it prevents issues with the engine and transmission.
  • Use tire chains: Along with making sure the tires are properly inflated, it’s not a bad idea to add tire chains if you’re working outside in slippery conditions. Tire chains allow for better grip on the pavement, preventing slipping and sliding that could lead to serious injuries.
  • Turn on all lights: Another one of our safety tips for forklift use in winter in Texas is to ensure all of the interior and exterior lights are turned on while you’re operating the forklift. Greater visibility helps prevent damaged property and injuries.
  • Wear proper clothing: A big part of safe winter forklift operation has to do with your clothing. If you’re going to be outside for extended periods, be sure to layer up and always wear gloves and a warm hat. Having a wind-proof outer jacket is another great way to stay warm and comfortable throughout your shift.
  • Be alert: Staying alert behind the wheel is the key to success regardless of the season, as any distractions can lead to accidents. However, this tip is even more important when the weather is nasty. Keep both hands on the wheel and maintain 100 percent concentration while you’re driving.
  • Operate slowly: Slow and steady is the way to go when it comes to how to operate a forklift in winter in Texas. Maintaining a slow speed limits the possibility of sliding around on icy pavement and causing an accident or injury. You’ll also want to be careful while braking—even if you’re going slow, slamming on the brakes can cause you to slide or spin out.
  • Maintain after each use: Before your shift is over, be sure to perform some basic maintenance on the forklift. Doing things like cleaning it and topping off the fluids ensures the forklift will be ready for use the next day and helps to prolong its lifespan.

Rent your forklift from V-Bar Equipment Company

If you need to rent a forklift or any other machinery, come to V-Bar Equipment Company! In addition to renting out top-of-the-line machinery, we also run training programs to teach you how to operate a forklift in winter in Texas.

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