How To Pick Up A Pallet With A Forklift
We all know how important a pallet forklift truck is to the transportation and warehousing industry. With the invention of these nifty machines, it has meant movement of goods has been made relatively easier. Not to mention, the incorporation of these vehicles has seen business experience a massive reduction in transport costs and increase in productivity as a direct result of pallet forklift use. However, we also know how insufficient training/knowledge of forklift operators can cause catastrophic accidents in the workplace. With this in mind, this article will discuss how to pick up a pallet with a forklift so that workplace accidents and inefficiencies are minimised.
How to Pick Up a Pallet With a Forklift:
First things first when discussing how to pick up a pallet with a forklift, make sure that the delivery truck is parked correctly and in a space where your forklift’s mast can easily reach the pallet. There is no use for the delivery truck to be parked where the rear side is facing a dead end in or in a location where your forklift can’t access.
In addition, make sure the delivery truck’s engine is turned off and the handbrake is on. This is to ensure that when raising the forklift’s forks, the delivery truck doesn’t accidentally roll away which will affect the stability of the pallet when it is being lifted.
Plan and Check
Next, it is important to check the condition of your pallet forklift and to plan the path in which you wish to transport the load. Make sure any debris, fellow employees or obstructing objects are cleared from your desired path and that the ground level is even. This is paramount for the safety of yourself and the vehicle. It also will eliminate the possibility of a forklift tip over which are uncommon in warehousing applications but can still occur.
Raise Forks and Maneuver
Now, it’s time to get into the details on how to pick up a pallet with a forklift. Operators should raise the forklift’s forks using the levers within the cab and aim the forks to where the base of the desired pallet is. There will be gaps convenient in size to where the forks can be easily inserted into. Keep the forklift mass in an upright position before inserting the forks into the pallet. Align and centre the forklift forks then tilt the forks slightly backwards to ensure maximum security. If the delivery truck has been correctly loaded, the first pallet you see should be the first one to be transported to the loading bay.
Once this has been identified and the forklift forks are aligned, drive the forklift carefully using the accelerating pedal into the pallet. Make sure to drive slowly when inserting the forks. Careless driving can cause errors which may be hazardous to yourself or those in the workplace. Take your time and remember, patience is key. Once this has been achieved, use the levers in the forklift to lift the load up and out of the delivery truck. Finally, using the interior mirrors, reverse out and drive towards where the pallets need to be placed in the loading area.
It is important to never underestimate the risks resulting from complacency in regards to loading and unloading pallets of a delivery truck. Even the most experienced forklift operators should take maximum care. Often, loading and unloading are procedures that may be repeated multiple times a shift, so it is vital that complacency does not creep in. This is of course to maintain health and safety standards and to protect yourself, the machinery and those in the surrounding vicinity from harm.