Reasons Why Your Forklift is Tipping Over
Why is your forklift tipping over? There are several reasons for a forklift tipping sideways, most of which are entirely avoidable and fixable once they occur.
In this article, we’ll discuss the potential root causes of your tilting forklift, and what to do if your forklift tips over.
And provide a downloadable safety recommendations sheet for you to print and display in your warehouse!
Reasons for a Forklift Tipping Sideways
The reasons a forklift may tip sideways are down to a few simple factors that can be easily remedied before any potentially serious accidents happen.
Usually, a tilting forklift is a result of imbalance and sudden changes. These may be environmentally influenced or as a result of your drivers neglecting rules and best practices.
The most common cause of your tilting forklift may very well be excessive or unevenly balanced loads. If you notice your forklift is tipping over, either forwards or sideways, this may be because your forklift isn’t designed to handle the weight of your items.
Different brands and types of forklifts can only handle so much weight before they tilt under pressure. Not only can this lead to tipping, but to a shorter lifespan for your vehicle.
This is because your forklift will work harder than it should, and end up overworking.
If the weight of your load is evenly distributed, you’ll notice your forklift tipping forward. But if it seems to be leaning to one side, the tilting side is likely carrying more weight than the other.
To avoid this, carry lighter weights, and ensure that the goods you’re carrying are evenly dispersed and of similar weight. You should notice less of your forklift tipping over after doing so.
Another of the reasons for a forklift tipping sideways while driving is uneven ground. If you’re using your forklift in a particularly well-used or poorly-evened-warehouse, you’ll notice your forklift leaning in all sorts of directions.
This is especially noticeable when going uphill and struggling to drive out of dips.
This is the most expensive option of those on this list. But the best way to prevent your forklift from tipping on uneven ground is to purchase a self-levelling compound to lay on the floor of your warehouse.
This will fill in dips, cracks, and any other imperfections that make it difficult for your forklift to stay level.
Operating on Slopes
This cause is a combination of the previous two. Uneven ground combined with heavy or uneven loads can cause your forklift to fall back entirely or place excessive pressure on the forklift’s engine.
Of course, sometimes it’s unavoidable to drive on slopes, especially if your warehouse was built that way. However, the main thing you can do to prevent your forklift from tipping over while driving on hills is to reduce the load it’s carrying.
Although this will mean more trips, especially if you have a lot of items to move, the risk of not reducing the load is too great to ignore.
Braking too Hard or Driving Unsafely
If you’ve ever driven a car with belongings in your back seat and had them all fly forward when you brake suddenly, you can imagine what happens when you brake suddenly on your forklift.
The sudden halt can make the items on the pallet you’re moving come forward and create uneven weight distribution.
As we covered previously, imbalanced weight can cause a tilting forklift. So you must be mindful of the harshness and softness of your braking to prevent your items from pushing forward.
Furthermore, driving unsafely can offer plenty of reasons for your forklift tipping sideways. Whether you’re turning abruptly, moving too fast, or stopping suddenly, each of these risky driving techniques can result in your forklift tipping over.
Worn-down wheels can cause a tilting forklift, due to the uneven rolling surface. This may be the last thing you think to check, but it’s worth having a look at. You may even find that your wheels are an unsafe thickness for use.
If your wheels are looking worse for wear, it’s time to replace them.
What to do if Your Forklift Tips Sideways
If your forklift tips over, you mustn’t try and leave your seat. Remain firmly seated, with your seatbelt on, and keep your hands on the steering wheel to stay stable.