12 Jan Operating Forklifts in Winter Weather
Keep an Eye on the Weather Forecast!
One of the main differences between an indoor forklift and an outdoor forklift is that the outdoor operator will need to deal with the additional danger of adverse weather conditions. The efficiency and safety of your team will vary dramatically in different weather conditions, with extreme heat or extreme cold having detrimental effects on the forklifts. It is therefore important to keep an eye on the weather forecast to help prepare for this. Not only will checking the forecast help when preparing and driving the forklift, but it will also help decide what the forklift operators are wearing so that they are properly protected from the elements – gloves and a jacket in winter or light clothing and a water bottle during a heatwave for example. Play it safe!
As well as a temperature change, another weather issue to look out for is rain. Flooring or water pooling on the ground can lead to the tires of the forklift losing their grip, causing the forklift to skid or slide dangerously. One way to try and limit the effects of a downpour is to add all-season tires to your forklift, which will help the machine stick closely to the ground. Consider installing a “Clear Cap” to protect the lift operator against heavy rain. If there is snow or ice forecast, it is important to try and salt or grit the ground before preventing the forklift from sliding or getting stuck.
If the forecast predicts any strong weather conditions, it is a smart idea to perform a maintenance check on your forklift to ensure that everything is working effectively. Important things to check include the tires, battery, hydraulics, lights, and steering as these will help you operate the forklift in harsh conditions.
In conclusion, operating a forklift outside comes will its own set of unique challenges, which we hope these tips will help with. The most important thing is that forklift operators should be properly trained for outdoor conditions in order to work safely and efficiently.