12 Tips to Safely Operate a Forklift on a Yard Ramp
Forklift Safety Comes First
Operating a forklift on a ramp can be dangerous. Yard ramps are the most common type of ramp used in industry, and they present many hazards if not operated on correctly. First and foremost, it’s important to find a trustworthy forklift ramp for sale, but even after doing so, caution is still required. If you need to operate a forklift on a ramp for loading or unloading, make sure you know what to do before starting! In this article, we will discuss 12 steps that will help ensure your safety when operating ramps.
12 Tips to Help New Drivers
Know the function of each lever.
Check the condition of tires prior to moving.
Avoid sudden acceleration and braking on ramp.
Limit travel speed at all times.
Do not move forks while traveling up or down the ramp.
Do not turn on a ramp.
Use a horn or warning light to warn others when reversing.
Keep your distance from the edge of the ramp.
Do not use ramps with slopes that exceed the recommended maximum.
Always look in the direction you are driving.
Drivers should always carry the load facing up the ramp.
If the vehicle is parked on a ramp, use blocks on the wheels.
Training and Inspection for Your Forklift and Ramp
Training is paramount to the success of any endeavor. Operating heavy machinery is, of course, no different. Before a person gets ready to drive a forklift, they ought to be well trained on every facet of the operation. From levers to pedals to rules of the road, it’s incredibly important to know what you’re doing, as well as why you’re doing it. There are many steps a warehouse manager can take to make loading and unloading safer, and ensuring that forklift operators are well-trained and attentive is a good first step.
Do you want to be the one who has a moment of realization that all isn’t well while being in motion? Pre-operation inspection is too often overlooked, but all it takes is a few seconds before driving and there are no consequences. So, take your time to check over everything for safety’s sake!
It can be hard to slow down and take stock of everything, but doing so helps keep everyone safe. It also helps your facility comply with OSHA laws and regulations. Before driving, check to make sure everything on your forklifts and yard ramps is in proper working condition.
Slow Down on Ramps
The tradeoff between acceleration and braking can be tricky. It’s possible to accelerate too hard, which will cause the wheels to spin or slide out of control on slippery surfaces like ice or oil. Sliding is more likely as you increase in speed, so always keep your driving at responsible speeds that allow for correction in case something goes wrong!
Always exercise caution when operation heavy machinery!
While ramps are a necessary part of the forklift puzzle, they do pose additional risks. It’s important to use a ramp that is suited for the job at hand, and not every ramp can handle every situation. For example, if you were to use a standard moving ramp with your forklift, you’re asking for trouble.
Once you have the right equipment for the job, always take things slow on the ramp. Drive at reasonable speeds, steer with focus, and don’t perform any potentially dangerous maneuvers. If you follow all these rules, your risk of driving off the edge, dropping the load off the forks, or tipping the forklift is greatly reduced. Always keep these tips in mind to maintain forklift safety on yard ramps.
Load Management on Ramp
The best way to ensure safety when driving on a ramp is by always keeping the load pointed up the ramp no matter what. When descending, drivers should turn their heads and drive backward to stay focused while keeping the load in a safe position. Driving with a heavy load facing down the ramp is a guaranteed recipe for tipping a forklift! Let’s try NOT to cook up a situation like that.
We must always keep our heads facing the direction we are moving when operating a forklift. Not only is this good for safety, but it also helps to avoid accidents at the loading dock. Accidents and injuries are significantly more costly than simply training staff and acquiring yard ramps with proper capacities and dimensions.
If for any reason you need to stop the forklift on the ramp, be sure to put blocks on the wheels to remove any potential for rolling or movement. Pair this with a parking brake to make sure your vehicle is totally secured.
It is always a good idea to use ramps with gentle grades and steel curbs. A ramp that has an excessively steep grade can make it difficult for forklift operators unaccustomed to this type of equipment, especially in low visibility situations such as nighttime.
Keep Forklift Drivers Safe with Copperloy Yard Ramps
If you are a forklift operator, it’s important to prepare and equip yourself with the proper knowledge. If not done right, this could cost your company money in downtime or lost inventory. If you want to find out more about yard ramps to help set you up for safe loading and unloading, be sure to visit Copperloy. Follow the link on the right to check our their selection of yard ramps and other loading dock equipment: