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Forklift in our culture

June 23, 2017

The forklift has its way into the media, and it is not for what you think it is! If you think that the forklift is used in the warehouse for lifting goods, here are some examples of how people have thought of creative ways to use the forklift, for interesting results.

1) In the News: Thieves Have Used a Stolen Forklift to Steal an ATM

In Fayetteville, Georgia, some enterprising thieves somehow managed to steal a forklift and then used that stolen forklift to make off with an ATM machine. Security video reveals a forklift ramming into the 2,000 pound ATM machine and taking it out from its foundation. The ATM machine had $113,000 cash in it. Fortunately, there was a GPS tracker within the ATM, which allowed the police to locate its position. They may get an “A” for effort, but the thieves did not get away with anything else.

2) Create a basketball hoop

You can put the basketball hoop on a forklift, raise up the forks, and play basketball! You can adjust the height according to what you desire!

Some would even go to the extent of driving the forklift with the basketball hoop and attempt to catch a jumping ball while driving the forklift. Please note that this result in dire consequences.

 

3) Forklifts are used to rescue the obese

From: The Telegraph, 13 April 2012

Five firemen from a single Yorkshire town have injured their backs and muscles while trying to manoeuvre overweight people in the past two years, a report found. It resulted in a total of 13 working days being lost as the injured officers recovered.

Now crews in Rotherham, one of Britain’s fattest towns, are using forklifttrucks and hydrolic platforms to rescue fat people from fires and falls and to help the ambulance service move bariatric patients to hospital.

“As with any emergency situation, the risk for injury to staff is minimised but the rescue of people in these circumstances tends to be problematic due to the limited space in traditional houses, especially hallways and stairs.”

How Forklift Work

June 23, 2017

Understanding the basic physics of load limits is an important part of safe forklift operation. Every lift truck of any type has a load rating chart, which indicates where on the fork you can lift how much weight. The key is that the centre of gravity of the forklift has to stay inside the wheelbase for it to be stable. The closer the load is to the front tires, the less likely you are to tip. Proper forklift operation always places the load as close to the wheels as possible, which means close to the carriage and low to the ground. Therefore, the driver has to take note to also avoid making sharp turns with a load held high in the air, as it can cause tipping over sideways. The higher the centre of gravity, the less stable the forklift is.

The design of a forklift truck is based on critical elements of physics. Stability is created through a cantilever system similar to a teeter-totter — two sides balanced on a pivot point, the fulcrum. On a forklift the forward wheels are the fulcrum. The load on the forks must be counterbalanced by weight on the other side of the fulcrum, or in other words, the truck itself and the counterweight that is built into it. Each forklift has a capacity rating that is listed on the data plate of the truck. Tilting the load forward or back or raising the load while tilted can completely change the expected stability. Driving on any sort of incline or rough surface (possibly a railroad track) can lead to disastrous results unless the driver plans ahead and compensates for the differences. Even simple things like starts, stops, or turns can shift the combined centre of gravity and cause trouble. Be sure to only lift to heights that are correctly defined for the truck.

Each forklift truck has a load centre. A common load centre is 24 inches. This information can be found on the data plate. The capacity of a truck is given in three factors on the data plate, namely the capacity in pounds, the load centre and the maximum height. The forklift’s overall capacity is determined by multiplying the pound capacity by the load centre. To determine if a load is appropriate for the forklift, multiply the weight of the load by its load centre. If the result is less than the maximum inch-pounds for that forklift, it is safe to lift the load.

Safety and stability are essential elements when using a forklift. It is clear that a degree of knowledge is necessary to safely operate one. Be certain that drivers have the required training to understand the complex physics of a forklift in order to prevent accidents that can damage goods or injure workers.

Guide on forklift purchase

June 23, 2017

Buying a forklift is not a small investment and it shouldn’t be treated as such. There are lots of considerations to be made and some research to do. Use the list below as a guide to help organize your forklift purchasing process:

1) Consider how you’re going to use the forklift.

- Do you need to stack?

- Will you use your forklift primarily indoors or outdoors?

- How much weight is your typical load?

- What are the typical dimensions of your load?

- How high do you need to lift a load?

2) Think about renting before buying

- If you only need to use the forklift in the short term, it may be more worthwhile to rent than to buy.

3) Is it possible to request for a demo or a short-term rental to test the forklift?

- This allows you to get a sense of the forklift. You can also inspect the seatbelt, horn, lights, tires for its safety and reliability.

4) If you already have other forklifts, you may want to consider buying from the same brand so that your maintenance is through a single source.

- Some questions you can ask your dealer:

a. What level of inventory do you keep on-site for parts replacement?

b. How fast is your average turnaround for parts that have to be delivered?

c. How many certified forklift mechanics do you have?

d. Do you provide on-site service?

e. Do you have guaranteed response times?

f. What kind of insurance do you carry?

5) Pay attention to lifetime cost of your forklift. Make sure you’re choosing a forklift you can afford over its lifetime. Only paying attention to the upfront cost can be a big mistake.

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