Hitec Forklift Hyster

How To Prepare Your Forklift Operations For Winter

Winter has finally arrived and brought with it a bout of miserable weather. But as the temperatures drop, forklift operations must continue in order for businesses to thrive, especially in the lead up to Christmas.

We’ve put together this helpful guide with suggestions on how to prepare your forklift operations for the winter months. We hope you find it useful, but if you’d like any additional advice, why not get in touch with our experienced team? You can contact us by calling 01933 228127, or by emailing us at info@askhitec.co.uk.

Hyster Forklift Hitec

Protect your operators

Unfortunately, even the most determined operator, who continues through wind and rain, doesn’t have the ability to withstand extreme cold. Simple steps to ensure not only their comfort, but also their safety, include:

  • Winter ready outdoor gear, which is windproof, waterproof and highly visible
  • Protective gear which will preserve their most vulnerable parts (such as hands, feet, eyes, nose and ears) examples include insulated work gloves and water-resistant boots
  • Thermal layers such as fleeces, long johns, long sleeve vests and neck gaiters

Prepare your facility

To help ensure that you’re well equipped for the winter months, it’s important to have a store of necessary products, such as anti-freeze, spare bulbs and grit in case of poor weather or if supplies become hard to come by.

It’s also vital to reduce ice build-up in areas where your forklifts operate. If you have a salter attachment (see tip 5!) you can sort this easily, but in a pinch, gritting by hand is also an option.

Any exterior lights should be checked to ensure they’re working and strong enough to provide visibility in difficult conditions. If they don’t, it’s important to replace them whilst the weather is mild, so that your team doesn’t have to choose straws as to who goes up to replace them in the rain.

Remember to always keep walkways clear and well-marked. Not only does this keep pedestrians safe, but also aids driver awareness.

Additional training

Did you know, that according to the British Safety Council, 25% of workplace transport injuries are due to forklift truck accidents? Ensuring that your drivers are fully trained to cope with all conditions not only benefits the productivity of your business, but also the safety of everyone.

Frequent training sessions not only promote operator culture but also prepare them for seasonal issues, such as bad traction or visibility caused by wet, winter weather. It also provides them the knowledge and ability to spot potential dangers to themselves or the machinery.

If you’re unsure of what training could benefit your operators, why not get in touch with our experienced team, who will be more than happy to help. You can reach us on 01933 228127, or by emailing us at info@askhitec.co.uk.

Maintenance

Although regular maintenance and thorough inspections are part and parcel for the day to day running of many forklift operations, you might be surprised that additional checks and a mid-winter tune up can go a long way in protecting your machinery from expensive damage.

The cold weather can play havoc with your forklifts, so it’s important to ensure that your drivers perform safety checks before each shift use and report any problems straight away. Common issues that often arise include:

  • Loss of tyre pressure and reduced tyre tread
  • The jamming of engines and/or hydraulics
  • Batteries losing charge at an accelerated rate

It’s also vital that lights are kept in a clean condition, otherwise visibility may be reduced and that coolant and antifreeze levels are maintained (specialised winterised fluids can help aid performance).

Forklift attachments for snow and ice

A snowed in yard is not only unsafe, but inaccessible, severely impeding the productivity of your forklift operations. There are several different pieces of equipment that once attached to your forklift, can help deal with snow and ice control.

These include:

  • Ploughs allow you to push and remove snow
  • Scoops allow you to pick up and pile snow in a safe place so that it’s out of the way
  • Salters help improve traction for machinery and pedestrians

If you’re unsure about what forklift attachments would work best for you, there are a large variety of options available of different sizes and capabilities. Our experienced team would be more than happy to help provide advice on whatever attachment you’re considering. We can be reached by email at info@askhitec.co.uk and by phone on 01933 228127.

forklift hire

What’s the best forklift for my project?

When it comes to choosing a new forklift, you are not short of options. There are reach trucks, side-lifts, counterbalanced forklifts – and that’s before we get to the power options available which include diesel, electric, gas and even hybrid.

So how do you choose the best option for your needs? With every application and project having different requirements, this can be a challenging task. So in this guide, we are going to walk you through the different forklift options available and what kind of jobs they are most suitable for.

By the end of this guide, you should have a good idea what configuration of truck you need and which power option is the most suitable.

Counterbalance forklift

The counterbalance truck is the most popular type of forklift and is the machine most people think of when they think of forklifts. Counterbalanced trucks get their name from the large weight hanging over the rear wheels which helps to offset the weight being lifted at the front.

Configuration wise, counterbalanced trucks have dual forks which are attached directly to the mast, allowing the truck to be driven up to the load before lifting. This removes the need for a reach facility and allows for straightforward operation.

The standard configuration is four wheels, with the steering wheels at the back. However, three wheel versions are also available which provide more manoeuvrability in tight spaces, albeit at the expense of lifting capacity.

Counterbalanced trucks can be powered by diesel, electric and gas propulsion systems. Typically, diesel is used for outdoor work, gas is suitable for a combination of interior and outdoor work and electric propulsion is used for interior work.

Suitable for: A general purpose machine which is commonly used in warehouse operations where a combination of indoor and outdoor work is required.

Not suitable for: They are not suitable for sites with uneven ground. The limited steering makes them unsuitable for warehouses with tight racking. The limited reach of the forks also makes them unsuitable for high bay warehousing.

Reach truck

The reach truck is specifically designed for use with high bay warehouse racking. Typically, these machines have excellent manoeuvrability which allows them to navigate the tight aisles of high-density warehouses with ease.

Another advantage of the reach truck is that the forks can reach out beyond the stabilizer legs, allowing pallets to be collected from deep inside the racking. This enables much safer operation compared to conventional forklifts because the operator can remain a safe distance from the racking itself.

Reach trucks are typically powered by electric motors.

Suitable for: Most suited to indoor warehouse work in high-density warehouses with high bay racking.

Not suitable for: The low chassis height and small wheels makes them unsuitable for outdoor work or areas with uneven ground.

Side loader

The side loader is designed for working in high-capacity warehouses with narrow aisles. The forks are mounted on the side of the truck which enables them to reach into the racking to pick up pallets without having to steer the truck into position.

Indoor and outdoor versions are available to suit most applications. Multi-way versions can also be specified, allowing the wheels to rotate by 90° and enabling pallets to be removed in any direction. This can greatly enhance productivity in high-capacity warehouses.

Suitable for: Side loaders are popular in the timber industry due to their ability to lift long and heavy loads down narrow aisles. They are also suitable for lifting pipe and tubing in the oil and gas industry.

Not suitable for: The low ground clearance of these machines makes them unsuitable for work on uneven ground.

Teletruck

The teletruck or telescopic handler is a heavy lifting truck which has more in common with a small crane than a forklift. They typically consist of an extendable boom with forks attached to the end. Many manufacturers allow for other attachments to be fitted to the boom including lift tables, buckets and muck grabbers. This adaptability makes them suitable for a range of applications.

Typically used for outdoor work, they are fitted with diesel power units and come with a range of reach heights and power outputs. This allows the operator to choose a machine that is tailored to the application at hand.

Suitable for: The adaptability of teletrucks makes them suitable for both construction and agricultural applications. In fact, they have superceded specialist rough terrain forklifts in both industries due to their increased flexibility.

Not suitable for: Due to their size and lack of manoeuvrability, teletrucks are not suitable for indoor use or areas with limited space.

If you need help choosing the right forklift truck for your application, get in touch with the lifting experts at Hitec. We have been supplying and maintaining forklift trucks to all types of industries across the UK since 1986. So no matter what you need to lift or where you need to lift it, we can supply a truck that meets your requirements.

use electric forklift trucks

Why Electric Forklifts are the Future

Trends within industries that actively use forklifts have been ever-changing. With evolving technologies available and businesses becoming more conscious of where they can lower their overall costs to boost their profitability, electric forklifts are quickly becoming a hugely beneficial part of business operations for a multitude of companies. Already, these updated versions of the traditional forklift are being lauded as the obvious next step in cost-effective machinery. Many have highlighted the eco-friendly nature of electric machinery, having already been revolutionary in the automobile industry. There are no reasons why electric forklifts couldn’t change the manufacturing industry for the better, but we must ask ourselves what the clear benefits are of going electric- and whether they are sustainable in the long term.

Electric vs Diesel

But what are the differences between a traditional forklift and an electric forklift? The key difference is the way they run. A traditional forklift generally runs on diesel or another type of gas and requires similar parts to a car when in usage, such as a clutch and brake. This can cause a larger amount of emissions to be released while the forklift works. On the other hand, an electric forklift is charged using rechargeable batteries and chargers, which connect directly into the electrical mains and can be refuelled without the need for gas. This can drastically reduce overall running costs over an extended period, bringing the savings right back to the business itself.

 

Eco-Friendly Electricals

One of the key benefits of the electric forklift is its environmentally-friendly function. Electric forklifts do not emit gas or emissions that are derived from the burning and usage of non-renewable fuels. The key technological development in reaching this breakthrough is the recycling of hydrogen fuel cells. Hydrogen, whilst a hugely powerful element which is utilised in fossil fuels and ammonium creation, can contribute to the density of greenhouse gases, so finding a suitable way to utilise this power for eco-friendly means has long been a feat of the scientific community. In the electric forklift, the designers harnessed the power of the hydrogen fuel cell, which when combined with oxygen creates electricity. This new technology has allowed for electrical manufacturing equipment to become rapidly friendlier to the environment by producing zero emissions – they are the greener and superior option.

The only thing these forklifts produce is vapour and water, which are significantly less damaging to the environment than direct exposure to gas emissions are. Machines that utilise this hydrogen cell technology have reduced their emissions by around 33% [source: https://www.hiremech.co.uk/eco-friendly-future-forklift-truck/]. As the technology develops, the reduction percentage is only guaranteed to increase.

 

Cost-Effectiveness

For those using the forklifts, the electric models have higher grade qualities to them. The electric models move in complete silence, as they do not require revving or significant movement of the accelerator. Their torque movement is surprisingly like the diesel model but moves a lot smoother compared to the fuel-based model, making it easy to manoeuvre in tighter warehouse spaces. Though designed primarily for indoor environments, electric forklifts can sustain work outside in dry conditions for brief periods of time.

For businesses concerned with cost-effective machinery, electric forklifts have the capability to increase productivity, cost effectiveness and the general health and well-being of the employees using these machines. Generally, electric forklifts are the cheapest to run in the long term, meaning that these sustainable machinery choices will keep your long term fixed costs low. Electric power also means that the overall lifecycle of the machine is longer and cheaper for the company. With no additional elements that require specific recycling or cannot be decomposed or reused, the electric forklifts pass savings onto the owners well beyond their initial purchase date.

 

Is it all good?

Of course, there are drawbacks to electric forklifts. Charging these machines often takes a lot of time and the forklifts cannot be used while they are being charged. Usage time can be limited as the machine is reliant on electrical charging, which does not last as long as fuel. Moreover, the electric forklift is seen as more of an investment as, due to the additional accessories that must be purchased with it, the electric models can cost more. However, the overall cost is spread out across the machine’s usage; the money you would pay for fuel is put into the electric model, reducing its overall running costs quite significantly.

The world’s industries are changing. We are more concerned with our carbon footprints than ever before. As consumers and producers, we are no longer reliant on traditional methods that cause avoidable damage to our environment and advance the effects of climate change. Electric machines have already begun to revolutionise industries that in the past relied heavily on fossil fuels and high emitting gases, so there is no reason why these technologies couldn’t change the way the manufacturing industry works too.

Which CESAB forklift is best for my project?

When it comes to choosing the right forklift technology for your site, project, or for future use, it can be confusing to figure out exactly which model and type is the ideal solution for your requirements. CESAB supplies a full range of forklifts of all shapes and sizes, all of which are industry standard, making it the perfect brand of choice for your business – but which model is the right on for you? Read on to find out more about the types of project that CESAB supplies can help you with, and which situations they would be best for.

Short-term, low-weight transportation

When you’re in need of a new forklift to help with day-to-day, short-term transportation of goods and items, for example within a warehouse or indoor environment, then depending on your weight requirements, opting for a hand pallet truck might be the best way to get around. This is especially applicable when working in environments that require transport only over a short distance, or for items that may be unwieldy to carry but would be easy to transport by utilising a simple hand pallet truck system.

For items weighing under 2-3 tons, the CE low-lifting models in the CESAB range might be the best choice for your project, especially when it comes to moving objects across any flat ground and inside buildings or warehouses. For example, moving goods from storage into a vehicle with a tail lift might just require a simple hand pallet truck, though features such as brakes, quick lifting and more can be added to aid in that process. CE-H models even include a motor to make transportation quick and easy for when you need to get items from A to B as fast as possible.

Stacker trucks are a more mechanical extension of this design, with models like the S100 and S200 combining the practicality of a powered truck with the bonus of a small scale and easy to use functionality. For low-intensity use, much like the CE models, this series can provide the tool you need to transport lighter, but often bulky, items from place to place without worry.

Compact and quick

Whether you’re working in a close quarters environment where there are likely to be tight spaces and short turning spaces, then you need a forklift that’s equally as compact and practical, able to weave through cramped areas and still perform to a high quality. For construction and other internal projects, as well as the movement of heavier materials, then a reach truck might be the right fit for your next project.

Compact, productive and efficient, a reach truck is a step up from the standard hand pallet trucks, with the added advantage of greater manoeuvrability and the ability to squeeze through smaller space, and even lift loads over obstacles or blockages quickly and easily as required. The R100 and R200 are both equipped for optimal movement in small spaces.

For projects where space might still be on the short side but more lifting power is needed, or a forklift is required that can keep up with heavy demand, the R300 also offers the perfect balance between a more compact size and high levels of production, ideal for projects and sites that go through heavy use periods.

Heavy duty and hardwearing

For some projects, a smaller forklift just doesn’t fit into quite what you need – especially when it comes to lifting heavier weights, transporting more items or goods at once or simply moving faster and doing more. For many projects, it may be more practical to opt for a larger-scale forklift, especially in outdoor locations or larger facilities that require large distances to be travelled.

CESAB’s hardwearing, heavy duty electric trucks are the ideal solution for many, providing a high level of counterbalance for lifting from 1500-8500kg in weight in a single trip. For projects that require a large volume of items or materials to be moved, the B600 unit offers the enhanced productivity that can make your project run that bit more smoothly, while the cenTAURO 80 utilises a powerful motor to do more and go further.

Electric not the right fit for you? For intense outdoor project work, the CESAB engine truck range packs that extra punch, as internal combustion forklifts that are capable of going further and performing to a high level. Powered by diesel, these trucks can handle loads of 1500kg to 2500kg, with impressive lift height capabilities up to 6.1 metres. If you’re looking for something rugged and hardwearing, the M300 and Drago ranges might be the best fit.

Hire a CESAB forklift for your next project

Whatever your next project is, choosing CESAB for your lifting needs is the right choice for your business, offering productivity, efficiency and a range of different models to meet your exact project needs and requirements. Contact us today to find out more about our CESAB forklifts available for hire.

Refurbishing a forklift

The process of refurbishing a forklift

Fork trucks have long proven themselves as invaluable tools in almost any industry. Refurbishing a forklift is often a great way to upgrade your equipment without having to fork out for a new one. An effective refurbishment will have your machine looking and operating like new.

A complete refurbishment is also a good way of saving on your ongoing forklift maintenance costs by bringing repairs and replacement parts right up to date. It also does no harm for workforce morale, with operators able to enjoy the benefits of a gleaming new truck.

Repairing a forklift is not refurbishing it. Repairs get the unit running again, while a refurb involves a thorough inspection, replacement of safety-critical, worn and defective parts, and a complete clean-up, including repainting the truck to restore it to an “as new” condition.

Refurbishing a truck will typically cost 30 to 40 per cent less than buying a replacement, but you should always ensure you have your reconditioning done by a professional company like Hitec, experienced in restoring forklifts.

There are often different levels of refurbishment, ranging from a service and paint refresh to a full cosmetic and mechanical overhaul, but the steps to complete any type of renovation are fairly standard.

Initial inspection

When we first receive a forklift to refurb, we’ll carefully inspect the truck’s condition. This is irrespective of the unit’s age and appearance, and will be carried out by a fully trained technician.

If the truck is really mucky and worn out, we might need to give it a thorough power-wash first before air drying the chassis, mast and forks and taking care to avoid damaging the vehicle’s electronic components.

The first inspection will include an assessment of the truck’s technical condition, checking the effectiveness of its hydraulic functions and assessing its cosmetic appearance, chassis and driving comfort. Sometimes, inspection will conclude that refurbishing the truck is either not possible or not cost-effective. There can be alternative uses found for a vehicle in this condition.

All safety-critical parts will be carefully examined to assess whether they provide an indication of a deeper problem, and all of these will always be replaced.

Brakes, tyres and batteries will also be checked to see if they need replacing, and a full report of the truck’s condition will be compiled. At this stage, spare parts will be ordered, and lead times established to build and confirm the refurbishment schedule.

Disassemble and clean

Next, the forklift’s parts and equipment will be carefully disassembled and cleaned thoroughly. Parts will be pressure-cleaned and disposed of if necessary in accordance with waste and environmental regulations. Grinding off rust and old paint will also be necessary at this stage.

This process enables a more detailed inspection of the chassis, carriage and mast. We will also check the engine, the brake mechanisms, the axles and wheels and all other major components. Batteries can sometimes be refurbished, but often it makes sense to replace them at this point.

Rebuild forklift

The rebuild process will typically involve dismantling the mast and examining, removing and replacing lift chains if required. Chains are often fully replaced as this can be a more cost-effective measure than carrying out further detailed testing and repair.

All bearings will be inspected and replaced if they no longer meet the manufacturer’s tolerances. Welds are tested for structural strength and sub-assemblies are inspected before being built back into the truck.

There’s often a whole raft of options at this stage. For example, you can opt to add in a new dash display or upgrade the seat. You can add the manufacturer’s original parts or choose a more economical option.

Painting & prepping

In readiness for a full paint refresh, the truck will first be sanded down, primed and polished. Steering systems, tilt cylinders, the battery and guards will typically be blasted with compressed air to ensure they’re clean and ready to restart work.

Painting is carried out to a professional standard and ensures the unit looks like new. Adding some company logos and decals can really finish the truck off to perfection.

Testing & inspection

The final stage is to fully inspect the refurbished forklift and test it with its fully rated load. A complete safety check will be carried out and a service conducted by a fully qualified technician. Our staff are experienced and highly trained and take personal pride in their workmanship.

Final checking means a safety certificate can be signed off before the truck is declared “ready to go”. We’ll conduct a checklist with you on collection to ensure you’re satisfied with the work that’s been completed, as well as ensuring you’re happy with the forklift’s functions and appearance.

At Hitec, we carry out forklift maintenance and refurbishment that will keep your trucks running for years to come.

What types of forklifts should I hire.

Which forklifts should I hire for my project?

A forklift can be a game-changing labour saving device when it comes to projects that require heavy lifting, and there are a huge number of options available suited to almost any situation, but what are they all for – and how should you choose which solution is right for you? Take a look at the guide below to find out.

Forklifts for Indoor use

Forklifts are a very popular choice in shops, warehouses and building projects, but if you’re working in a space that’s not designed for regular use by forklift trucks, a smaller solution may be better. Counterbalance Trucks require more room to manoeuvre, so a Pallet Truck might be a better option if you’re short of space, and you want to get the most lifting power out of a compact vehicle. Pallet Trucks are suitable for a wide variety of applications such as supermarket aisles and even domestic houses, and can assist with heavy lifting without the bulk of a larger machine.

They may be smaller, but that doesn’t mean they’re less versatile. You can hire many different kinds of Pallet Truck with options that can help you whatever your needs, from basic hand operated models to power-assisted versions that can manage heavier loads. Pallet Trucks are great for moving heavy objects around, but they aren’t designed for lifting – so if your project requires it, you may be better off hiring a Stacker.

Stackers are a great option for projects with space constraints: Like Pallet Trucks they are designed to be compact in order to work in warehouse aisles and other small spaces, with a focus on lifting heavy objects to height in order to stack them in piles or on shelves. Available in power assisted models with a range of different weight classes, and as a self-propelled vehicle, there are a wide variety of options for hire that depend on the size of the objects you are moving and the conditions of the site.

If you are working in a small building, it might pay to sacrifice mobility for size and choose a hand Pallet Truck or a smaller Stacker, so that you can fit your forklift anywhere you need to go. Conversely, if you are working across a larger space, a self-propelled or power-assisted model will make it much easier to cover long distances with less effort. Whatever your choice, it’s important that you consider your available space and the size and weight of loads to be carried when you’re choosing which forklift to hire.

Forklifts for Outdoor use

It’s also common to see forklifts in outdoor sites, from building sites to yards and storage areas, and there are plenty of options to help you do your job. However, to get the most for your money when you hire, it’s important to consider your options. First, consider the amount of space you’ve got. If your outdoor location has plenty of room to move, you should consider a Counterbalance Forklift, which tends to have more power and a higher top speed than hand-operated alternatives.

You should also consider how much weight you’ll need to carry. Three wheeled Counterbalance Forklift trucks are more manoeuvrable in tight spaces and with lighter weights, but if your main concern is power then you should probably opt for a four wheeled model that is designed for larger loads. Four wheels can also be an advantage on difficult terrain, if you’re working on a building site or on grass, while a three wheeled model might struggle.

If you’ve got more complex requirements, it’s a good idea to check if there’s a forklift for hire that has special features that can make your life easier. If you’re trying to get the maximum lifting performance out of your forklift, it might be a good idea to hire a hydrostatic model – which uses hydraulics to boost the amount that the forks are able to lift. If you’re more concerned about the weight that the forklift is able to carry, you might want to consider a model with a torque converter instead, which boosts the power available to the engine so that it can move heavier loads around. There are also compact models of Counterbalance forklift, which allow you to gain the maximum performance in the minimum space.

A final consideration is the fuel your forklift uses. The most common type of engine in a Counterbalance Forklift is petrol, but electric models are also available for hire. There may be restrictions on operating combustion engines indoors, or environmental and noise concerns on site, which make electric models preferable. They are also more economical, and cost less to run, which can save you money across the length of your hire. As well as protecting your environmental credentials, going electric eliminates the need to keep and store fuel for your vehicles, which can be an added danger and expense on site.

forklift driver training

Forklift Training Practice Test

If you are looking to become a forklift driver, the first step to becoming certified is to pass the forklift training test. The forklift test is designed to ensure that a candidate is knowledgeable and skilled enough to use the machine safely. To assist in the preparation of the test we have compiled this forklift practice test, which includes 10 questions taken directly from the official test paper.

Questions
1. Name 4 main safety checks you would make before loading or unloading a flat bed or curtainsider lorry.

2. Name 2 effects that ground conditions can have on a lift truck.

3. In relation to a truck’s capacity, which 3 items of information must be printed on a truck’s rating plate?

4. Who is responsible for checking that the lift truck is in good working order before use?
A. The management
B. The maintenance department
C. The operator
D. The insurer

5. From the list below select the last thing the operator should do before moving off?
A. Put their seat belt on
B. Engage drive
C. Look around
D. Sound the horn

6. What position should a lift truck’s mast be in to comply with the manufacturer’s stated lifting capacity?
A. Slightly tilted backwards with the truck on level ground
B. It doesn’t matter as the mast angle does not affect the rated capacity
C. Slightly tilted forwards with the truck on level ground
D. Vertical with the truck on level ground

7. When driving an unladen lift truck how should the forks be set?
A. With full back tilt
B. As low as practicable and tilted forward to prevent damage
C. As low as practicable and tilted back
D. As low as possible and parallel to the ground

8. When parking a lift truck how should the forks be positioned?
A. The tips not more than 100-150mm high with the heels touching the floor
B. The heels not more than 100-150mm high with the tips touching the ground
C. The heels as low as possible with the tips touching the ground
D. The heels touching the ground with the tips within 100mm of the ground

9. Before starting to load a rigid flatbed lorry or trailer from ground level, the lift truck operator must check that:
A. The lorry driver has checked the load
B. The lorry’s tyre pressures are correct for the weight of the load
C. The destination of the lorry
D. The lorry driver is aware that loading is to take place, the lorry engine is turned off, the lorry parking brake(s) are applied, and the lorry wheels chocked (if necessary).

10. When the load centre is increased:
A. The load carrying capacity is not affected
B. The load carrying capacity is increased
C. The load carrying capacity is not affected if it is a live load
D. The load carrying capacity is reduced

Answers

1.

A. The lorry brakes or wheels should be chocked, to ensure the vehicle is stable and stationary.
B. Check the lorry bed condition, width, height, level and ensure the curtains out of the way, to allow for safe unloading.
C. Locate the lorry driver and find out what is required, to ensure the area is clear and task is understood correctly.
D. Position a support stand on an unsupported semi-trailer to ensure stability.

2.
There are a variety of effects upon ground conditions which can have a negative impact of a lift truck, answers can be taken from:
A. Lift truck instability
B. Loss of adhesion or braking
C. Damage or loss of the load
D. Damage to the forklift truck

3.
A capacity plate will provide information on what the truck can lift, to a specific height. The correct answers are:
A. Lifting capacity in kilograms
B. Load centre in millimetres
C. Stacking height in millimetres

4.

The correct answer is C. It is the responsibility of the operator to ensure that forklift is in good working order before using it, this will involve carrying out a pre-shift check and also an operational check.

5.

The correct answer is C. The situation within the area could have changed before the driver prepared the forklift, so the driver should check for any changes to the immediate area before moving.

6.

The correct answer is D. Both the rated capacity and manufacturers stated lifting capacity apply when the mast is in a vertical position, as this maintains the centre of gravity and lifting capacity design.

7.

The correct answer is C. By ensuring the forks are moved as low as possible to the ground and tilted back, to reduce the risk upon any potential impacts.

8.

The correct answer is C. The heels should be kept as low as possible with the tips touching the ground. This will protect any pedestrians from a potential trip hazard as a foot could become caught in a gap below the tips.

9.

The correct answer is D. The operator must ensure the lorry driver is ready and aware that loading is due to begin, so that they know to remain in a safe position. The operator should also double check that the engine is off, parking brake(s) applied, and the wheels chocked where necessary, to improve stability and the risk of movement.

10.

The correct answer is D. By increasing the load centre the capacity of the forklift is reduced, and the forklift could become unbalanced.

 

Hitec employs only the very best forklift instructors who are experts in their field. Get in touch with one of the team if you’d like to find out more about our training programmes.

8 forklift ‘fails’ from around the Internet

Forklifts are driven and controlled by licensed professionals who know the ins and outs of the job. But sometimes, things can go wrong. You can know all there is about forklifts and have all the skills and experience, but once you knock that lower pallet, gravity won’t be on your side. Human error, forgetfulness, and inexperience can all add to these mishaps, which will almost always result in something coming crashing down.

Most hapless forklift drivers won’t see it coming, but once they’ve failed, then all there’s left to do is laugh. Blowing a fuse, knocking a water pipe, getting the forks stuck, or bringing down a wall of beer are just some of the funniest forklift fails around. Here at Hitec we offer expert forklift training so you never have to feature in one of these videos!

 

Here are eight of the best forklift fails from around the Internet:

1) When working in a warehouse packed tight with pallets of stock, it’s easy to get comfortable in your forklift with everything going on in front of you. Except, it’s vital you don’t forget what’s behind you if you have something on the forks. This almost always means that if you lose control, you have no idea where you’ll end up until you’ve hit something. Unfortunately, this unlucky forklift driver learned that the hard way when hundreds of boxes fell on top of him and his colleague. They might need those forklifts to begin tidying up again.

 

2)Forklifts can lift around 1,814kg at a 24 inch load centre. Most professional forklift drivers know how much they can lift and carry to a certain location. They’re able to lift most items, so it’ll come as no surprise that lifting a man weighing around 90 kg is nothing to them. A man getting wrapped in cling film to a large item of stock is the subject of this forklift video.

 

3)Getting through those tight spaces should be no problem for an expert forklift driver. You have to maintain a steady speed and check all around to make sure there are no obstacles in the way. But for this unlucky driver, he doesn’t check his left-hand side and clips the wall, which then tears off the electrical box. It blows a fuse and all the lights go out. It looks like he’ll have to finish his job in the dark.

 

 

4)What happens if you don’t lower the forks? This unfortunate employee was using a forklift to bring down some laminated particle board. When an item is too high on a shelf, you might need a different forklift or you might just need to call for help. But instead of calling for help to make sure the board was level on the forks, he pulls back slightly, bringing the whole thing down. The particle board falls from the pallet, breaking into pieces.

 

5) This is why you should always lower the forks on your forklift. In this instance, the unlucky driver was hard at work, bringing a pallet of stock to a higher level in the warehouse. He maintains a steady speed the whole time and everything goes smoothly. After he’s deposited the pallet, he begins to reverse. But, because he doesn’t lower his forks, he knocks into a water pipe and goes straight through it. This causes it to split in half, and water goes everywhere.

 

6)You have to be an experienced forklift driver to understand the weight distribution at the front of the forks, and what will happen if you reverse and turn too quickly. This time, the hapless employee didn’t remember this number one rule of forklift driving. He takes a pallet, which must have been heavy, and as he reverses he goes too fast, causing the stock he was carrying to follow the force of its own weight, and it comes down with a crash.

 

7) Forklifts and beer never go well together. And they still don’t in this video. When this person was using the forklift to pull the pallet full of beer cases, it seems he didn’t take into account the other cases of beer below. He doesn’t lift it entirely and knocks into the row of beer cases below. The result is a river of exploding beer cans as the beer comes crashing down in a foamy mess.

 

8) What happens if you get the forks stuck in a pallet too high to fix? In this case, the driver gets them stuck and the only way to solve the problem is to bring the stock crashing to the ground, so that it looks like it’s raining boxes. The unlucky driver has lost complete control over the pallet and no matter what he does, boxes are going to fall down. Fortunately, the forklift’s roof stops anything from hitting him, so he just has to sit and wait for everything to fall off the shelf.

 

 

Could self-driving forklift trucks be the future?

Forklift trucks are at the very heart of the warehouse industry. They can be seen from taking the product from the delivery truck, transferring it into storage, to then placing it back onto the delivery truck. However, the forklift truck as we know it today is slowly changing. The introduction of new mechanical innovations, robots and automation will soon play a huge role in the development of self-driving stackers, forklifts and pallet trucks. Below we explore how automated forklifts work, the pros and cons of using this type of technology in your warehouse, and how close we are to using them in the everyday warehouse business.

 

self driving forklifts

How do they work?

Self-driving forklifts are constructed from advanced computer technology and Artificial Intelligence (AI). These combined technologies allow the forklift to track, monitor and to then echo the behaviour of warehouse workers who operate forklifts. They learn how to move and operate. What happens is the automated forklifts will work in exactly the same way as a forklift that is operated by a human. These trucks will be able to lift, stack and move items, just in the same way as a standard forklift.

Automated forklift trucks are able to predict movement and work out the best path for movement in order to navigate the warehouse interior. Each forklift is personalised and will be programmed with data that has been collected over a period of time. This enables it to do a specific job, all without human assistance.

 

What are the potential advantages?

So, what are the advantages of self-driving pallet trucks and forklifts? Well, there are many advantages that range from increased safety and productivity.

Reduces staff members

These type of forklifts will dramatically reduce the number of skilled workers that are needed to operate the forklifts. This in itself is a double-edged sword. In terms of an advantage, this can help save money as your business may only need one worker to operate a fleet of automated forklifts. Workers will still be needed to carry out any packing duties.

Reduces risks

The working environment will instantly become safer, due to the fact that there are fewer workers. Forklift operators will no longer have to sit in the forklift and take precautions to protect their neck and back. There is also no longer the need to bend down and lift heavy pallets, as the self-driving pallet truck will do this for you. This results in safer working practices, and reduction in injury.

Errors are dramatically reduced

Human error is inevitable when operating any type of forklift. Even with the highest level of training, mistakes will happen. This risk is dramatically reduced with the introduction of the automated forklift. This type of forklift truck will be fully programmed to know where it needs to be, what it needs to lift, move and then store items. Unlike a human operator, it won’t get tired, helping to reduce errors.

 

What are the disadvantages?

Although self-driving forklifts have many unique advantages, there are also a number of disadvantages that need to be carefully considered.

Reduction in productivity

It takes time to get used to this type of technology, in terms of training and safety issues. Although in the long-term this could increase productivity, in the short-term there will be a reduction in productivity while training takes place.

Increased cost

This type of technology does come at a high cost. If you are on a tight budget, are a new company or are only a small set up, then it is probably not in your best interests to use this type of technology.

All technology can go wrong

As with all technology, there will be problems, and this can prove to be expensive. You need to have a contract in place with the supplier who can provide spare parts and any maintenance, which can also be costly. While repair work is being carried out, this can also lead to delays which can incur additional costs.

 

How close are they from being a reality?

We are slowly moving towards a world where automated forklifts will be at the heart of the warehouse industry. However, we are still a long way off from being able to use this type of technology. Forklifts, as we know them today, really will stand the test of time, and even with the introduction of automated forklifts, we will still need to use them in our warehouses.

The forklift is here to stay

Finally, even when the automated forklift is here to stay, the traditional forklift truck will still be used by smaller companies.

Sadly, we are still a long way from using automated forklifts in the warehouse and construction environments. To explore our range of forklifts, pallet trucks and stackers, then please do browse the Hitec Forklift Trucks website and get in touch with us today.

electric forklifts save money

How electric forklifts can save you money long-term

There are as many different types of forklift as there are uses for them, and the right choice for your business is going to depend on a multitude of varying factors including space, the size and weight of loads to be carried, how intensively they are to be used, and of course your budget.

One of the differences between varying types of forklift is the type of motive power which they use. Many traditional forklifts use gas or petrol; however, electric battery power is taking over as the leading fuel for forklifts.

Electric forklifts offer businesses a number of ways to save money, as well as a range of other advantages over more traditional models.

 

how electric forklifts save you money

 

 

Fuel costs

Just as with electric cars, electric forklift trucks give a virtually 100% reduction in your fuel bill. Traditional models require refuelling with petrol or diesel, attracting a significant expense week-in, week-out. Electric models, conversely, can be charged up overnight from your existing electricity supply, costing only a few pence per day.

One expense which exists with electric forklifts that doesn’t apply with gas-powered models is that of the battery, which must be purchased at the same time as the forklift itself, and can be expected to last 5-7 years. However, even taking this into account you can expect a significant saving in fuel costs over the lifetime of an electric forklift truck.

Maintenance and servicing

Unlike internal combustion engines, the power trains of electric forklifts do not require oil changes or fluid top-ups since they have neither oil nor other fluids within them. Indeed, with only two moving parts, electric motors are a great deal more reliable and require only occasional servicing or maintenance. Such reduced servicing and maintenance requirements bring apparent cost savings by themselves, but will also save you time and money in staff hours, and also increase the efficiency of your business by reducing the amount of time your forklifts are out of use.

Fuel storage

Propane and diesel fuels are unpleasant, dangerous substances which are complicated and costly to store safely. Switching to electric forklifts allows you to do away with the need to use these fuels altogether, and replace them with a simple electric charging station, as close to 100% safe as it is possible to achieve.

Additionally, switching to electric removes the requirement to comply with health and safety legislation, tax and revenue conditions, and other compliance issues surrounding fossil fuels, saving you significant amounts of staff time and removing what is a risk to your business from any non-compliance.

Going Green

Electric forklift trucks have a much-reduced carbon footprint in comparison to more traditional models powered by internal combustion engines.

Considering the fuel itself, burning gas or diesel in a traditional forklift truck produces a high level of carbon dioxide and is hugely inefficient. By comparison, a high percentage of the electricity supply generated in the UK today comes from renewable sources such as wind, nuclear, and hydroelectric sources. Even allowing for the level of carbon emissions at the source of the electricity generation, the ecological footprint of powering your forklift is drastically reduced.

Additionally, by having effectively only two moving parts in the motor, electric forklift trucks have a far longer lifespan than their traditionally powered counterparts. Because this allows you to replace your forklifts less often, the environmental impact of construction and shipping is minimised, as the consumption of materials such as metal and plastic used in manufacturing is reduced.

All combined, this means that electric forklift trucks have a far lower environmental impact.

Longer life before replacement

As already mentioned, electric forklift trucks have a longer working life. In addition to saving you money through not having to replace the forklift as soon, this also saves valuable time in training staff on new models, procurement of replacement forklifts, and potentially adapting your premises and procedures to cope with the changes that new vehicles would bring.

A thriving second-hand market

The longevity of electric forklift trucks also means that there is a thriving second-hand market. Because electric models are so easily maintained, these used electric forklift trucks are often in as-new condition and can make a highly cost-effective option if you find that you are on a tight budget.

Hi-Tec Lift Trucks offer a wide range of electric forklift models, suitable for all applications, and in any environment. These range from lightweight models for simple applications through to heavyweight, industrial electric forklifts which can cope with intensive workloads and challenging environments. Taking the time to consult with a reputable forklift dealer who can help you to understand the options available, and offer you a demonstration of the latest technology, will ensure that you get only the best electric forklift for your needs.