Sometimes, your forklifts are not used solely in a temperature-controlled environment. This means that your forklifts may be subjected to inclement weather from time to time… and so will your forklift operators.
When this is the case, it requires a bit more attention to detail and some other requirements that would otherwise be a non-issue. This is especially true during the winter season as the cold weather comes with its own set of risks to safe forklift operation.
For this blog post, we have gathered a few pointers to help your forklift operators get through the winter…
Train your staff
Not every region in the country experiences a cold season and the ones that do, don’t usually deal with it year-round. So, not every forklift operator is accustomed to working in cold weather. And if they haven’t, it can be a bit difficult to get acclimated to all that it entails. And the ones who do have experience maintaining and operating a forklift in winter weather conditions could probably use a refresher every so often.
For this reason, it is a good idea to ensure that there is a solid training program available to them. Trust us, you and your employees will be thankful for the training the very first time that they encounter a steep icy slope on a forklift!
Ease of operation
Operating a forklift is a task that is full of potential to cause stress. And when your employees are stressed, they may make mistakes using poor or rash judgment in an effort to push through that stress.
When you combine that initial stress with hazardous weather they rarely deal with, you have a disaster waiting to happen.
To put them a bit more at ease while operating these pieces of heavy machinery, show them how to work the cabin heater, ensure they have gloves and other warm clothing before they pull the forklift out into the cold weather.
Allow breaks when needed
As we previously mentioned, your forklift operators are already under a lot of pressure and are probably stressed out. Adding freezing cold weather to the mix is just fuel to the fire, no pun intended.
To help avoid burn-out from all the stress of working in such conditions, make sure that you are providing your operators with plenty of breaks throughout the day so that they can rest, recharge, and refocus.
Cold weather maintenance
If you want to keep your forklifts in operation throughout one of the busiest, and coldest times of the year, make sure that you train them properly on the ins and outs of taking care of a forklift in cold weather conditions.
This type of training is going to be quite a bit different than your run of the mill general maintenance lessons.
In colder climates, heavy machinery experiences different kinds of problems that simply do not pose an issue in warmer climates. This could be anything from a fast-draining battery to chunking tires.
Whatever the reason for maintenance, your forklift operators should be able to readily take notice of the problem and be equipped with enough knowledge to properly correct the issue.