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Using forklifts in extreme temperatures

Forklifts and extreme temperaturesThe following article by Forklift Certification has some really useful advice for forklift truck owners who need to use their machines in extremes of temperatures.

Protecting Against High Heat

Forklifts overheat for three reasons:

The first rule of thumb for combating high heat is to give your forklift frequent breaks and keep the fluids topped off. Also, most forklift manufacturers provide special tools and options designed to prevent overheating. Toyota offers two types: heat prevention and ventilation for cooling.

Heat prevention tools include:

Cooling and ventilation tools include:

Be sure to check with your forklift provider for any special heat prevention tools, designs or packages they offer.

Avoiding the Deep Freeze

Extreme cold during winter can present a real risk when operating forklifts. Damage from exposure to extreme cold can result in high repair costs. It can also reduce productivity and workplace safety. The best way to protect against the cold is to get out of it after the work is over. When possible, avoid leaving forklifts overnight in freezing conditions. If this isn’t possible, try the following options:

Outdoors isn’t the only place it gets cold. Working in refrigerated and frozen warehouses can also cause operational and safety hazards for forklifts. This includes costlier repairs, less than optimal operation, and shortened life spans.
Condensation in the pin area is one of the biggest problems with indoor extreme cold. Yet, the problem doesn’t occur until the forklift comes out of the freezer. At that point, the truck begins to sweat as it warms up. The sweat seeps into pins in the wiring harness. The sweat then freezes the next time the truck enters the freezer. This causes the area to expand, which requires changing the connectors more often. The solution? Make sure any forklift you buy has a double-sealed connector design.
Next, “sweat the details.” In other words, pay attention to the little stuff that can make a big difference when dealing with extreme cold:

Staying Safe in Extreme Heat or Cold

To keep employees and trucks safe:

Most important, make sure all truck operators are trained and certified to work in extreme conditions. It’s faster and costs less than you think!

Disclaimer. The legislative information contained on this web site is my interpretation of the law based on many years in the health and safety business. A definitive interpretation can only be given by the courts. I will therefore not be held responsible for any accident/incident/prosecution arising as a consequence of anyone using any information obtained from this web site.

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