Anytime you endeavor to use Powered Industrial Trucks (PIT), especially if you intend to rent one such as a forklift rental, you should know how to operate one first. Many industrial accidents and deaths have been caused by forklifts, or the lack of safety surrounding them. Safety should always be first on the agenda. How to operate a forklift, what are the safety precautions needed, and what is it going to be used for are all question to consider.
Before pulling that trigger you will need to determine the weight and height of what you intend to use the forklift on. If your project exceeds the forklift parameters, you may need to consider a different PIT. Also, when you go to pick up the forklift, will the company renting it have it on a flatbed trailer or will you need to bring one, and does your flatbed trailer support the weight of the forklift. Most weigh approximately 5,000 pounds. If your trailer cannot handle the weight, you will have bigger problems just trying to get it home.
Since we just discussed some of the potential problems associated with the weight of the forklift, here is something else to consider…the working surface. If you are planning on using it on a dirt road or dirt terrain, make sure to stay clear of mud. Most forklifts do not have a lot of grip on the tires and on a wet surface it will be slick, and the forklift may even sink in the ground a little…or a lot. Concrete floors such as in a warehouse or other indoor environments you should be safe.
Another aspect to consider is price. Some retailers or companies will charge more based on the type of forklift, such as age, model, propane or electric. If you are using it for basic work, expect to spend around $100 a day give or take. Of course a more heavy duty model or newer model and the store may charge you more for it.
So you have managed to load the forklift on a trailer and you have paid the store for a single day use, and you are heading back to the jobsite, what should you expect next? Do you know how to operate a forklift, and do you know all the safety features that go hand-in-hand with its operation? On avaerage, there are 85 forklift related deaths a year, and almost 35,000 forklift accidents a year. It is easy to assume that your amazing road driving skills from an automobile will easily translate to operating a forklift. Make sure you are properly trained in both safety and operation before you turn the forklift on. Along with safety measures, be sure to thoroughly inspect the forklift for any potential problems. The store you rented it from may do that with you before you can take it, otherwise you can find a safety checklist online.