Forklifts are heavy-duty machinery that is used on construction sites and other indoor and outdoor projects that require moving heavy items. One of the key considerations to make when hiring or buying a forklift for your project is the mode in which it will be transported to the site. The most reliable option is hiring a tow vehicle from a towing company. However, before going through with the hiring process, there are a few safety considerations you should have in mind to ensure safe delivery of the forklift to your project site. Here are some of the key safety measures that you need to observe.
Choose the right tow vehicle
Forklifts come in various sizes and weight capacities depending on their intended use, and it is essential to match their weight to that of the tow vehicle that you choose. Ideally, when towing a forklift, you should use a rollback trailer or a truck trailer as they have enough space on the flatbed to accommodate an entire forklift. Rollback trailers are suitable for towing small and moderately heavy trailers while truck trailers can be used for heavy and large trailers. Ensure that the trailer or rollback can handle the weight of the forklift to avoid complications during transportation. You should choose a tow vehicle that's substantially heavier than the forklift for safe transportation.
Secure the forklift correctly
Loosely secured forklifts can easily roll off the flatbed and cause accidents and property damage during towing. For your forklift to be properly secured to the tow vehicle, the following three things should be observed.
- The forklift should be placed on the two trucks in such a way that the weight is properly distributed across the entire vehicle to avoid balance issues.
- The forks should point towards the back of the trailer. This will ensure that they do not puncture the cab and cause injury to the driver in the event of an accident.
- Strong chains and tie-downs should be used to secure the forklift from various places. Chaining can be done from different angles to ensure the forklift does not move.
Determine overhead clearance
Transportation of large forklifts can be challenging on roads with underpasses, low bridges, and other overhead structures. Assess the chosen transport route beforehand and ensure that the forklift meets the low clearance limit when loaded onto the truck. If not, you may have to choose a different route to avoid damage to overhead structures and property during transportation. Your tow company can advise on other alternative routes with light traffic that you can use depending on the location of your site.
Observing these safety measures will ensure safe delivery of the equipment to the site. Also, ensure that you select a suitable towing company that will offer further guidance on these and other safety measures for forklift transportation.