How to Prepare Your Forklift for Safe Towing

Forklifts are commonly used on construction sites, manufacturing facilities, and indoor and outdoor projects that require moving heavy items. From time to time, you may find the need to transport your forklift from one site to another. Perhaps you need to use it in a different location or have just purchased or rented one. The process of towing a forklift is a complex one which presents several risks if not handled correctly. Here you will learn some of the essential steps that you should take to prepare the equipment for forklift transport and maximize safety on the road.

Find a suitable truck

You need a flatbed trailer or a tractor-trailer rig to transport the forklift to the desired location. The most important consideration, in this case, should be the weight of the forklift. It should not exceed that of the towing truck. Before visiting a towing company for rental services, make sure that you know the weight and size of the forklift so that you can get a suitable truck.

Load the forklift correctly

Once you have the right towing truck, chock the wheels of the forklift to prevent it from accidentally rolling or jolting away as you load it onto the trailer. Back it up onto the trailer with the forks pointed towards the rear of the vehicle. This positioning is critical to the safety of the driver. If the forks are pointed towards the front, and there is an accident, they can be forced through the cabin and cause disastrous effects.

Ensure that the forklift is centered on the flatbed to maximize the stability of the vehicle. Next, lower the forks a few inches above the ground and tilt them forward a little. It is not advisable to have them towering above the forklift as this can cause problems with overhead clearance.

Secure the forklift

Besides positioning the equipment correctly, you need to secure it to the flatbed. Use chains to create anchor points from all the corners so that the forklift is secured on all sides. This will prevent it from swaying or rolling out of the tow truck if the driver brakes abruptly or takes a sharp turn. However, note that taking sharp turns is not recommended when towing as they can compromise the stability of the truck.

Shut off the engine

Before hauling the forklift, cut off fuel supply from the tank and turn off the engine as well. Since most forklifts run on petrol or diesel, ensure that any fuel in the tank is secured and will not slosh out during transportation. Also, disconnect the battery terminal to prevent electrical arcing during transport.