Why You Shouldn't Make Modifications to Your Forklift
Forklifts are some of the most common pieces of equipment in manufacturing and construction applications. Capable of lifting heavy loads and transporting materials over short distances, forklifts play a valuable part in the industry. That’s why it’s so important for you to understand the best practices for their use, as well as the forklift do’s and don’ts, so you can make the most of your machinery.
It’s normal to want to customize your equipment so it can provide unique benefits to your organization. That said, forklift modifications can be unsafe and even illegal if done incorrectly. Here is what you need to know about modifying forklifts.
The Risks of DIY Forklift Applications
When your work requires a piece of moving machinery, your greatest priority is making sure that your workers are equipped to use it. A lack of training or respect for the equipment could result in standard violations or even cause injuries — which impacts business productivity and reputation. A few reasons to stay away from making casual forklift modifications include:
- Safety: Modifying a piece of equipment without taking precautions is a risky business. Forklifts were responsible for more than 70 work-related deaths in 2017 alone. While that sounds like a small number, consider that 9,050 other non-fatal injuries occurred in the same year. When you examine how common these types of injuries are, it’s easy to understand the importance of forklift safety.
- Legalities: Any changes you make that fail to abide by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards could cause serious legal issues for your company. In most cases, you need authorization from the manufacturer to modify parts on controls on your forklift. The last thing you want is a legal battle while you’re trying to maximize profits and maintain efficiency.
Before you can make any changes to a forklift, you need to know if an alteration is compliant with OSHA standards and whether it will provide a genuine benefit to your business. Fleet managers and operators who try to modify their forklifts carelessly could be vulnerable to workplace accidents and time-wasting legal issues. Unless you have the proper training and authorization, trying to make changes on your own is not advised.
How to Modify Your Forklift Safely
To maintain safety and compliance, your best option is to stay in line with standards for training and maintenance. We recommend reaching out to a professional first if you’re planning on modifying attachments, the counterweights, or the chassis. Consulting with an expert in the field can help determine if the forklift modification you want to make is safe, compliant, and appropriate for your business.
You can also have maintenance and repairs done on your forklifts by partnering with Thompson Lift Truck. We'll help you ensure the safe, effective flow of operations each time you use one of these efficient lifting machines.
Remaining compliant with forklift attachment standards is paramount when working in a warehouse or on a construction site. To request service or order a new forklift for your fleet, contact us or visit our Locations page.