Common questions about forklifts

Forklifts come in all shapes, sizes and are suitable for many different types of job. It can be a little confusing in knowing what the best type of forklift is for your particular job, and the rules surrounding them. That’s why we have answered some common questions about forklifts for you. We hope that you find them helpful.

 

Can you drive a forklift on the road?

The general rule is that if you plan to drive a forklift on a public road, and wish to go further than a distance of 1,000 yards, then you have to comply with Road Vehicles Registration 1986. If the forklift weighs more than 3,500kg it will need a HGV licence, a lower weight will need to be taxed for private goods. It is allowed to travel distances less than 1,000 yards, but it must be insured and registered.

 

Can you tow with a forklift?

This is one of the most frequently asked questions, and we suggest that you do not use your forklift to tow a trailer. This is because the forklift has not been designed to tow. Yes, there is usually a tow bar on the machine, but this is intended for rescue purposes, should the forklift break down.

 

What is a counterbalance forklift?

The counterbalance forklift is the most common and can be found in storage depots and warehouse environments. It balances loads and can reach out to 20 feet.

 

When would you use a reach forklift?

The reach forklift is used in restricted indoor spaces, as it is small and compact. The arm reaches forwards to pick and lift loads. It can reach a height of 40 feet.

 

Can you use a forklift on uneven surfaces?

Yes, you can. You would need to use the rough terrain forklift, as this can be used on rough and uneven surfaces. They have pneumatic tyres and are useful for agricultural and construction work.

 

Can you use diesel forklifts indoors?

It is highly advisable that you avoid using a diesel forklift in an inside space. This is because the diesel fumes are dangerous to health. A better alternative is an electric forklift. If you do need to use a diesel forklift inside a warehouse, then make sure that the space is well ventilated.

 

How high can a forklift lift?

The counterbalance truck is the forklift with the highest reach. An average reach is usually between 10 to 15 feet. However, there are some counterbalance forklifts that can reach heights of up to 36 feet.

 

How fast can a forklift go?

Forklifts can be incredibly speedy, it all depends upon their size and type of fuel. However, there is a speed restriction of 8 mph on all forklifts, but this is further reduced in built up or pedestrian areas to only 3 mph. This is obviously to keep the driver and the local community safe.

 

Can you rent a forklift?

Many people don’t realise that they can rent a forklift. This can usually be for both long and short-term hire use. Many forklift companies also have staggered payment systems in place to make the hiring process so much easier while helping with cash flow. Hiring is advantageous when you need to use several different types of forklift, or even if you just have an occasional job.

 

How old do you have to be to operate a forklift?

The rule here is that all forklift operators must be of minimum school leaving age. The exception to this is when operating in ports, as the age is increased to 18. Hiring a person under the required age is against the law, and could see you issued with a hefty fine.

 

Why do forklifts not tip over?

Well, the answer to this is that forklifts do sometimes tip over, although it’s not a common occurrence. When this happens, it is due to several factors. They include carrying a load that exceeds the forklift’s threshold, operating on an unstable base, and the experience of the operator.

 

Where are forklifts used?

Forklifts are used in many different environments. They can be seen lifting and carrying in industrial warehouses, on construction sites, farms and dockyards. In fact, anywhere that lifts and transports heavy loads will benefit from a forklift.

 

Do forklifts have rear wheel drive?

The rear wheels are important for the forklift, as they help to manoeuvre the forklift in circles. It is the front wheels that help to balance the forklift and steady the load.

 

Do forklifts need a reversing alarm?

A forklift does not need to have a backup alarm, but in certain operating conditions you may need a forklift fitted with a reversing alarm to increase safety.

 

How are forklifts powered?

Forklift are powered by several methods. You can choose from gas, diesel, and electric forklifts. What you choose depends upon the power required, storage facilities and working environment.

To find out more about using, renting or buying a forklift, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us! Fill out the online form or give us a call.

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