Discussion:
Backup Alarm Turnoff

Is it possible to legally disable a Forklift backup alarm? Here is the situation. My neighbor has a store and a storage area which he uses a forklift to carry items back and forth to the store. I don't mind the forklift driving around, but the backup alarm noise is driving the neighborhood crazy. If the only a single forklift driver is present in the storage yard, and no one else is in the way, can the backup noise alarm by turned off? I am in NYC, US.
  • Posted 17 Aug 2018 04:34
  • Discussion started by jakekatz
  • New York, United States
Showing items 1 - 9 of 9 results.
That is what I have been told also. Once a safety devise is installed it must be working and not altered. I was just letting everyone know that backup alarms are optional on forklifts, unless they are in a construction site. The interesting thing on the new unit that we delivered is the alarm must be on at start up or the truck will not start. Once it is running it can be shut off.
  • Posted 12 Oct 2018 23:26
  • Reply by BREWSKI
  • Nebraska, United States
yeah brewski i've seen that before. Being it was factory installed then there must be a purpose for having the ability to turn it off. Maybe for the maintenace personel, i dont know for sure. The environment the truck runs in determines on how it should be set though. But if it does not have the option to turn it off it should not be disabled.

As for muffling one, covering it up so it's not so loud, anything to alter the natural design of how it operates i do not think is allowed.
they do make sound sensitive alarms that change decibal levels depending on the sound levels around it, i've also seen some that have a hi low switch on them too.

I was told by various factory engineers at different companies when that question arrised and my training teachers that putting tape over one, stuffing paper or anything inside one to muffle it is not acceptable.
  • Posted 12 Oct 2018 09:58
  • Reply by swoop223
  • North Carolina, United States
You've been swooped!
swoop223@gmail.com
We just took delivery on a new forklift for a big box store. This truck is factory equipped with a backup alarm. It also has a bypass switch to turn off the backup alarm. This was also factory installed.
  • Posted 12 Oct 2018 06:17
  • Reply by BREWSKI
  • Nebraska, United States
but....maybe you can lower the audible volume and add a strobe light for safety instead.
  • Posted 12 Oct 2018 03:29
  • Reply by hiloman
  • New York, United States
one rule of thumb to remember when it comes to safety devices on equipment.
Wether it was OEM installed or aftermarket, doesnt matter, if its on the machine it has to work.
In todays work environments some type of movement alarm (especially in reverse direction) is a requirement and depending on the work envrionment the working mode of the device varies.
Most if not all machines built today have a programmable alarm built in so it is required to be operational at all times. You cannot remove it without express permission from the manufacturer (which i doubt you will get due to OSHA requirements).
If you want to modify the device you should not do so without prior permission and approval of the modification from the manufacturer, and be prepared to give them every technical aspect of the said modification for them to be able to make such a decision, they will ask , trust me ;o) (engineers are usually very resistant to any modifications of their designs anyway).

although there is not an official 'forklift police' running around checking for these things it has been a well known fact that an accident caused by these things being done that triggers an OSHA investigation usually results in someone getting a huge fine.

Keep this in mind before you think about modifying, disabling or removing a safety item that is installed on a machine.
  • Posted 29 Sep 2018 19:51
  • Reply by swoop223
  • North Carolina, United States
You've been swooped!
swoop223@gmail.com
Most of the forklift manufacturers have in the foreward of their service manuals stating: Un authorized forklift modification is not permitted. Per OSHA 1910.178, no modifications or alterations to a powered industrial truck, which may affect capacity, stability or safe operation of the forklift shall be made without the prior written appoval for that manufacturer, its authorized representative or a successor thereof.
OSHA compliant operator training also states that under no circumstances can any safety item originally installed by the manufacurer be removed or disabled in any way withour prior approval.
Backup alarms are not only required at construction sites, again if installed by the OEM, the only way to get them removed would be a call to that OEM seeking that approval.
  • Posted 23 Aug 2018 22:35
  • Reply by techmgr56
  • Wisconsin, United States
Backup alarms are only a requirement on construction sites. You can remove the backup alarm on a forklift if it is not in a construction zone. If the truck has a backup alarm installed and it does not work that is a violation. Backup alarms a considered an option on forklifts in non construction applications. Your state may have rules that require a backup alarm on all forklifts, you would have to contact your local officials.
  • Posted 17 Aug 2018 22:53
  • Modified 17 Aug 2018 22:54 by poster
  • Reply by BREWSKI
  • Nebraska, United States
Maybe you could get a quieter one...
  • Posted 17 Aug 2018 22:06
  • Reply by stam
  • Ontario, Canada
NO ,check with OSHA Back up alarms are required on all equipment. Somebody gets injured because the back up alarm is removed or disabled your neighbor is going to be held responsible. It does not matter if anyone is present in the area or not. Reason, they are called...... legal eagles waiting to pounce if any one gets hurt because a safety device was removed or disabled
  • Posted 17 Aug 2018 20:34
  • Reply by triumphrider
  • Texas, United States

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