Discussion:
Low profile mast to improve Pedestrian Safety

I've reached my limit, and need some help. We've had another pedestrian hit by a forklift attributed to impaired vision, i.e. the mast blocking the driver's view. Thankfully the person will be fine, but it could have been a fatality.
My question for you is: Who is making a forklift or retro-fit type mast that is below the line of sight of a seated operator? I'll buy 100 of them if I can find them!
My local vendors for Linde and Hyster tell me there are none. Surely you all are dealing with this issue, are there any solutions?
  • Posted 19 Dec 2014 03:27
  • Discussion started by Guido
  • Washington, United States
Showing items 16 - 30 of 43 results.
Guido: These people who have responded to your post know what they are talking about. I have checked out their posts on a regular basis and they always make sense. I have over 140 units that here that we take care of. The company has strict rules on forklift,people movement through the plant. It is a high noise enviroment,and, knock on wood ,people just seem to look where they are going. We have the blue lights on all lifts that work inside the plant. They are on at all times,not just in reverse. We did some to see if they would work.They are great when a lift truck is backing out of a trailer. You have about 15 feet of warning space. Now they are on all units inside the plant. I also have to agree with what the techs are saying. You cannot hire an idiot cheap enough.
  • Posted 2 Jan 2015 23:26
  • Reply by triumphrider
  • Texas, United States
If pedestrians are not in the path of a moving forklift they wont get hit,end of story....seperate pedestrian traffic and forklift traffic with signage and marking....anyone goes outside the markings and DOES hit someone fire them,someone steps into traffic and gets hit....fire them....simple as that....you dont walk down the middle of the street/freeway do you?....simple solution
  • Posted 2 Jan 2015 18:26
  • Reply by kevin_t
  • Pennsylvania, United States
Good one Edward, transporter from the SS Enterprise is my favorite!..But If using existing technology, a big screen tV mounted over steering wheel, with camera's that hang on load. This way, the driver cant even see load or mast, just what's in front of him!....
But seriously, Open mast are great, til you put a load on!
Many warehouses are in the same boat. Usually,most places it's law, you must drive tractor first. Hard to do on a sit down counterbalance, as driver's twist their bodies. Most go with pacer or 3 wheel counter bal truck with side stance. The driver easily goes forward or reverse. They are much faster to get on and off as foot step is a few inches off the ground, there is no E-brake to fight with, no seat belt to buckle and no seat to jump up on and adjust. The floor on most new trucks is mounted on shocks so the ride is softer than than conventional sit down CB Trucks. There are less injuries with pacers and driver's have a clear view when driving tractor first. If you need, reach trucks have rear control handle so you can drive tractor first with your body facing rear ward. cant beat that! You face other direction to load, and your body is not twisted forward or reverse. The steering can easily be set to automotive or standard, whatever the driver's prefer. What your asking for cant work (mast view) since there will be a load on those forks....blocking your view...now you're back to square one....cant see pedestrians.
  • Posted 2 Jan 2015 14:30
  • Modified 2 Jan 2015 15:52 by poster
  • Reply by EasiTek
  • Ontario, Canada
so, Guido, if you really want to "See the problem and all possible solutions" (to be able to rethink this concern) then, like they teach software designers, you get to start with a blank sheet and discuss ALL the possibilities, first by considering the actual goals (like when we travel, we start with a place we want to go {'the goal' let's use going to see Grand Mom as 'the goal' for the sake of discussion}, then consider how to get there), and then consider ALL the possibilities. I still think you will come to the recognition that you can not yet make 'the load' go away [teleportation will fix that, like in Star Trek], and that 'the load' will block vision as much or more than the mast would, even when there is no mast (a pallet jack, with NO mast still has a blind spot on the other side of the load from the pallet jack operator). One possibility is to move the goal of where you are going with 'the load' (have 'the goal' come to 'the load'. {like when going to 'see Grand Mom' as 'the goal' in our travel, we instead have Grand Mom come to our house}.
  • Posted 2 Jan 2015 01:56
  • Reply by edward_t
  • South Carolina, United States
"it's not rocket surgery"
well guido,
it seems you have already made up your mind
so why come here and ask us for feedback and then throw it back in our faces?
it sounds like you already decided to get new masts and just want confirmation on your predetermined decision.
so go back to my first post.
if you want a short mast to help aid in your problem solving then order some and wait for them.
And in the meantime get your signage, floor markings and warning devices and all railings etc. in place and up to good working order. You'll have plenty of time to do that being it will take months to get all of your lift masts built and shipped and installed.
  • Posted 2 Jan 2015 01:28
  • Reply by swoop223
  • North Carolina, United States
You've been swooped!
swoop223@gmail.com
How about traveling backwards?

Toyota counterbalance with optional swivel seat, mast wont be in the way then, all the driver would have is the 2 overhead guard uprights.

I don't find the mast an obstruction apart from certain low lift height masts where the top beams are in my eye line when sitting on the truck in this configuration.
  • Posted 1 Jan 2015 19:32
  • Reply by Forkingabout
  • england, United Kingdom
People, people! Give me a break! I have been doing this for over 33 years! I train, and have worked with the best trainers in North America. Training alone can not solve this problem. It's not that simple. A momentary lapse in the best drivers attention can be a disaster. You all seem to agree that the mast creates a visual obstruction, right? Then why can't you understand my point of getting rid of that obstruction altogether? By continuing to accept the risk as you have, you are a part of the problem, not the solution. We need to stand together and make it known to the manufacturers that we want/need a better solution from them. The Still RXX concept tested in Europe a couple years ago was a huge leap in technology and safety. But it died before coming to market. The JCB Teletruk shows some promise, but it has limitations too. The so called "Trucker's Mast" doesn't do it either, still has vision issues.
So, thanks for all the comments and suggestions. I'm done with the training discussion, so no more on that please. If you have any news on a low profile mast configurations, or want to help me work to create a design, I'd welcome it! Thanks all, and the best of the New Year to you.
  • Posted 1 Jan 2015 11:02
  • Reply by Guido
  • Washington, United States
Was the forklift traveling forward with a load on or was it empty at the time? I would agree with several of the previous posts that both the operator and pedestrian need to be more aware. You might want to consider the blue light safety system. We have several customers utilizing this and are extremely satisfied. I do believe that the forklifts are supposed to travel backwards with a load on the forks though.
  • Posted 1 Jan 2015 08:16
  • Reply by CiscoKids
  • Illinois, United States
Forklift operators & also the pedestrians / workers in the vicinity of a forklift in the workplace should really be looking out for each other.

In a collision between a forklift & a human, 99.9% of the time the forklift is easily going to come of better.

A lot of people working around material handling equipment just don't realise / appreciate how much the equipment actually weighs & that it can seriously injury or even kill them if they are hit by it.

I've seen it no end of time's in different place's where people on the shop floor will get to near a working forklift out of the operators vision / in the blind spot & then wonder why they have a near miss incident or get hit.
  • Posted 1 Jan 2015 04:24
  • Reply by Forkingabout
  • england, United Kingdom
Simple answer... 98% of travel in our DC is done forks trailing. But then again 90% of our trucks are stand up rider reach trucks (Crown RD's) and stand up rider counter balance dock trucks. (Crown RC's). :)
  • Posted 1 Jan 2015 04:21
  • Reply by chevotaman
  • Texas, United States
It's all just nuts n' bolts.
You can change masts all you want, different masts are not going to solve your problem. Your problem is your operators and their managers. It is the operators responsibility as defined by OSHA to yield to pedestrians in the work area. What you need is motivational and effective training for your operators and managers.
  • Posted 1 Jan 2015 04:03
  • Reply by SafetyTim
  • California, United States
Doing it Safe, does not take more time!
There are endless safety items that can be installed to prevent these collisions. Forward and reverse travel alarms, Blue spot lights that project a blue circle on the floor approx. 20 feet ahead and behind the lift can alert pedestrians to the oncoming equipment etc. There will always be blind spots but safety equipment and training is the way to go.
  • Posted 1 Jan 2015 02:17
  • Reply by Yotamaster
  • Alberta, Canada
Yotamaster
A good Forlift Dealer or Material Handling Consultant should come out to look at everything to do with your operation and work with you to help you solve all the issue's. For ever change you make without looking at the hold picture it going to cost you time and money. A good Forlift Dealer or Material Handling Consultant will help you all the issue's as if your operators are hitting pedestrians You have much more than to tall of a mast.
  • Posted 1 Jan 2015 01:04
  • Reply by Techhelp
  • Wisconsin, United States
The easyest problems are sometimes the hardest to Troubleshoot.
I would recommend looking at the Hit-Not proximity detection system. It is the only system that alerts the pedestrian and operator of potential collisions. www.hitnot.com
  • Posted 31 Dec 2014 20:33
  • Reply by JimG
  • Ohio, United States
Have you contacted

Lift-Tek
7040 South Highway 11
Westminster, SC
  • Posted 31 Dec 2014 20:30
  • Reply by jacob
  • Zaltbommel, Netherlands

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