Discussion:
Parking forklift with forks elevated

Hi,

We just opened a small warehouse for our company, which just has two people in it. In forklift training it is stated to leave the forks on the ground level, tilted forward so they are not raised at all.

Is this due 100% to safety purposes, or to also preserve longevity of the lift?

Would keeping the forks elevated (say 10 feet off the ground), at all times while the lift is park, put strain on the lift system long term, possibly causing hydraulic leaks?

In a small warehouse environment I can understand some people wanting to leave forks raised so they can put a pallet underneath them for storage, if the lift is rarely in use. But I am thinking that over time, the weight of those forks and having the shaft permanently raised, will put a stress on the hydraulics and may compromise its seal over time.

Does anyone have any knowledge about this? Basically, if you take safety aside (no employee ever walking under the forks), may doing this damage the lift?

It's a 5,000 pound capacity lift, but the forks and lift system itself is probably quite heavy (triple mast).

Thanks in advance to anyone who can shed some insight on this.
  • Posted 18 Apr 2013 08:24
  • Discussion started by outreach_m
  • Georgia, United States
RepowerIT - New, Used, Surplus IT Equipment
http://www.repowerit.com
Showing items 1 - 15 of 22 results.
OSHA requires the forks be down when parked or unattended.
  • Posted 2 May 2013 22:17
  • Reply by susan_m
  • Illinois, United States
PS: I am not a Georgia fan - but do like GT and I do respect Coach Sabin.
  • Posted 1 May 2013 09:35
  • Reply by johnr_j
  • Georgia, United States
John, You are correct. Bob did my "Train the Trainer" class back in the day. Great guy! I am with Thompson....out of our Tuscaloosa Branch (God's Country) Roll Tide! I've been told recently that the operator presence system will be like the seatbelts. For all lifts manufactured after a certain date, they'll have to have it on them. Anything older will be grandfathered in. After all of these years, I'm very familiar with what OSHA requires and where liabilities lye.
  • Posted 1 May 2013 04:48
  • Reply by Budman
  • Alabama, United States
Thanks for the update (a least for me) I hung up the forklift spurs in 2007 (after 41 years) and worked for a Clark dealer the last 5 years. All the Clark ICE units could be lowered w/o key on and operator present. But time & PL lawyers changes everything.

The person that started this thread stated they are in a small warehouse - my guess is they have a lift this is not new.
My other guess is that you are employed by Thompson Lift (a class company). Once upon a time, prior to 1996, I worked for MCFA, Houston (came up thru the Mitsubishi channel) and had a fellow name Bob Mundson that worked for me in Dealer Training & he did a lot of Train-The-Trainer programs for Thompson. Bob was a good guy.
  • Posted 1 May 2013 03:32
  • Reply by johnr_j
  • Georgia, United States
There is numerous safety issues as to why the forks should be lowered and tilted flush with the floor. As for the lifts that cannot be operated without someone being in the seat. All major manufacturers have or will go the a (PDS) Presense Detection System due to liability and the market being driven that way. Of course from being in the business for 25 yrs., I'm aware that they'll be older lifts out there without this for many years to come. As I stated in my post above, it is the law to do this. It's clearly states this in the OSHA Standard. As a Product Support Rep. and Factory Trained Trainer with three different OEM's that I represent, I must incorporate all of this into my Safety Training Class's.
  • Posted 30 Apr 2013 23:45
  • Reply by Budman
  • Alabama, United States
If you read my earlier post of 10 days ago I did address that "real issue" of unpredictability of when a failure can occur. See I believe there are no "planned" accidents except in Hollywood.
Todays post addresses what I believe is misleading information.
  • Posted 30 Apr 2013 12:24
  • Modified 30 Apr 2013 12:31 by poster
  • Reply by johnr_j
  • Georgia, United States
"Have An Exceptional Day!"
The real isue isn't whether the carriage can be lowered with or without the key on, but rather just how unsafe that entire precedure would be.

We've all seen how unpredictable failures can be. Although it's not likely, a hose can break, a hyd packing can fail. I've presonally seen a tire tube fail while the truck was sitting, no operator present, not running. Sounded like a shot gun blast- scared the sh** out of me- the point is- you never know.
  • Posted 29 Apr 2013 23:25
  • Reply by bbforks
  • Pennsylvania, United States
bbforks (at) Hotmail (dot) com
Customers love technology- until they have to pay to fix it!
Ray Tech - the majority of ICE trucks can be lowered w/o the operator in the seat and key switch off. Many electric vehicle scannot not be lowered unless the operator present switch (deadman switch) is activated and key is on.
  • Posted 29 Apr 2013 21:03
  • Reply by johnr_j
  • Georgia, United States
"Have An Exceptional Day!"
We have several pre VX Yale trucks under maintenance (these without fingertips) and some VX-es which can be lowered when non powered.
The same applies to japaneese. And they are not so antique.

In Europe a lot of trucks (specially the good ones like Linde) are active for 15-20 years and still in pretty good shape.
  • Posted 28 Apr 2013 20:42
  • Reply by Karait
  • Poland
I know your deepest secret fear...
J.M.
Well Karait, hitting the lower lever on any north American truck will do nothing if it's not powered up with the driver on the deadman switch. Some antiquated lifts still can be lowered with no power.
For god's sake, lower the $@#%* forks! AND Put safety cones around the forks, or Pay attention when walking and lift you're dog gone feet! If your that dense and trip over forks then GO HOME ya ****!
  • Posted 27 Apr 2013 15:14
  • Reply by EasiTek
  • Ontario, Canada
I think, there's one more reason, why in all the regulations, the lowered mast position is required. It's Murphy's Law + the HSF (human stupidity factor).

The working hydraulics on many trucks is still operated mechanically/hydraulically.
It means, that even when the truck is switched off and disconnected, you may lower the mast just pushing the lift lever.

Murphy's Law says, that for sure, one day, someone (probably unwillingly) will rest his arm on the lift lever while somebody else is just doozing below the carriage (HSF)....
  • Posted 22 Apr 2013 19:34
  • Reply by Karait
  • Poland
I know your deepest secret fear...
J.M.
Well said Budman. You made the fat lady sing
  • Posted 22 Apr 2013 07:30
  • Reply by andrew_j
  • Florida, United States
Everything that has been said above is well and good, but in the US, we're Governed by OSHA Standard 29CFR 1910.178 and in the standard, it states:

1910.178(m)(5)(i)
When a powered industrial truck is left unattended, load engaging means shall be fully lowered, controls shall be neutralized, power shall be shut off, and brakes set. Wheels shall be blocked if the truck is parked on an incline.
1910.178(m)(5)(ii)
A powered industrial truck is unattended when the operator is 25 ft. or more away from the vehicle which remains in his view, or whenever the operator leaves the vehicle and it is not in his view.
1910.178(m)(5)(iii)
When the operator of an industrial truck is dismounted and within 25 ft. of the truck still in his view, the load engaging means shall be fully lowered, controls neutralized, and the brakes set to prevent movement.


What this means is by law, when the lift is parked, the mast is lowered and tilted forward for the forks to be flat on the ground. So as a company, if you do not follow this action, you can be held liable in case of an accident. Why open yourself to this liability?
  • Posted 19 Apr 2013 23:44
  • Reply by Budman
  • Alabama, United States
part of the reasoning behind 'if you leave a mast up or not' has to do with the fact that straight masted forklifts have a single acting cylinder (pressure up, gravity down) and shooting booms are double acting cylinders and have a 'back pressure required' (also some times called 'over center' or 'holding') valve on the cylinder so that shooting booms do not have an 'allowable drift rate'.
  • Posted 19 Apr 2013 19:56
  • Reply by edward_t
  • South Carolina, United States
"it's not rocket surgery"
This is just such a weird question. It is kind of like saying if I park on a hill can I leave the brake off and just use the transmission to hold the car. Well the answer is yes if you want, but one day the car won't be there. Same with the forks one day they will have slipped down. But you may have unnecessarily shortened the life of some components. So why do it?
  • Posted 19 Apr 2013 15:00
  • Reply by andrew_j
  • Florida, United States
I learn from my customers and mistakes

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