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I know this discussion is now nearly 1 year old, but thought I would throw my hat in the ring anyway.
I completely understand that rules are rules, and these have to be followed during training, but I also believe it is healthy and appropriate to regularly question the rules, this is the only way things get improved and kept relevant.
Also, very interesting to see opinions from both sides of the Atlantic.
1 Travelling with a load in backtilt position is to compensate for fork deflection and very little to do with load centres. As a load is raised, the forks will naturally deflect downwards, the amount of deflection proportional to the load. Back tilt needs to be applied to ensure that the load stays on the forks during breaking. The change in load centre due to backtilt will be negligable. Most reach trucks have tilting carriages with only a few degrees of backtilt. In fact tilting the carriage back will actually push the load centre forwards and upwards which would decrease stability. On a trucks with tilting mast (including counterbalance), tilting back would have a marginal decrease in load centre, but not enough to make a difference.
2 Travelling with empty forks on back-tilt doesn't appear to have any significant benefit. I can appreciate that getting in the habit of always applying back tilt when loaded and unloaded may have some merit, but I don't see any specific benefit when unloaded. The argument about severity of injury when impacting a leg or ankle does make some sense. I suspect this may be inherited from the auto industry bumper (fender) height studies. If this is the only reason for applying backtilt then surely the same benefit can be gained from leaving the forks level, but in a slightly raised position? Both would lift the tip of the fork above ankle height. To place the forks in backtilt above ankle height would require use of the lift control anyway, so why not leave the forks level and just use the lift control?
3 Correct parking position of the forks. Reading the HSE guidance notes (UK version of OSHA) the only reason for applying forward tilt when parking is to reduce the trip hazard. This only requires a small amount of tilt to compensate for the taper of the fork thickness, and then lowering until the fork tip touches the floor. Applying full forward tilt and then lowering until the fork carriage hits the floor and the chains go slack should be discouraged, even though this is how some accredited trainers I have spoken to teach parking.
Expanding the discussion out further, why should backtilt be applied when using carton or bale clamps? These devices do not deflect like forks do, so I can't see why applying backtilt whilst travelling would have any significant benefit. I can appreciate that the mass of these attachments has shifted the loadcentre forwards, but this should have been reflected in de-rating the trucks lifting capability. Applying a small amount of backtilt will not make a significant difference to stability. The only reason I can see for insisting on this is to make the procedure consistent with a forked truck....
Forkingabout asked; "Have any of the US forum user's ever had a go on a rest of world spec reach truck?"
We used to have (before the MCFA joint venture, pre-1996) NYKs that had both/either types of reach devices, and I still see some new Atlet products sold in the USA with reach masts rather than pantagraph reach. Hubtex sells a 4 way steering 'sideloader/reach truck with a reach mast.
Your RRE mast transition needs adjusting then, there shouldn't be any knocking in either direction, the mast transition should be tottaly smooth.
Normally takes me less then 10 minutes to do a full RRE mast calibration set up.
Now I am confused. I have just seen the clip on youtube and when you mentioned about the Transitional Lift Control on the mast I didnt fully understand what you were relating too.
So why do we still get the heavy knock after the free lift when the 2nd stage of the mast starts to engage. We still have to slow down after the free lift otherwise the pallets jump. Confused now.
We would without any shadow of a doubt lose all the bottles.
Its pretty funny when you get one that's never seen a tilting cab before jump of the truck as there lifting the forks.
Reflex bottle trick is on everyone's favourite video site ( add in the dots )
www DOT youtube DOT com/watch?v=4FVSP9PTW1A
Yes cruel as I am I do have some fun when a trainee is using the cab tilt for the first time. As the tilt starts to operate sometimes the trainee will try and sit forward. Which takes away the whole aspect of using it.
Please tell about the bottle trick..
How many operators have you had leap of the truck when the cab tilts if you have forgotten to warn them about it?
Do you enjoy the Transitional Lift Control on the mast? That function alone normally get's the sale when the customer see's it in action.
The bottle trick with the Reflex is very impressive.
And thats what I'm talking about forkingabout. We have the BT REFLEX RRE 200E 12.5m mast with cab tilt which takes a bit of getting used too but saves straining your neck and have better vision of the forks/load when operating at height.
US spec reach trucks are different to the rest of the world.
There mast is fixed, they have skinny support arm's & there is a extending scissor pantograph that operates the reach fork's function.
Not seen any reach with that type of design that can lift more then 2 ton ( unless any US forum users know of one )
Only thing close to it in Europe is the Linde X type reach truck, one of my customers had one on demo when they first launched & absolutely hated it, really poorly designed both from an operational & maintenance point of view - hand pallet truck under elevated forks to change the battery for a start!
Have any of the US forum user's ever had a go on a rest of world spec reach truck?
I suppose if they where let loose on something like a BT Reflex RRE250 with tilting cab & 12.5 metre mast they would get used to how the rest of the world works with reach trucks.
Forkingabout yes we are talking about the as you say normal one, I am not aware of the US version sorry for my ignorance.
When talking reach trucks are we talking normal reach truck where the complete reach carriage & mast moves in & out in the support arms OR are we talking US spec with there special pantograph system?
Thanks again for your reply swoop.
At the depot I work I'm also a H&S rep. When I'm not training I'm tasked to observe all MHE operators. If I see an operator not working as trained I conduct a safety conversation. Information about the unsafe issue is recorded and handed to the H&S Dept. No action is taken at this point but any re-occurrence of the issue the operator will have action taken against them. Again this is where the travel tilt issue raises its head again. This is not one of the main issues that I look for.
As you have mentioned about travelling with the reach out I think you have explained this better than me and is 100% what I am talking about.
Swoop, you cant beat driving to work drinking a coffee and having a cigarette mate :)
PS I'm loving my new Avatar of me on a Counter Balance Simulator
well as i mentioned before and it does state specifically in the operators manuals about 'united states' users like in these paragraphs out of the safety rules section
All reach truck users should be familiar with their Local, Regional,
and National regulations.
United States users should be familiar with the Occupational Safety
and Health Administration (OSHA), and ANSI/ITSDF B56.1. See
w w w.osha.gov web site for more information on Regulations
(Standards - 29 CFR) Powered industrial trucks - 1910.178.
You should also be familiar with areas of use of different types of lift
trucks as specified in the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA
Note it specifies 'United States' in there so this does give an indicator that the standards between the US and the Eastern side of the big water might be different in some ways.
Whatever standards your local, regional and national standards are i would follow to their standards no matter what we say they are here.
Discussing with your operators afterwards the ideas of what can be improved on, what they did or did not understand sounds like a great idea, and maybe by practicing that you will get a good impression of what they did or did not absorb in their training.
Now you mention about reach truck operators working with the pantograph extended, well yes according to the manual that is not the manufacturer's way they want it done (in the US editions).
Their method states:
Extend forks/attachments only to pick-up and discharge
Travel with reach mechanism/attachment fully
retracted and load adequately centered during travel.
Now if you wanted to interpret that litterally you would approach the load with forks retracted and level , once centered on the load extend the reach mechanism to straddle the pallet and then raise just off the floor enough to clear any obstacles like racking, outrigger legs etc... tilt back slightly to help stabilize the load, then retract the load back and tilt back completely to stabilize the load for traveling. When you deliver the load to it's designated location perform those same maneuvers in the reverse manner.
Now at quite a few customers i do work for that utilize reach trucks they have no choice but to have to follow those procedures because the racking is too close together for them to try and have the reach extended when picking up or delivering a load to a location. The racks are just wide enough for the lift to operate with no room to spare.
At other locations the warehouses are big enough they have plenty of spacing between racks and you could turn a semi truck around in the asile so in those applications the operator are more free to violate those rules and i have seen it happen many times.
When i was a bit younger and didn't have alot of tactfulness and i would approach these drivers and try to correct them on the spot. But i found out rather quickly they are not very receptive when you are catching them doing something wrong and trying to help. In fact they get rather defensive about it. So after i realized that approach was not working i simply just notified the shift manager what i was witnessing without pointing fingers at anyone specifically to make him aware that his drivers were not operating the lifts properly. At this point i've done my part in trying to insure a safe operation and its in the customers hands at that point which is where it should be. They are responsible for their people and how they conduct themselves on the equipment.
You can train them to the letter on how to operate the lifts safely and properly but you are right, once you leave they may do it for a while the 'right way' but once they get into doing their jobs and management starts pushing for production increases some of that surely will fall to the wayside. Your assumption would be correct on that part.
Do i drive my car to test standard now? No i dont, i don't see too many people on the road that do after they get their license's and get used to driving. I see it everyday on the road, there are some really bad drivers out there only thinking of themselves and where they are going. Me being in a company vehicle i do have to maintain more of the "correct driving standard" than if i'm in my personal vehicle though, my job depends on it and they do watch me on the gps so i do have to. :o) when in my personal car i tend to be more relaxed and ignore alot ofthings which i shouldn't. We all are guilty of it though in one way or another.
Our company rules are no smoking, no eating, no drinking, no phones of any kind, no laptops , none of this while driving.
When in my personal vehicle i do not follow those rules, i smoke, i talk on the phone, i'll eat a burger sometimes, drink a drink and may even take my eyes off the road to look at some tail walking down the street. Gee i'm so irresponsible aren't I... :oO hehe.
Thanks swoop for taking the time to post your reply.
The standards we are taught in the UK by the RTITB or ITSSAR advise the operator that the best position for the forks are raised just clear of the floor and tilted back so that the tips of the forks are approx 150mm from the ground. This is to try to keep the forks as low as possible for stability and at the same time to keep the fork tips clear of uneven floors/inclines potholes etc. I totally understand that we as Instructors have to keep to the standards taught us but:
If the above hazards are not an issue in the depot that I work how do I explain to an operator why he can not drive with his forks level just clear of the ground.
Put yourself in the operators shoes, you have to hit targets. At the depot I work there are approx 200 people. Good observations is one the main priority's. Travelling at a speed according to work/load conditions has to be considered. Racking is 12 meters high the use of handbrake for stability and for the operator to operate on the job in hand is important. Undercutting pallets/forks hitting pallets/truck hitting racking etc etc are all major concerns.
As an Instructor I would like to be able to train to ITSSAR/RTITB standards and then after the candidate has passed their test discuss with them about issues within the working environment
"So as I have explained the reason for using the travel tilt is (blah blah blah) but now at this site we do not have these issues so level forks is sufficient, just make sure they are clear of the ground."
When was the practical test formed, does it need an update. If the operators operated to test standard in most of the depots that I have worked they would not be able to do their work.
Not allowed to drive with the reach out. Well most warehouses have racking and some high pallets have to be selected in the ground level location which means the operator in a confined space has to drive with his reach out at a distance of approx 4 feet to put his pallet in selection.
As a national instructor I think sometimes you can become deluded. After you have left the site you have been working do you really think that the operator you have trained are going to drive to test standard in 2 weeks time or even when you have left the site.
Do you drive your car to test standard or do you consider yourself a safe driver who applies COMMONSENSE when needed.
Well I've raised a few more issues for Jonah to judge me on, I bet hes quite a nice chap really..
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