Discussion:
Driving w/ rearview mirrors.

My job involves driving inside our plant where there is alot of pedestrian traffic. Our lifts have two rearview mirrors. When properly adjusted it is my belief that, when driving down a straight aisleway, an operator can drive in reverse while looking forward with a wider range of vision than he could by driving in reverse while looking backwards. Recently our corporate office had all rearview mirrors removed! Now, I'm almost affraid to move because I'm never sure about what's around me on one side or the other. does anyone feel the same way as I? I honestly believe that without my mirrors something bad will happen!
  • Posted 4 Jul 2004 13:42
  • Discussion started by Coop
  • California, United States
SixT2Coop
Showing items 1 - 7 of 7 results.
Lift Truck operators must look in the direction of travel so, in reverse, they must turn around - arm around the back of the seat where possible, swivel at the waist and look in the direction of travel.
Having said that, it has been stated that operators do not turn around until they have backed up 2-7 feet. A problem that needs to be addressed with some operators.
Operators must not look in a mirror when they are backing up, but as Mark stated, the problem is when they deposit/retrieve a stacked pallet. Their attention is on their forks/load until they back up far enough to clear the stack or racking.
I advise operators that when they put their truck in reverse and before they take their foot off the brake; turn around to both sides and check behind them and then sound their horn. Now they can concentrate a little better on their forks or load as they back up and clear the stack or racking. Once clear, they lower their forks to the travel position and turn around properly for reverse driving.
It is during this say 4 foot back up that is critical and this is where mirrors play a role.
A driver that checks behind before they start to back up and now concentrating on their load for this 4 foot back up can take a quick look in the mirror to assist them in ensuring no one is behind them.
As stated earlier, I too prefer the panoramic mirrors to assist them.
Pedestrians need to be told of this critical danger zone - the first 7 feet of back up and to stay at least this far from the rear end of a lift truck. Further, pedestrians need to be told to make "eye contact" with a lift truck operator before approaching - from any angle. If they haven't, the operator doesn't know they're there, so stay away.
If mirrors are being misused for back up, that's where supervisors and all management people need to become involved and speak to the driver to correct their error.
Seats are now available that swivel about 17 degrees to the right to assist an operator for back up and reduce neck/shoulder discomfort.
  • Posted 7 Nov 2004 19:54
  • Reply by garry_p
  • New Brunswick, Canada
As a forklift instructor, my advice to novice operators when they ask should they use their mirrors when reversing, is not to rely on your mirrors because one day they be removed.

Novice drivers quickly develop habits and I usually twist the mirrors or remove them during training to encourage them to turn in the seat and look in the direction of travel.

One problem operators can have - especially larger ones - is actually turning their bodies due to the restrictive nature of modern forklift seats.

The only time I would sanction use of the mirrors is when destacking a very awkward load from height where the operators primary focus has to be on the load.
  • Posted 6 Nov 2004 03:35
  • Reply by Mark
  • Co Dublin, Ireland
I support Wayne on this one, all operators must turn their heads and look in reverse before moving

If you use mirrors for this purpose you field of vision is greatly diminished and you may miss a pedestrian approaching

Mirrors should only be used as visual aids and not as driving aids.

Also drivers must back out of a trailer very cautiously and treat it the same as an intersection.

Remember safety now comes before productivity!
  • Posted 31 Jul 2004 13:21
  • Reply by Al_S
  • Alberta, Canada
Alberta Forklift Safety Council
Serious about safety!
I've heard it said that "Mirrors" have the power to deceive. I must admit that this can be true, but the opposite can also be true. How many of us rely on what our mirrors tell us about ourselves each and every day before we can even leave the house? Or maybe what the mirror says about whether or not to back out of the driveway? Mirrors are made to show us things that our naked eye can't see. Designed to aide us as to what is there and what is not there. As far as forklifts go, has anyone considered the fact that to drive in reverse while sitting in a chair that faces the opposite direction, limits a drivers view to the point of having to rely on his/ her peripheral vision which can be deceiving as well. Not to mention the fact that putting himself in an uncomfortable and, to say the least, akward position can limit his view by as much as 50% of the roadway he's traveling on. Sure you can see all of one side, but you can see none of the other! Is there another lift coming from behind??????? Who knows? But if you are using two mirrors the way they were meant to be used , then you can see both sides and sit comfortably! Ya know?
  • Posted 23 Jul 2004 06:09
  • Reply by Coop
  • California, United States
Also the Feature in the Forkliftaction.com newsletter this week (and also on 22 July) is focused on Forklift Safety.
  • Admin
  • Posted 7 Jul 2004 15:56
  • Modified 7 Jul 2004 16:33 by poster
  • Reply by Admin
  • Queensland, Australia
Contact me about any forum administration issues.
I just noticed as we are adding some detail to the Events Calendar, that the FLT Association (UK) at their conference at Warwick Uni on 22 September has a discussion topic... quote..."Reversing Safety...In their recent survey on Common Accidents on Lift Trucks the HSE identified that 47% of accidents concerned people being struck by moving trucks. Some 523 serious accidents have been investigated in this category, including 15 fatalities. 80% of these accidents involved counterbalance trucks with reversing being a significant factor. Brigade Electronics will review the issues relating to reversing accidents and provide an insight into the ways in which the risks can be minimised...." so it will be interesting to hear about that down the track.
  • Admin
  • Posted 7 Jul 2004 15:51
  • Reply by Admin
  • Queensland, Australia
Contact me about any forum administration issues.
We asked Honisch GmbH to give an opinion...Their website is www.honisch.de...The European laws says that

'THE DRIVER MUST FACE BACKWARDS DURING REVERSING'
Further it is highly recommended to install a PANORAMAVIEW-MIRROR
in order to achieve additional safety. This mirror gives the driver a 180°
view to the back, i.e. additional safety !
We supply to a number of OEMs our mirror and they would not install it
if they would not follow the recommendation of the European-safety-authorities
using our certification-no.: ZE 80 115/310/06 89/392/EWG

Kindly forward this info. to the gentleman requesting our opinion.
  • Admin
  • Posted 6 Jul 2004 21:46
  • Modified 7 Jul 2004 17:14 by administrator
  • Reply by Admin
  • Queensland, Australia
Contact me about any forum administration issues.

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