Watch Out!…For this new warehouse safety product

There are many different safety features that come standard on today’s forklifts. Features like steering wheel horn, rear grab bar horn, back up alarms, headlights, rear lights, signal lights, and strobe lights are all typical standard safety features, however there is a newer piece of technology that is proving to be a vital safety feature for many companies.

What makes the blue safety light a great addition to your equipment? Many industrial companies operate within a loud environment and an alerting noise may not be enough to stop a pedestrian from a run in with a forklift.

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Moving Parts: OEM vs Aftermarket

Many organizations consider forklifts to be one of the most vital parts or their operation. The type of parts purchased have a direct impact on the efficiency and profitability of an enterprise. The main questions to ask when ordering parts: Should I use OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) forklift parts all the time? What are the performance and cost implications if I use “aftermarket parts”?

OEM parts are made by the original manufacturer, while aftermarket parts are made by external manufacturers and not specifically geared toward any specific forklift model, and thus are more generic.

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What does OSHA say about forklift attachments?

Operators must be trained in the proper use of attachments because they alter the performance of the forklift.  Attachments affect the truck’s performance by changing its center of gravity, visibility, and capacity.  These are the federal OSHA regulations and descriptions of forklift attachment installation and use:

Common attachments:

  • Slipsheet attachments which avoid the use of pallets.
  • Sideshifters shift the forks right and left.
  • Container handlers designed to lift shipping containers.
  • Carton clamps equipped with a pressure valve to squeeze the load.
  • Cotton or pulp bale clamps that grab and hold bales.
  • Paper roll handlers.
  • Barrel clamps.
  • Rotators that grab and rotate the load.
  • Extending or telescoping forks such as in reach and turret trucks.
  • Personnel platforms specially designed for lifting personnel.

Potential Hazards:

  • Overloading. The weight of the attachment reduces the lifting capacity of the truck.
  • Tipover and falling loads. The attachment increases the load center by moving the load further away from the balance or fulcrum point.


  • Train operators in the fork and attachment adaptation, operation, and use limitations. [29 CFR 1910.178(l)(3)(i)(G)]
  • Retrain an operator if a new attachment is added to the forklift. Consult the operator’s manual for instructions on how to use the new equipment.
  • Do not exceed the rated capacity of the forklift/attachment combination.
  • Know the mechanical limitations of your forklift.
  • Change capacity, operation, and maintenance instruction plates, tags, or decals when a forklift truck is equipped with an attachment.
  • Treat an unloaded forklift with an attachment as partially loaded. [29 CFR 1910.178(o)(4)]
  • Include attachments in a scheduled maintenance and inspection program. Tailor inspection steps to the attachment.

For the complete list of OSHA requirements for material handling equipment, click here.

Browse through our FAQ’s to answer any other questions you may have.

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Cause & Action: Forklift Overheated Engines

During the summer months fork lifts encounter extreme temperature changes. Operating under these conditions can and will affect the cooling systems of any internal combustion engine.  As a result, the unit can overheat.

Th­ere are several factors that contribute to forklifts overheating, but the most common factors are low coolant, radiator or radiator screens being clogged, inching pedals out of adjustment, the operator “riding” the inching pedal with their foot, clogged radiator hoses, broken fan blades, and loose fan belts.

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