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Powered Industrial Trucks (Forklift) eTool Powered Industrial Trucks (Forklift) eTool
Powered Industrial Trucks (Forklift) eTool
 The Workplace

   Physical Conditions
   Pedestrian Traffic
   Ramps and Grades
   Loading Docks
   Narrow Aisles
   Elevators
   Enclosed Areas

Understanding the Workplace:
Ramps and Grades
Drive loaded trucks forward going up a ramp.
Figure 1. Drive loaded trucks forward going up a ramp.
Forklift operators should follow certain general rules of the road when traveling on ramps and other inclines. For more on maneuvering and handling loads, please see the Operating the Forklift module.

Traveling on Ramps and Grades
Potential Hazards:
  • There is a danger of tipover when traveling on ramps and grades.
Requirements and Recommended Practices:
 
  • Always look in the direction of travel.
     
  • Never turn on a ramp or incline. Turn prior to the ramp or incline to place forks in proper direction.
     
  • Keep a safe distance from the edge of a ramp.
     
  • Do not travel on ramps with slopes or other conditions that exceed the manufacturer's recommendation.
Traveling down ramp without load.
Figure 2. Traveling down ramp without load.

 
Traveling With a Load (Forks Upgrade)
Forklift operators should be aware of procedures to follow when traveling on ramps and other inclines with a load.

Potential Hazards:
  • Danger of tipover.

  • Danger of losing load.
Traveling with a load. Note that ramps should have railings or bull rails.
Figure 3. Traveling with a load. Note that ramps should have railings or bull rails.

Traveling up ramp with load.
Figure 4. Traveling up ramp with load.

Traveling down ramp with a load.
Figure 5. Traveling down ramp with a load.
Requirements and Recommended Practices:
  • When traveling with a load, the load should point up the incline, regardless of direction of travel.
     
  • Going up the incline:

    • Drive forward.

    • Forks pointed upgrade.

    • Use a spotter if load blocks the driver's view.

  • Going down the incline:

    • Drive in reverse.

    • Turn head and face downgrade.

    • Forks pointed up the grade.
NOTE: When walking with a pallet truck with or without a load, the forks should be pointed downgrade, regardless of direction of travel.



Traveling Empty (Forks Downgrade)
Forklift operators should follow certain procedures when traveling on ramps and grades without a load.

Potential Hazards:
  • Danger of tipover.
Traveling without a load. Note that ramps should have railings or bull rails.
Figure 6. Traveling without a load. Note that ramps should have railings or bull rails.
 
Traveling down ramp without load.
Figure 7. Traveling down ramp without load.
Requirements and Recommended Practices:
  • When traveling without a load, the forks should point downgrade, regardless of direction of travel.
     
  • Going up the incline:

    • Drive in reverse.

    • Turn head and face upgrade.

    • Forks pointed downgrade.

  • Going down the incline:

    • Drive forward.

    • Forks pointed downgrade.


Types & Fundamentals | Operating the Forklift | Understanding the Workplace | Training Assistance
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