When it comes to your worksite, there are several pieces of machinery that have the potential to be dangerous if they’re not operated correctly and safely.
The telehandler is one such piece of equipment; they are complex and incredibly useful on the worksite, but they can also be hazardous if operators do not manoeuvre them safely.
To help you use your telehandler safely and get the most out of it, we have put together our top tips to keep you, your workmates and any bystanders’ safe when you hire or buy a telehandler.
Whether you are a new telehandler operator or you have been doing it for years, one consistent safety check you should make is how you load the telehandler.
Loads should not exceed the maximum load weight of the telehandler, as excessive loads may lead to the telehandler tilting during operation.
If you are unsure about the maximum load weight of a telehandler you have hired, you can find this information in the telehandler’s user manual.
When you are operating a telehandler, you should always ensure the forks or any attachments are raised 30cm off of the ground.
If the forks are too low, the forks could scrape along the ground below – especially if the ground below is uneven. Driving on uneven surfaces required additional attention and operators should raise the forks as required to reduce the risk of scraping.
Keeping the forks of the telehandler at least 30cm off the ground also helps to mitigate any risks when the telehandler is traveling on an incline.
Operating a telehandler in any environment comes with risks, but the risks are exacerbated when telehandlers are travelling along roads with overhead cables.
Even if the route is familiar to the operator, precautions should be taken to plan the route that the telehandler will take to get to and from a worksite, as well as any cables that may be present onsite.
Planning out the route is important because overhead cables can be hard to spot from a distance; by the time an operator does spot the cables, it can be too late.
To operate specialised equipment safely, such as a telehandler, operators should consistently abide by the strict operating guidelines, ensure that any operators have adequate training and experience for the job and follow some basic guidelines.
Before you begin to operate the machinery, you should take the time to inspect the telehandler, both visually and functionally, to ensure it is in good condition.
Take note of any dents, scratches or marks on the exterior of the telehandler, as these may be evidence of an accident and should be assessed by a professional before any loads are lifted or moved by the machinery.
Going uphill with a telehandler should be done slowly and carefully, straight forward up the hill; telehandlers should never stray diagonally or turn on a slope.
If the telehandler is carrying a load uphill, precautions should be taken to ensure the fork height is raised and the fork is tilted backwards to support the load and prevent any unwanted contact with the ground.
There are many variables that may impact the safety of telehandler operations and it is important to remember that operating such a complex piece of machinery isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach.
Telehandler operators should do their best to adjust driving behaviour to suit any environmental and situational conditions, such as terrain, telehandler load and weather
In your workplace, your employees, workmates and any bystanders deserve to feel safe, so everyone should be doing their part to meet safety requirements and do those basic checks, which may be the difference between a safe operation and an accident.
Before you invest in a telehandler, check out the range of All Terrain Services telehandlers for sale. We are Perth’s go-to specialists for reliable, high quality all terrain equipment such as telehandlers, so we can give you the best advice on a range of equipment.
All Terrain Services also offer a range of telehandlers for hire; our team can talk you through our range and specify which telehandler will best suit your needs, with wet or dry hire available on our hire products.