7 tips to work safely with a telehandler
Accidents with telehandlers happen on a regular basis. If you keep in mind the 7 tips below, you can avoid them from happening.
1. Follow the right telehandler training course
First of all, it's important to follow a suitable training course for telehandlers. Increase your safety and get to know the type of machine you'll be working with. Go over the manual of the machine thoroughly and familiarise yourself with all safety symbols.
2. Always inspect the telehandler before use
Conduct a daily visual and functional inspection before you get to work and only start working if the machine is in good condition. Read more about how you can do this in the article ‘Maintenance for telehandlers’.
3. Pay attention when loading the telehandler
Always make sure that the load does not exceed the maximum weight. An excessively heavy load could cause the telehandler to tilt. Most telehandlers are equipped with a safety system, which prevents the lifting of loads that are heavier than allowed. You can find the maximum weight of your telehandler in the user manual.
4. Pay attention when driving
Don't get distracted while driving. Make sure that the view of the route is always optimal. If you're not able to look more than two metres beyond your load, it is recommended to drive backwards. Also do this when you're carrying unstable loads or pallets that can slide off the forks. Ask for assistance if you have to drive forward with an unsurveyable load.
5. Always keep the forks 30 cm off the ground.
The distance between the ground and the forks or attachment always has to be 30 cm when driving a telehandler. When transporting a load, keep it +/- 30 cm above the ground and always tilt the fork carriage backward. Pay special attention to the fork height on uneven surfaces and adjust it if necessary. When moving loads across larger distances, the telescopic boom must always be retracted. Make sure that assistants or other people keep their distance while loading. Never allow anyone to walk or stand still under to load.
6. Adjust your driving behaviour
Telehandlers can reach speeds of up to 40km/h on public roads . This is different on construction sites. Here, you have to adjust your speed to the situation. When you're driving on rough terrain at an excessive speed, you can lose control of the steering wheel and the telehandler. So always take into account the terrain and the telehandler load. When cornering, the centrifugal force comes into play. This means the goods are being drawn to the outside of the turn. Never start, stop or suddenly change direction at high speed. Always go up or down slopes in a controlled way and at an appropriate speed. These sudden and unexpected movements can cause the telehandler to lose its load or to tilt.
7. Always drive forwards when going uphill.
Always drive straight forward when going uphill. So never drive uphill diagonally and never start turning on a slope. When loaded, the load must be in the highest position in relation to the slope (forwards uphill and backwards downhill). On slopes you need to increase the fork height and lean backwards more, to prevent contact with the ground.
Interested in telehandlers? Then definitely read the following articles:
- A telehandler? Discover the benefits of the telehandler compared to other machines
- The telehandler and its usability in the agricultural sector
- Most common risks when working with a telehandler