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Viličari

Viličar pripada skupini manipulacijskih strojeva koji se u praksi koriste u velikom broju. Ako se postavi pitanje postoji li u suvremenim transportnim procesima alternativa viličaru, odgovor je negativan. Na današnjem stupnju razvoja tehnologije prometa postoje i koriste se razne vrsti i tipovi viličara. Njihova primjena i uloga gotovo je nezamjenjiva u većini proizvodnih procesa, na terminalima i u skladištima. Pri opisu značajki viličara najčešće se kaže da su to strojevi sa suvremenim ekonomsko-tehničkim rješenjima i značajkama koje im osiguravaju pouzdanost i ekonomičnost u primjeni. U strukturi zastupljenosti najbrojniji su ručni viličari kojih ima oko 85%, a nosivost im je i do 2000 kg. S obzirom na konstrukciju i mjesto djelovanja, viličari se mogu razlikovati po skupinama, tako da se, na primjer, s obzirom na širinu djelovanja ističe da postoje tri generacije viličara.

Viličar

Takav viličar nije prikladan za dizanje na veće visine. što se smatra jednim od osnovnih obilježja. Manipulirao je teret od 110 t na razmaku težišta od točke oslonca 1. . zahvaćaju i raznim drugim vrstama uređaja ili zahvatnih organa.3 m od točke oslonca.cilindričnog oblika (koturi. Tako se npr. 36 ili 48 V.nosivosti 3 do 3.rasutih materijala.lakoća upravljanja . ali je vrlo jednostavan. štedi širinu prostora za oko 23%. Širina operativnog prostora je u tom slučaju još manja. Rabi se za dizanje teških tereta. Najbrojnija su razna kliješta: za ciglu. sanduci. S obzirom na nosivost. mehanička žlica. a široke 350 mm svaka. Najveći viličari na svijetu su oni nosivosti od 120 t. sve do 6 m. ovisno o vrsti i tipu palete. da druga generacija viličara. šipke. Viličari se uglavnom proizvode serijski za tržište i nepoznatog kupca. postoje druge jedinice tereta. Ti se tereti. sve više dolaze do izražaja viličari s elektropogonom.standardiziranost konstrukcije . Visina viličara se ne mijenja u tijeku dizanja. Jedinice manipuliranja u primjeni viličara U praksi se pojavljuje veliki broj jedinica tereta pakiranih na razne načine po obliku i dimenzijama. Rast proizvodnje viličara u Njemačkoj je kontinuiran. razlikuju se dvije skupine: . Viličari s takvim mehanizmom mogu prolaziti kroz niže otvore i dizati teret na veće visine. daje samo oko 6% viličara u vlasništvu velikih pogona a ostalih oko 94% je u malim i srednjim proizvodnim pogonima. vidljivo je da klasični viličar može djelovati u znatno užem prostoru ako dužina tereta ne prelazi 2 m.u ljevaoničkoj industriji. 24. a treća za oko 55%. "Hibridne" konstrukcije uključuju dobra svojstva prethodnih konstrukcija i imaju mogućnost pomicanja težišta tereta koje je pri zahvaćanju i ostavljanju izvan baze viličara. role papira. standardni se viličari mogu svrstavati na razne načine. kliješta za betonske blokove.bočni i . Širina viličara je 350 mm. a proizveden je u seriji od 10 komada. osim vilicom. za bale i za roto-papir. žice. Viličar je opremljen dizelskim motorom snage 399 kW. kliješta za bačve.5 t. ali postoje i viličari znatno veće nosivosti (120 t). S obzirom na položaj tereta u odnosu na viličar. za razliku od prve.2 m.). . npr.U prvu se generaciju svrstavaju viličari sa slobodno nošenim teretom. S obzirom na vrstu pogona.: . ali može biti i znatno veća. a suvremeni viličari u skladištu pripadaju trećoj generaciji. ali samo manje terete.65 m.valjkastog oblika (balvani.nosivosti do 0. -u tekstilnoj i papirnoj industriji. nailazi na podjelu čelnih viličara po sljedećim skupinama: .mogućnost nabave rezervnih dijelova . željezni profili u vezovima i dr. Što se tiče operativne dužine djelovanja (relacije manipulacije) viličara. tada težište tog tereta može biti i na 2. . Pri dizanju tereta gabarit viličara se ne povećava pa je stoga vrlo praktičan.8 t.5 t. i viličari s elektromotorom.minimalan gubitak vrijednosti. a u viličara na pogon s motorom s unutarnjim izgaranjem do 100 m. Ako se promatra operativni prostor za djelovanje navedenih skupina viličara. uočava se.čelni viličari. celulozno drvo i dr.u vezovima (cijevi. Viličari s jednostupnjevitom dižućom konstrukcijom ili simpleksom mogu dizati terete samo do svoje visine. a u okviru toga ni o viličarima i prognozi njihova razvoja. Konstrukcija s tri stupnja naziva se tripleks. Viličare treće generacije karakterizira mogućnost slobodno nošenog tereta zahvaćenog specijalnom zahvatnom napravom koja omogućuje rad bez manevriranja. čak do 12 tona. Radna sposobnost klasičnih viličara je do 5000 kg. bačve i dr. U dizelskih motora snaga je u funkciji namjene i u rasponu je od 15 kW do 75 kW. Možemo ih svrstati u skupine koje imaju zajednička svojstva s obzirom na manipulaciju i transport. kao i druge varijante i oblici. . ona u viličara na elektropogon iznosi do 50 m. hidraulička rotacijska ploča za bočno okretanje i istresanje različitih tereta (rasutih i tekućih).). . .6 t. . a uvelike se primjenjuje u proizvodnom i transportnom lancu.minimalan utjecaj na okoliš .nosivosti od 2 do 2. što im daje prednost pri djelovanju u zatvorenim prostorima ograničenih dimenzija.sigurnost pri radu . .lakoća održavanja .). Osim paletno-paketnih jedinica. betonske cijevi i dr. uočava se npr. Za viličar budućnosti očekuje se da udovoljava sljedećim osnovnim zahtjevima: . prije svega zbog poznatih ekoloških prednosti. Vilice tog viličara dugačke su 3. Pri usporedbi radnog prostora. Najbolje su za transport viličarom paletno-paketne jedinice raznih vrsta i dimenzija. i dr. u drugu "hibridni" viličari.tipizirani konstrukcijski dijelovi . Ako se takav viličar optereti sa 80 t. . Dvostupnjevita se konstrukcija naziva dupleks. S obzirom na vrstu pogona.). Viličari na elektropogon napajaju se s 12. a dužina 365 mm.nosivosti od 1 do 1. viličari s Ottovim motorom uključujući i one s pogonom na plin. razlikuju se viličari s dizelskim motorom.u drvnoj industriji (rezana građa. Mogu se naći i podaci o brzini kretanja većoj od 20 km/h. također važna spoznaja. Za naše uvjete nema podataka o manipulacijskim sredstvima. Ako se analizira mjesto primjene viličara u praksi. Brzina kretanja u operativi može biti različita što zavisi od konkretnih uvjeta. a u kretanju unutar baze.

smanjenim teškoćama u razradi planova nabave viličara i rezervnih dijelova. dupleks (dva stupnja) i tripleks (tri stupnja). sanduci. Sve se više preferiraju viličari s eelektromotorom.s aspekta supstrata čijem manipuliranju je namijenjen. stupnjevi slobode kretanja radnog uređaja gdje se mogu razlikovati putanje s jednim ili više stupnjeva slobode. Prikladni su za rad s većim teretom 5-30 t.rezervnih dijelova. Bočni viličar namijenjen je manipulaciji svih vrsta tereta u kojih je zbog velike duljine otežan prijenos. Simpleksom se teret diže na njegove visine. . Viljuškara ima mnogo različitih tipova.brzine rada. Ako bi se razvrstavala znakovita obilježja viličara. . s pomoću teleskopskih hidrauličnih cilindara. a s obzirom na kapacitet . Nosivost viljuškara je najčešće 10-30 KN jer je to u skladu sa potrebama paletizacije. grede. . nego i najsuvremenijih privreda u kojima se na primjer mogu naći podaci da oko 94% viličara u praksi djeluje u malim i srednjim poduzećima za koje se također može pretpostaviti da ne obiluju kadrovima za detaljniju stručnu. obavlja se uvlačenje i izvlačenje vilica kao i podizanje. Nosačem tereta. može se govoriti o ručnim i motornim pogonima. Elektroviličar nije prikladan za rad na neravnoj podlozi zbog mogućnosti prekida napajanja. Za rad na otvorenom prpstorima koriste se viljuškari veće nosivosti 50-80KN na drvnim terminalima a za kontejnere 300 KN. daske. Uz nosivost viljuškara važna je dopunska karakteristika visina dizanja tereta to jest granica dohvata.mogućnosti zahvaćanja manipulacijske jedinice.5 m. Obzirom na rad viljuškara vlastita težina viljuškara nebi trebala biti veća od 1500-2000 kg zbog prijevoza liftovima i opterečenja podova. Kad je riječ o radnoj sposobnosti klasičnog elektroviličara mogu se naći podaci da viličar nazivne nosivosti 1. Više reda u području primjene viličara u praksi već danas je potrebno i zbog činjenice što najveći broj njih djeluje u sredinama koje ne raspolažu kadrovima koji mogu nametnuti kvalitetne promjene. imaju mali razmak osovina s uskim kolotragom.o malom. srednjem i velikom kapacitetu. Ako se i nadu nužno ih je prilagoditi našim konkretnim uvjetima. području djelovanja viličara (relaciji prijevoza) pridana je znatna pozornost. spuštanje i odlaganje. elektromotorni.četvrti se aspekt odnosi na subjektivni čimbenik i u okviru njega bi trebalo govoriti o priučenosti operatora.zahvaćanja prostora te preglednosti omogućene operatoru. Većina od navedenih čimbenika su globalna očekivanja koja bi trebala omogućiti suvremenije konstrukcije viličara u budućnosti.većom iskorištenosti viličara i dr. .većom sigurnosti djelovanja. pri čemu se upozorava na potrebu da se pronađe gornja granična vrijednost relacije manipulacije na temelju troškova koje zahtijeva pojedina varijanta. S obzirom na vrstu pogona postoje viličari s pogonom na plin.2 m. tada bi ta obilježja trebalo promatrati s četiri osnovna aspekta: . . koje možemo podjeliti prema: − vrsti zahvata − nosivosti − načinu pogona Prema vrsti zahvata postoje viličari sa čelnim i sa bočnim zahvatom. a tripleksi viličari dižu manje terete na visini od 6 m. Kod dupleksa se pri dizanju paletne jedinice njegovi gabariti ne mijenjaju.manipuliranja obično se razlikuju tri tipa relacija: male.povoljnijim uvjetima održavanja.s aspekta relacije prijevoza . Osnovni elementi izbora viličara Izbor viličara u pravilu je funkcija dvaju elemenata: tehnoloških zahtjeva i tržišnih mogućnosti.: trupci. Viljuškari ili viličari su neophodni za rukovanje paletama. Prikladni su za rad s dugačkim teretom i imaju platformu na koju mogu staviti teret za vrijeme vožnje. posebice oni male i srednje nosivosti. srednje i dulje relacije pri kojima se može djelovati i u sprezi s prikolicom. To su npr. .smanjenjem zaliha. I nagib operativne zone utječe na izbor pogona pri čemu se daje prednost pogonu s motorom s unutarnjim izgaranjem. oblik putanje kretanja s mogućnošću mijenjanja ili bez mogućnosti mijenjanja putanje. no ima ih i do 2. Analizirajući kriterije podobnosti viličara. . pa i u tim okolnostima treba promatrati potrebu podizanja spoznaja o općoj metodološkoj obradi ovog problema. cijevi. limovi. i to iz ekoloških razloga S obzirom na konstrukciju postoje simpleks(jedan stupanj). Ova očekivanja su prisutna i u radovima autora iz ovog područja u razvijenijem svijetu. Dopušteni uspon ne bi trebao biti veći od 15%. Najjednostavnij i najčešći su viljuškari sa simplex izvlačenjem dizanja sa jednom vodilicom. . Visina dizanja tereta postiže se mehanički ili hidraulički pomoću okomitih vodilica. s obzirom na vrstu pogona. obično se spoznaju vrste kriterija: . obično se razlikuju način djelovanja (kontinuirani ili diskontinuirani). a osobito ne znanstvenu analizu.5 tjednim punjenjem baterija može ostvariti učinak od oko 300 t u smjeni pod pretpostavkom da manipulira na prosječnoj udaljenosti od 20 m.s aspekta konstrukcije viličara. jer gotovih metodoloških aplikativnih rješenja nema. . . obilježja viličara su uvjetovana agregatnim stanjima supstrata pri čemu se supstrat može promatrati u funkciji oblika supstrata i njegove prilagođenosti procesu djelovanja viličara. ako se one uopće i očekuju. . . a pad ne bi smio biti veći od 7 do 10%. pri nagibu od 5% i dizanju tereta na visinu 1. Njihov dohvat je 2 m. profilirano željezo i ostali glomazni dugi tereti.U istraživanju provedenom u radnim uvjetima. Bočni viljuškari su rijetki i uzimaju se za specijalne potrebe sve operacije se vršu bočno jer su vilice sa strane. viličari s ottovim motorom i viličari s dieselskim motorom. pa gotovo svi viličari imaju vilice sprijeda jer su praktičniji u radu zbog manevriranja i bolje preglednosti vozača kojem se glavna zbivanja dešavaju pred očima. Čelni je daleko više u upotrebi. Čelni viličari. Specifičnost disperzije vlasništva nije samo obilježje našeg gospodarstva.

The work platform must be equipped with standard guardrails or equivalent means. Unfortunately. a forklift cannot perform the latter with any guarantee of safety and thus. including the owners and operators of forklifts. Both forklifts and aerial platforms share similar hydraulic components from an operational point of view. OSHA 1926. The hydraulic system must be designed such that the lift mechanism will not drop faster than 135 feet per minute in the event of a failure in any part of the system.the mechanics .Director Regulatory groups and manufacturers have developed.” which are not usually incorporated in conventional forklift hydraulic system design. what they refer to as. which could either cause. 4. they can be used as “aerial platforms. the law requires them to receive both hands-on and formal classroom training. it can also be used as an aerial platform. could the regulatory groups and manufacturers have overlooked a number of critical elements associated with forklift design and ownership. OSHA has passed a law (ref. 5. and. Equally as critical is the poor state of maintenance. the one cannot exist without the other! It is virtually impossible to meet these requirements if the people who are responsible for performing the maintenance services are untrained . repair hydraulic systems and components are not properly trained. the uncontrolled descent of a forklift’s lift or tilt mechanisms while the mast is elevated? 1.” These committees did however. which makes safety the nucleus of aerial platform design. the fundamental purpose of an aerial platform or ”mobile personnel elevator” is to elevate and transport personnel (transport within the guidelines of safe operation). Education and training – arguably the weakest link! The issue of forklift safety extends beyond the boundaries of forklift design. the people who have the lion’s share of responsibility for the safe and proper operation of a forklift . The safe and efficient operation of any machine can only be realized through the implementation and execution of a world-class proactive maintenance program. why aren’t mechanics held to the same standard as operators? Moreover. 2.602) – or if you will. Accordingly. The most powerful argument against using a forklift as an aerial platform has to do with the education and training – or the lack thereof – of maintenance personnel. The forklift must not travel from point to point with the work platform elevated at a height greater than 4 feet while the platform is occupied. “licensing” forklift owners and operators to use their forklifts as “crossover” vehicles. However. an occupied platform can be moved as long as the forklift is “inched” at a very low speed. However. Ironically. Needless to say. The preceding stipulations are well founded.are completely ignored by all regulatory groups. OSHA 29CFR1910.especially on critical systems like hydraulics. Safe and predictable forklift operation (Ref. and. 6. “safe” methods for lifting personnel with a forklift (ref. forklift manufacturers aren’t shy about warning of the consequences of using their products for this purpose. which is only effective if executed by well-trained technicians. Ironically. On the other hand. 3. These issues will be addressed separately. Moreover. The area between the personnel on the platform and the mast must be guarded to prevent contact with chains or other pinch points. some of which are extremely vague: 1. The operator must be in the driving seat while raising or lowering the platform. What the regulatory groups and manufacturers have apparently done is to give industry permission to use a forklift as a “crossover” vehicle – in addition to it being used as a forklift. Conversely. in general. The operator must be in the driving seat while workers are on the platform. This makes a forklift inherently unsafe for use in elevating and/or transporting personnel. service.1780) that makes it mandatory for a forklift operator to be certified in the safe operation of a forklift. So. or contribute to. 2. there are. and must be firmly secured to the lifting carriage or forks. When necessary. aerial platforms do have redundant safety components/systems for the specific purpose of protecting the “rider” in the event of the unexpected failure of a critical hydraulic component. From a design point of view forklifts compared to aerial platforms are like “apples compared to oranges!” The fundamental purpose of a forklift is to transport cargo with the added convenience of self-loading and unloading with the aid of hydraulics. inherent risks associated with using a forklift for any purpose other than what it was specifically designed to do – transport cargo. in the forklift industry. and always will be. OSHA 29CFR1910. due to conventional forklift design objectives.” Forklifts do not have redundant safety components and/or systems for the specific purpose of protecting the “rider” in the event of the unexpected failure of a critical hydraulic or mechanical component. why do the regulatory groups and manufacturers “look the other way” with respect to the training and certification of mechanics? . in addition to transporting cargo.e. an aerial platform has a number of hydraulic “safety valves. i. There are always inherent risks associated with riding “outside the confines of a mobile vehicle’s frame. over 98% of the people in the US who maintain. an aerial platform designer has an additional design responsibility – to make sure the “platform” cannot fail under any circumstances.Is a Forklift a Safe Substitute for an Aerial Platform? By Rory S. It relies heavily on the qualifications and training of forklift maintenance personnel. make a few stipulations. McLaren .178O) can only be achieved if a forklift is expertly maintained. aerial platform designers focus very heavily on platform reliability and machine stability.

regardless of training or experience is permitted to service and repair all types of personnel lifting mechanisms – including forklifts. that person is. the federal government – the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) – passed into law a bill that made it a federal crime for untrained/unauthorized personnel to perform any service or repair work on an airplane.” Literally anyone. painters. When a forklift is “sidelined” due to an unexpected problem. which could result in severe injury. and especially forklift hydraulic systems. Less than 1% of the hydraulic components on a forklift are removed on a proactive maintenance basis. In short. most plants have a “fleet” of forklifts – there is usually a back-up.“Flying” is a relative term! An airplane and an aerial platform share a fundamental similarity – they both “fly” people! To avoid an unimaginable toll on human life due to crashes born of poor repair and maintenance practices brought about by untrained personnel. - . If all else fails a telephone call to the local rental facility solves the problem. have absolutely no formal training. or substantial property damage.” Needless to say. should be “flying” in the course of doing their respective jobs. pipe fitters.” 3. for all intents and purposes. basket-truck. The “flying public” feels safe thanks to “Uncle Sam. the life and limb of these “pilots” is generally in the hands of people who have little or no training! Needless to say there has to be a reason why the regulatory groups and manufacturers – the people whom never in the course of their work have to risk their lives “flying” these unreliable and unsafe machines – cow-towed to corporate America and allowed them to make a forklift a “crossover” vehicle. This leaves the majority of forklifts. basket trucks. Forklift operators routinely “spin the tires. Another compelling reason why a forklift should never be used to elevate personnel – the maintenance is less than adequate! Here are just a few of the problems: 1.. Maintenance and production supervisors and managers are usually well aware of their options so their attention is focused on the “squeaky wheel. the quality and consistency of any maintenance program cannot rise above the level of competence of the maintenance workforce. 3. Forklifts are generally very badly abused. or maintenance management. death. A visit to most truck loading facilities is tantamount to visiting a forklift proving ground. cranes.” Unfortunately. regardless of how much training the operator receives. Besides. the regulatory organizations and manufacturers made a very serious oversight when they ignored a critical aspect and safe and reliable forklift operation – the mechanic.” Ironically. Neglected machinery will inevitably break down unexpectedly. Most forklifts exhibit severe body damage from constant collisions with whatever is in their respective paths. Could the reason be green in nature – money? The vast majority of people who maintain. “flying.” select reverse (or forward) while the vehicle is traveling in the opposite direction. Supervisors usually dictate how repairs are executed with the main objectives being cost and time rather than quality and reliability! 2. highly susceptible to accidents. service. They are “maintained” on a “fail-first” basis. etc. a forklift is arguably one of the most neglected and abused machines in a plant. etc. When a person is elevated by means of a forklift. forklift maintenance is generally performed on the basis of “crisis management!” They are typically “run into the ground” and only then do they get the attention they need – maybe! Repairs are seldom properly done because maintenance personnel are generally not empowered to make decisions on the quality of their work. for that matter. OSHA’s “135 feet per minute” descent rate rule for failure to “any part of the system” is preposterous. The vast majority of hydraulic systems operating in plants and on mobile machines operate on the basis of “run-to-destruction. the same cannot be said for the aerial platform industry – it’s a veritable “free-for-all. The term “unreliable” is synonymous with neglect.” They are usually so busy “putting out fires” on production machines that little time is left to schedule service on the “non-critical production machines” such as forklifts! 4. NOTE: This problem is not unique to the forklift industry. The vast majority of forklifts operate on the basis of “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it!” In a nutshell. production is usually unaffected. and repair forklifts. In our opinion. Forklifts are generally “maintained” on the basis of “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. These aren’t the types of machines electricians. 5. etc. overload. or an aerial platform.

” According to OSHA regulation (ref. Cylinder rod failure 5. Figure 1 6. CASE HISTORY: An electrician asked the forklift driver to hoist him to the ceiling to attend to a defective light. the electrician shouted to the forklift driver to lower him to the ground. the electrician became impatient and turned around to see why the operator was not responding to his commands. The forklift driver. Rider’s life is in forklift driver's hands! Another distinct disadvantage of using a forklift as an aerial platform is the fact that the “rider’s” life is in the hands of the forklift driver. but inherently unsafe as “work platforms. Lift chain failure 2. Cylinder retaining pin failure 3. (the slightest movement could cause the platform to come crashing down) immediately activated the control valve hoping to raise the cylinder rod to meet the platform.” Here a few examples (Figure 1) of failures which could lead to the “unrestricted” descent of a forklift’s lift mechanism: 1. Unfortunately. responded by activating the lever to lower the platform. While the electrician was busy attending to the light. the lift mechanism’s cylinder rod was completely lowered while the platform remained aloft. realizing the gravity of the situation. His moving caused the mast sections to realign. An inattentive driver can cause the rider to "suffer" numerous types of accidents which could lead to severe injury or death. The driver watched in Figure 2 . The driver was sitting in the forklift receiving instructions from the electrician.“Weaknesses” in forklift design. A minute or so went by and the electrician repeated his request for the driver to lower him to the ground. A conventional aerial platform is designed to permit the “rider” to control all vehicle functions including wheel drive and steering. Mast guide wear-plate wear. makes them relatively safe for transporting cargo.” This rule is baseless because it is impossible to control the descent rate of the lift mechanism “in the event of a failure in any part of the system. One of those guidelines being. the forklift driver apparently struck up a conversation with a colleague. A short while later.178) a forklift may be used to lift personnel on condition that the user follows a number of guidelines. and/or forklift abuse. 29CFR1910. substandard/nonexistent service and repair. Hose failure. he continued with the conversation. He used a pallet as a work platform. etc. This prompted the driver to glance forward. The driver. There are also additional factors that could cause an accident. To his horror. which was at an elevation of approximately 20 feet from the factory floor. 6. “the lift mechanism will not drop faster than 135 feet per minute in the event of a failure in any part of the system. such as brake failure. However. inattentive operator. NOTE: The vast majority of these types of failures are caused by poor/inadequate maintenance training. Cylinder internal seal failure 4. without looking up.

his/her body is thrown against the side of an adjacent structure violently. Figure 3 CONCLUSION Based on the facts.e. The OSHA “descent-rate” rule appears to apply to all forklifts regardless of type. in the event of a transmission line failure and certain types of mechanical failures in one cylinder. which supply oil to the cylinders. The regulatory groups and manufacturers appear to have overlooked problems associated with an unexpected failure of a forklift’s mast tilt mechanism. Don’t be fooled by dual cylinders! - People who don’t fully understand how a forklift’s hydraulic system works might be led to believe that two cylinders provide a “safety net. and thus offers the following warning: "Using a forklift as a "work platform" is inherently dangerous and can lead to accidents.” leaving the rider susceptible to severe injury or death. or condition..horror as the platform came crashing down to the concrete floor below (Figure 2). the “good” cylinder will keep the platform upright. Many forklifts do not have hydraulic safety valves (velocity fuses) integrated in the lower port of the mast cylinder/s. While the person is working overhead one of the hydraulic hoses in the tilt cylinder circuit unexpectedly fails causing the mast assembly to lurch forward uncontrollably throwing the lift mechanism against the structure. the Fluid Power Safety Institute™ cannot agree with the regulatory group’s and manufacturer’s decision to permit forklifts to be used as “substitutions” for aerial platforms. death. A forklift’s tilt angle averages 3º forward and 3º backwards from center. which could cause severe injury or death. For example. The regulatory groups and manufacturers appear to have ignored critical safety elements in their haste to cow-tow to industry. This simply means that the failure of ANY transmission line which transports oil between the control valve and the cylinders will result in a total loss of that systems motion control leaving the rider’s fate up to the laws of gravity! The same applies to certain types of unexpected mechanical failures. Not true! The transmission lines. age. inherent risks associated with using a forklift for any other purpose than what it’s designers intended it to be – a cargo carrying vehicle . according to OSHA regulation. NOTE: On certain forklift models mast wear guides can wear out and cause the mast section(s) to temporarily seize while the lift-mechanism is at maximum elevation. are connected in parallel (Figure 3). it undergoes an extensive design change and incorporates all the “bells and whistles” needed to make it “fail-safe. a forklift is being used to elevate a person to a height in a building to replace a broken light bulb. However. The distance of lateral travel at the top of a fully raised mast is approximately six feet (varies according to maximum lift-mechanism height and maximum tilt angle) The unexpected failure of a tilt cylinder hose or mechanical part could result in a very serious accident. The person cannot be thrown from the device because. This situation can leave the “rider” vulnerable to a serious “free-fall” accident because the lift-mechanism’s lift cylinder(s) can lower independently of the lift-mechanism. and/or substantial property damage. and will always be. which could result in severe injury. for whatever reason. of course.unless. As a result of the fall the electrician suffered severe back injury and multiple bruises. which also operates with hydraulic cylinders. he/she is securely harnessed. 7. Consequently a hose failure. can cause the lift mechanism to “free-fall. There are.” i.” .

such as a paper roll clamp. as well as between the carriage and the mast. nonstop type. a used forklift truck makes fiscal sense. The principal sources of used forklift trucks are other end users and dealers (either trade-ins. for seven years before trading them in. a short-term-rental forklift truck accumulates about 1. Start by checking mast operation. make sure a thorough mechanical inspection is performed prior to purchasing the vehicle. A forklift is as safe and reliable as the people who service and repair it." The Fluid Power Safety Institute™ presents “safety-based” hydraulic workshops on a regular basis. 2. In certain material handling situations. Typically. Over the past five years. his/her safety. and the safety of those who work around the equipment.In addition. The forklift will be used for no more than five hours a day. Also check for excessive side carriage play. However. If maintenance records are not available. this lower use level carries a higher price. on average. This means companies have more low-hour machines to choose from.no comment (e-mail sent 10/18/07) Hyster . because owners of new engine-powered forklifts run them. Rental forklifts and lease-retired forklift trucks usually sell for 10 to 15 percent more than other used forklift trucks. and a test drive.org Rory S.fpti. or lease retirements). it is high time the regulatory groups and manufacturers focused on the pathetic state of forklift. In general. be sure to evaluate its condition. Availability. Tilt the mast forward and back fully to see if there's excessive play (3/8 in. Purchasing powered industrial trucks does not have to be a monumental capital expenditure.If the forklift truck has an attachment. both without a load and with the forklift's full rated load. When you find a likely candidate. Electric-powered forklifts usually are kept for eight to 10 years. lies squarely on the shoulders of the maintenance mechanic. it has to be pursued.500 hours per year in single-shift operations. The article features an in-depth inspection checklist. Only a qualified operator should do this inspection. if they are available. . The forklift will work no more than five days per week. they have ignored our attempt to open dialogue on these critical issues: Toyota .Moreover.no comment (e-mail sent 10/18/07) “Fluid power safety doesn’t just happen. crane. availability of retired trucks that were leased three to five years has increased. You can find our training schedule at www. Your comments are welcome Buying a used forklift—wisely By Bill Buckhout April 15. specifically on the issue of descent rates in the event of an unexpected failure – to-date. What to Look For If one or more of these criteria fit your company's situation and you decide to purchase a used forklift. you need to know how to spot used equipment with a troubled past. Inspection. put it through its paces to make sure it will do the job it was designed for. The operation is not a high-throughput. Consider buying a used forklift if: • • • • The truck will be used only for a single shift. and aerial lift maintenance training – to mention just a few areas that need urgent attention! It doesn’t take a “rocket scientist” to figure out that regardless of how well a vehicle driver is trained. Now it is time for a hands-on examination. Maintenance. 2002 When purchasing a used forklift truck carefully look at maintenance records. 1. Consider how well it has been maintained. regardless of how well the operator is trained! The Fluid Power Safety Institute™ invited (via e-mail) two major forklift manufacturers to participate in this safety alert. Look for smooth operation and lack of binding. or more) between the mast channels. both types are operated for 1.000 hours of use per year and usually is replaced every three to five years. former rental fleet units. Here are four tips to help you select a used forklift truck that will add to your bottom line instead of draining it. a used rental truck is often the better buy. 3. Ask to review the forklift's maintenance records. McLaren Founder/Director Fluid Power Safety Institute™ The Fluid Power Safety Institute™ welcomes constructive dialogue regarding our safety bulletins. give the vehicle a thorough inspection. Make sure a mechanic comes along to give the prospective investment a thorough evaluation.

4. the inspection should not stop there. Carefully examine the extent of the leak and its source to determine the cost of the repair before purchasing.Look for leaks from the transmission. mast and tilt cylinders. Inspection of these areas can help you ensure your company gets a truly good deal on a used forklift. This may signal axle misalignment. However. take a moment to examine the vehicle's appearance. The forklift truck should have a quick response to the steering wheel and accurate tracking. . Before road-testing a forklift truck. Be aware. Inspect the brakes while carrying the forklift's rated load. Although kicking the tires is not necessary. Drive it through a tight figure-eight pattern in both forward and reverse gears. Remember that when it's traveling at 5 miles per hour. a forklift should be able to stop smoothly within one to two truck lengths. It's best to do these checks after the forklift truck is fully warmed up. your search for a good used truck may be over. Test Drive. Now it's time to put the prospective acquisition through a road test. engine. Make sure a mechanic covers the 14 points on the in-depth inspection checklist. and radiator. differential. don't forget to check them. Badly dented or gouged body panels may signify rough or careless operation. look for uneven wear. If they have not been replaced recently. Take a Closer Look If the prospective forklift truck passes these four tests. even small leaks are warning signs.