Winter is coming. Unless you live on a sunny Caribbean island – if that’s the case, we don’t want to know – harsh weather conditions are in order. Sub-zero temperatures, ice, snow and strong winds with even some experts predicting winter 2019 as the coldest in the last 30 years in the UK. Under those circumstances, thinking ahead may prevent breakdowns and, consequently, delays in your business activity. But, how to do that? Easy by following three main rules: maintenance winter checks, forklift cabin solutions, and special operating precautions.
Maintenance in cold conditions
Whether you have ever operated with forklifts or not, you surely know the importance of maintenance in motorised vehicles. As cars and motorbikes, forklifts also require engine warm-up time in order to function properly. In winter, that warm-up becomes a key factor to prevent transmission and combustion issues. In other words, allowing your handling equipment several minutes before any activity commences will save you money and visits to your forklift dealer service department.
Equally important is to utilise winterised fluids and lubricants. These liquids are meant to melt any icing or gelling of the hydraulic fluids due to low temperatures. However, don’t trust that the chemicals will do all the work. In contrast, you should stay alert to your cooling system in view to ensure the antifreeze stays at an optimal level. Regarding electric forklifts, batteries are the main concern. In that case, undertaking regular thorough checks of the cables as well as having the battery fully charge will do it.
Forklift cabin for outdoor applications
The broad range of types of forklift cabins seems to have a protection solution for each need. To begin with, there are two main categories: detachable and compact cabins. The first group is a type of forklift protection commonly made of PVC. That is a synthetic plastic polymer fully waterproof and easily wipeable. Its installation is simple and tailored to your forklift cabin frame size. In addition, you may be able to personalise it by picking your brand colour or placing on it your company logo. Once the season is over you can remove the velcro attaches and roll it up with no effort.
On the other hand, compact cabins are rigid enclosure cabs that provide the driver with full isolation from grim weather conditions. As an additional attribute, these forklifts include a heater to keep a warm temperature within it. Nonetheless, note that the design also includes windows to allow the cabin to be refreshed, reducing potential operator fatigue. As a result, these trucks are the perfect fit for winter and summer with cabins designed to ensure maximum visibility.
Prevention to avoid accidents
Apart from maintenance checks operating safely is rather needed in winter. You must get serious at this point as hazards increase significantly in this season. Lower visibility, icy roads and heavy rain are some of the reasons at which you should keep special attention. To prevent potential risks the first thing to do would be to check out the weather forecast. If the weather is going to be harsh, try reducing your outdoor tasks for that day. If you can’t delay them, then you must keep an eye on the road and signs. In order to prevent risks, operating at a lower speed should be taken into account. As you’re going to spend a lot of time outside, make also sure you wear the proper clothing. Gloves, hat and boots will make you feel more comfortable while you work. And remember, patience is a virtue.