Lift trucks are responsible for a lot of accidents, injuries, and death around the world. However, if properly maintained, repaired, fitted with forklift oem parts, and operated by competent operators, they provide a substantial boost in terms of productivity and eliminate all known hazards. In an effort to customize forklifts for specific tasks or cut corners in terms of repairs and maintenance, some people modify their forklifts. While modifications may be necessary, there are some that are downright dangerous as they seek to alter the truck’s capacity, intended use, or balance. In this blog, we look at 3 such modifications you ought to avoid.

Adding Accessories

One area that often features unsafe modification is the overhead guard, where you can find additional lights, mirrors, fans, strobes, and fire extinguishers. While some forklift manufactures cater for such additions by designing overhead guards with additional holes, other brands and models don’t. In the absence of additional holes, it is not advisable to drill additional holes as it may compromise safety. You may find yourself exposed in the event of incidents such as rollovers and falling objects. The best approach is to mount any accessories on an external mounting bracket which can be secured around the overhead guard.

Alterations To The Fork

Forklifts preform a host of activities which extend to acting as a crane when you need to vertically hoist heavy objects. You can easily find customized forklift attachments for that purpose from 3rd party suppliers for the ultimate in safety. It is, however, uncommon for some mechanics to take the ill-advised route of modifying the fork for such purposes. There are many reasons why such modifications are unsafe including the fact that it is impossible to know the forks’ lift capacity.

Counterweight Modifications

It is ill-advised to make attempts at modifying a forklift to increase the size of its counterweight. The objective of such modifications is often to a forklift’s rated capacity so that it can lift overweight or over-sized loads by inflating the force exerted at fulcrum’s back-end. The counterweight plays a central role in the forklift’s stability, making such alterations ill-advised. The operator of any such modified forklift can easily tip it as it has a reduced margin of error when it comes to shifting the center of gravity.

Always Consult Professionals

It is advisable to consult professionals before embarking on any modifications of your forklift. Always opt for forklift oem parts and approved accessories from the manufacturer or third parties. Create a policy around this issue and ensure that all your in-house mechanics know its importance.

6 thoughts on “Dangerous Forklift Modifications to Avoid”

  1. My suggestion would be to change the mast out. You have to be careful about any forklift modifications due to OSHA regulations.

    1. You can not modify the forklift in any way due to OSHA regulations. Drilling holes or heating the metal on the mast can weaken the steel. I would use the load back rest (If you have one installed) to secure the load or the carriage. If you have any questions you can always give us a call.

    1. Gerry,
      Welding on the mast is kind of in a gray area. You can have a certified welder reweld the joint as long as it was not caused by damage to the overhead guard. If it is bent or damaged it needs to be replaced.

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