Premier Trucks Forklift Transport Tips
If you are going to transport your forklift there are four things you will want to focus on. Safety, timeframe, price and damage prevention. By following our guide you will meet all of these key factors.
Who can transport a forklift?
Anyone over the age of 18 can transport a lift truck, however, you will need the correct license. A C1+E license will allow you to legally transport a forklift if attached to a flatbed trailer. A C license will allow you to use a tailgate, flatbed or tilted tray truck. These licenses are necessary because the average forklift weighs just shy of 4100kg.
The weight means you cannot legally use a category B license to transport your forklift machine as typically a forklift is three times heavier than a car!
Therefore, one of the best options you have is to hire a team of professionals to do this for you.
Forklift transport equipment checklist
If you have decided to move your forklift without the services of another company then here are the necessary items you need:
- Items to go underneath the wheels. Plastic shims/wooden blocks (reduces any chances of the forklift moving backwards or forwards)
- Ratchets with the correct weight limit (stops the forklift from swaying sideways)
- Chains with the correct weight limit (stops the forklift from swaying sideways)
- The correct C1+E or C license
- One of the four transport devices/vehicles
Understanding trucks and trailers
Whenever you transport a truck there are only really 4 safe options available to you. These are the options we suggest.
1. The safest most expensive option (Automated Tailgate)
The automated tailgate truck is the largest and safest form of transport when it comes to forklift trucks. It allows you the space to move multiple forklifts at once because has the largest weight limit. However, it will be unlikely to pass anywhere with low clearance bridges etc.
Only industrial and commercial trucks can do the job and those commercial trucks are the most expensive to buy and hire out.
2. Equally safe and rather expensive option number 1 (Flatbed)
A flatbed truck will give you the same ability to load multiple forklift trucks. However, unlike the automated tailgate truck, it does not have anything to fully enclose it.
It is still an extremely safe option as long as precautions are taken such as using chains and ratchets.
3. Equally safe and rather expensive option number 2 (Tilt tray)
The tilt tray truck is essentially the same as a flatbed truck but has the benefits of a hydraulic system to make unloading and loading forklifts a bit faster than a regular flatbed truck. The tilt tray can lower and be raised to change the angle making it easy to drive a forklift up or down it.
4. The most inexpensive transport option (Tow trailer)
Choosing a flatbed tow trailer has its pros and cons. It is the cheapest option to buy or hire and as long as you have the correct ratchet and chains it’s still a super-safe option.
Something to note is that you typically won’t find a flatbed tow trailer that can support more than two forklifts. This is because you can encounter something called trailer sway. This is where the trailer begins to move at a different angle from the vehicle towing the trailer. When this occurs the trailer of the vehicle can flip over. Therefore, it is important to follow the rest of this guide when transporting a forklift truck.
What to do on the day of lift truck transport
Here’s a thorough breakdown of what you should do to make sure your forklift get’s to its location on time. More importantly, it will make sure your lift truck is in the same condition as before it shipped.
1. Inspect Your Forklift Machine
This step should be taken first as there is no point in spending money on a potentially damaged piece of equipment. We also recommend taking pictures of the condition of the forklift. Our reasoning behind this is simple. If you use a service for transporting your forklift you can protect your forklift and make claims if it gets damaged in transit.
When you prepare it for transport make sure the wheels are locked into position so they don’t roll.
2. Get the dimensions of your model
You should be able to find the weight of your model online, in the specification manual or sometimes even on the side of the forklift itself. Once you have found the weight you can start getting quotes for transport or if you have a forklift trailer, you can check the maximum weight capacity of your trailer.
You will also want to know the length, width and height of it too. Once again you should be able to find out online or at the very least you can measure it with a tape measure.
3. Load your lift truck
Moving your forklift into a trailer is rather simple. Just a few things should be noted. Always drive it in backwards and to the very centre of your trailer. You risk getting trailer sway if you have the weight focused in the back.
Make sure you are loading the trailer on flat ground. This will reduce the stress placed on the tow hitch, ball and coupler.
4. Using the ratchets and chains
Make sure for this step you have centred the forklift so that the weight is equally distributed. Then if you have a flatbed with wooden floor panelling you can drill wooden blocks into position behind the wheels.
Now using the chains and ratchets, establish four corners to start the tie downs from. Then wrap the tie-downs around the forklift. You want to be able to push the forklift from each side without seeing movement.
5. Check the fuel supply
If you are moving an electrical forklift make sure you have charged it before transit. If not you risk being unable to drive the forklift off the transport vehicle when you have arrived at your destination.
For those using diesel or gasoline forklifts, make sure the compartment containing the fuel is secured. The last thing you want is fuel to be wasted and being sprayed around in transit. Your propane tank should also be removed from the forklift too.
6. Find out the clearance height
You’ll need to know this so you are aware of what route you can take. If you are towing it there’s a significant chance the top of your forklift machine will be higher than the vehicle used to tow.
You might want to consider planning your routes around bridges or overpasses.
Here’s how to book forklift transport successfully
You will need to pick a company with reliable results. Check for good reviews and bad ones too. This will give you a better picture of what level of service you can expect. This is particularly important when dealing with a product as expensive as a forklift machine.
Make sure to book in advance when you can. By booking in advance you can save money. At the very least you can set a specific timeframe for arrival. The later you leave it the harder you will find it to get everything organised.
Want an easier alternative to lift truck transport?
If you only need a forklift temporarily then maybe you might find it easier to hire a forklift machine. Our quality UK forklift truck hire allows you to choose from 200 different models from Premier Lift Trucks. Additionally, it’s particularly helpful for clients who go through periods of increased workloads.
You can rent for a period as short as a day to a term as long as 5 years. We have you covered at Premier Lift Trucks. So if you want more information on this service or just want more information call us on 01254 583 533 or visit Premier Lift Trucks today.