Fortunately, many electric forklifts can be used in the rain but there are various factors to consider before determining whether your electric forklifts are suitable for use in wet conditions.
How Do You Know If Electric Forklifts Can Be Used in the Rain?
Every forklift is issued with an internal protection code (sometimes known as an ‘ingress code’). This IP code takes the form of ‘XX’ followed by two numbers, such as ‘XX44’, and indicates how well the machine can withstand solid particulates and liquids
Understanding IP Codes
The first number that follows the XX in an IP code refers to how effectively the machine can withstand solid particulates and the second number relates to liquids. If you want to know if an electric forklift can be used in the rain, it’s the second number in the IP code that’s relevant.
When it comes to IP ratings for liquid, the numbers range from 0 – 8 and indicate the following:
0 – Not protected against liquids
1 – Vertically falling dripping water will not have a harmful effect.
2 – Dripping water from above shall have no harmful effect if the enclosure is tilted up to 15° from its usual position
3 – Water sprayed at 60° from the vertical will not have a harmful effect.
4 – Water splashing against the enclosure from any direction will not have a harmful effect.
5 – Water projected by a nozzle will not have any harmful effects.
6 – Powerful jets (e.g. 12.5mm nozzle) of water hitting the enclosure will not have a harmful effect.
7 – Immersion in water up to 1m will not cause harmful effects.
8 – Immersion in water beyond 1m (specified by the manufacturer) will not cause harmful effects.
Typically, electric forklifts must have an IP rating for liquid of 4 or higher to be used in rainy conditions.
Which Electric Forklifts Can Be Used in the Rain?
As every forklift has an IP rating, it’s easy to determine whether a particular machine can be used in the rain. For example, many Jungheinrich and Toyota electric forklifts have a liquid IP rating of 4, which means they’re suitable for use in the rain.
Is It Safe to Use Electric Forklifts in the Rain?
Although electric forklifts may be designed to withstand rain, you should still take additional safety precautions if you’re using an electric forklift in wet conditions. As well as following the regulatory guidance that governs the usage of forklifts, be sure to:
Close all covers
Closing all possible covers on the forklift will prevent water from entering the machine unnecessarily and will help to avoid potential complications.
Visibility is often reduced in rainy conditions, so it’s vital to take extra precautions. For example, checking that the lights on the forklift are working adequately and using the horn to ensure others are aware of you can help to reduce the risk of accidents occurring.
Keep lights turned on
As visibility can be a significant issue when it’s raining, it’s advisable to keep your lights turned on at all times. This will help to make sure that you can be seen by other people on the site and, therefore, help to prevent collisions and injuries.
Reduce your speed
Rain can make the forks on a forklift slick and cold conditions may mean the brakes don’t respond as quickly, so it’s worth reducing your speed and taking it slowly if you’re operating a fork lift in the rain.
Wear appropriate safety gear
Non-slips boots and waterproof clothing can help to keep forklift operators safe when they’re working in poor weather conditions. With reflective materials, for example, you can increase the visibility of your workers and help to mitigate the risk of workplace accidents happening.
Conduct thorough checks
Certified fork lift operators should always conduct thorough checks to verify the safety and functionality of the machine. However, this is even more important if the fork lift is being used in rainy weather conditions, regardless of the machine’s IP rating.
Follow the manufacturer’s guidance
As well as using the IP rating to determine if the machine can be used in the rain, check the manufacturer’s guidance before you attempt to use the forklift when it’s raining. By doing so, you can identify any particular hazards or performance optimisation opportunities that can help to keep you safe and maximise productivity.
Are Electric Forklifts Right for Your Business?
Having access to the right machinery is critical if you want to streamline your operations and increase efficiency, which is why it’s so important to ensure you have the best forklifts for your specific operations.
Electric forklifts are becoming increasingly popular at a wide variety of sites due to the range of benefits they offer, such as:
Zero carbon emissions
With no carbon emissions being emitted, electric forklifts can be a viable way to enhance your company’s environmental profile.
Reduced noise pollution
As electric forklifts don’t emit the same level of noise as fuel-powered forklifts, they can contribute to a quieter and more comfortable working environment.
Easier to drive
Many forklift operators report that electric machines are easier to drive and manoeuvre than fuel-powered forklifts. While this is subjective, there does appear to be a growing trend in favour of electric forklifts when it comes to ease of use.
Lower maintenance costs
Electric forklifts typically have fewer moving parts than diesel or petrol forklifts, which means there are fewer things that can go wrong! As a result, you’ll find less maintenance is required and your associated maintenance costs should be reduced too.
Electric Forklifts from Premier Fork Lifts
Now you know that many electric-powered forklifts can be used in the rain, you may be eager to learn more about our range of electric forklifts. Explore our new and used forklifts. Get in touch with our team on 01254 583 533 or email us at email@example.com