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Transporting a Forklift

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When you’re shopping for a forklift for your company, whether it’s new or used, getting it to your warehouse isn’t typically the first thing you might think about. But unlike a car, you can’t just drive a forklift straight to its new home right off the showroom floor. There is a lot to take into consideration when transporting a forklift.

A forklift’s weight is the first thing to keep in mind. A typical forklift with the capacity to lift 5,000 pounds can weigh up to 9,000 pounds itself. An average vehicle only weighs in around 4,000 pounds. That’s over double the weight of a typical vehicle, which will require some special accommodations. The safest mode of transport is either a rollback or a tractor trailer. A rollback is best used for smaller forklifts but gives the advantage of being able to ground load or dock load the forklift. There are other similar types of trailers that are capable of ground loading a forklift. A tractor trailer can be used to haul larger forklifts but can only be used for dock loading.

Securing the forklift is the most important part of transporting it. If you are moving a forklift in an enclosed trailer it must be securely blocked in order to prevent any movement inside the trailer. If you are using a rollback or flatbed it must be properly chained down. The Department of Transportation has specific requirements on the type of chain used and how many tie down points there are based on the size of the equipment. If you are stopped by DOT there may be heavy penalties or fines for improperly secured loads or exceeding the maximum weight limits. Make sure to back the forklift onto the trailer with the forks pointed toward the back of the trailer. In the event of an accident, this will ensure the forks do not puncture the cab of the truck causing injury. Be sure all loose parts and pieces that could fall or blow off the forklift are secured down or removed before transport.

If you have concerns about transporting a forklift or other types of heavy equipment, it is best to leave it to the professionals. In most cases, when purchasing a new or used forklift from your dealership the local transportation is included. If you are purchasing from an individual, contact your local dealership for a quote to move the equipment.

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