We have already spoken on other occasions of the different types of elevators that are used to meet the vertical transport needs in buildings. Today, however, we will see in more detail the main characteristics of one of them: the forklifts. The objective is to know their different characteristics and options and the regulations that affect each one.
What are forklifts
Forklifts are auxiliary machines moved by hydraulic groups or electric motors that can be used both for goods and people transport. They are vertical movement platforms that have different stop levels defined previously . Depending on the forklift type, it is subject to compliance with specific regulations that guarantee the safety of people and the good condition of the facilities for as long as possible.
Types of forklifts
There are three types of forklifts:
- Exclusive for merchandise.
- To transport people and loads, that is, mixed .
- Lifts reduced mobility , or what is the same, forklifts for people. Especially used in small farms or single-family homes, they are very versatile and have a reduced speed.
This type of elevators can be used both outside and inside your property. They are installed both for residential use and in warehouses, hotels, shops and other businesses. Depending on the load that transports, one can speak of minicargas or dumbwaiter, which house a load not exceeding one hundred kilograms of weight and which is common both in the hotel trade and in homes. You can also talk about forklifts of any kind up to ten tons of weight or car, which support between 2500 and 3500 kg of weight.
What advantages do forklifts have?
The evolution of these systems implies a series of advantages, due to their ability to adapt to different needs:
- Quick installation and start-up .
- Little maintenance , mainly if it is used for merchandise.
- Low energy consumption due to the evolution of engines and systems with more energy efficiency.
- Security , since they have systems of parachute valves or detection in the doors.
- Resistance to be able to transport large weights and withstand the blows derived from loading and unloading operations.
- Custom designs can be made to fit the needs of each client.
Therefore, it can be concluded that regardless of the activity of a business or the needs in a single-family home or a farm with few neighbors, you can find the forklift that best suits your needs.
Forklift regulations: is yours adapted to current legislation?
As already mentioned, industrial and commercial surfaces that have several levels require systems with which to move goods vertically. These lifting systems are called forklifts and are subject to compliance with their specific regulations.
Royal Decree 2291/1985 and its subsequent annexes, amendments, transpositions and regulations of the common regulations affect lift systems, including forklifts that can partially transport people.
Along with this, each autonomous community regulates mandatory technical inspections that must be overcome at any time, even after making certain modifications or after any type of incident that causes damage to property or people.
In the event that the forklift only transport material goods will be regulated by Royal Decree 1215/1997 . It establishes minimum provisions regarding health and safety for its use by workers and is a continuation of the Prevention of Occupational Risks. This regulation refers to any type of device, machine, installation or instrument that can be used in the workplace. Therefore, forklifts are included in this segmentation.
Regulatory differences between freight elevators and mixed goods
When talking about a forklift, you usually think of a large elevator. It can transport goods and has a chassis that slides through two rigid guides that support in parallel a metal structure anchored in the structure of the building. These systems that can transport both goods and people are of the hydraulic type, although in the case of mixed products they must comply with the regulations of the lifts EN 81-2. In the case of freight elevators exclusively for goods, the application regulations are EN 81-3 .
Any hydraulic forklift is a safe transport provided that it complies with the assembly and maintenance requirements and the applicable regulations, which in each case will condition both the assembly and maintenance.
What obligations employers have
The current legislation regarding forklifts indicates that it is the job of employers to minimize the risks derived from the use of this type of systems or appliances . That is to say, they must avoid that any person who makes use of them runs any type of risk that can be mitigated with an adequate check with certain periodicity. For this to be possible, it is necessary to perform periodic maintenance of the facilities and ensure compliance with the provisions on safety and health.
It should also be noted that it is necessary to train workers in the use of the forklift and show the need to provide the attention it really requires, even if the system is not being used. For this, it is best to have a trusted provider.
Tips to save money on your forklift
If you want to properly maintain the hoist of a building or home for both visitors and residents, customers or employees, it is necessary to follow a set of guidelines. Here are five maintenance tips that ensure that the lift does not suffer sudden stops, break down or crash. Proper maintenance will guarantee its durability.
1. Control of operations You must have a record of the operations carried out on an elevator during repairs. This will allow to track the frequency of use or if there is a problem. If there are strange noises or something unusual in normal operation, it can help the repair service so that you can diagnose the problem as soon as possible.
2. Perform daily inspections You can inspect the elevator checking the absence of acts of vandalism and its proper functioning.
3. Replace the defective equipment Lights, switches and buttons that have different functions in a cabin can be broken or burned. It is very important to ensure that all these elements are repaired by the specialist technical service as soon as possible. This will prevent discomfort and, above all, accidents.
4. Do not use industrial cleaners The internal mechanisms that make up a system with these characteristics are prone to corrosion. One of the most recurrent internal mechanical failures is mainly due to the corrosion caused by industrial cleaners in the maintenance of the facilities. The way in which this corrosion does not occur is avoiding the use of cleaners that have not been endorsed by the technicians.
5. Do not overload the elevator Overloading an elevator can cause a much faster wear of the different mechanisms of operation, assuming a danger to the occupants, which increases as time passes and is used.
Therefore, there is an unwritten rule that says you should avoid transporting any item that weighs more than a quarter of the total maximum capacity of the lift . If vertical transport with a higher weight is needed, consideration should be given to the installation of other equipment that can help cover all needs in a safe manner.
In Astarlifts we advise you on what is your best option in forklifts. Without obligation. Prices vary depending on whether they are going to be used only for goods, in which case they are cheaper, or if they are also going to be used by people, in which case they would need more elements to guarantee safety. We will also propose you to choose some finishes, the number of stops, the measurements of the loads that must be transported and if you opt for a reduced emission of noise. The forklift must be adjusted to the space available with a load capacity between 50 kg and 10 000 kg. Its placement and subsequent start-up is really simple and easy, adapting to any environment.