5 Important Tips for Safe Forklift Operation

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Forklift users are exposed to multiple risks, and a seemingly harmless violation can cause a fatal accident. Because warehouse owners promote a safe and healthy work environment, it’s important to take time to educate employees on proper forklift service and use. To start, below are five tips every warehouse owner should establish when they own or hire forklifts.

Honour the Forklift’s Load Capacity

Over 40 per cent of forklift accidents are due to loading issues. When forklifts are overloaded, the excess weight can cause the machine to tip, creating a danger to the operator and other workers. By respecting the machine’s load capacity and not challenging it for the sake of convenience, workers can stay safe.

Use Attachments Properly

Forklifts have a variety of safety devices. Attachments, for instance, extend the forklift’s function in different applications. Before handling materials, operators should ensure the machine is fitted with the proper accessories to do the job safely and efficiently. Company owners should prepare a list of attachments to help operators assess their options and make the right decisions.

Stay Safe in a Cramped Work Environment

Tightly packed warehouses can sometimes obstruct a forklift operator’s view. A poorly lit building can inhibit visibility, creating the ideal scenario for an accident. When a forklift is in use, the operator should verbally announce his or her presence so hidden workers may take steps to remain safe.

Ensure the Stability and Security of the Load

In some cases, the pallet or rope holding the load may be defective. Regardless of the situation, an unsecured load may fall during transport. To avoid a disaster, encourage forklift operators to test loads for stability before moving them from a stack.

Practise Regular Maintenance and Safe Operation

Workers should use the forklift carefully and remain alert. Forklifts should regularly be checked for proper function, and any problems should be brought to a supervisor’s attention for forklift truck repairs. It is better to be cautious than to compromise the safety and well-being of your workers.

Forklifts are very useful tools for warehouse owners, but they can be dangerous if not properly maintained or incorrectly used. For help in ensuring the safety of workplace machinery, visit Stellar Machinery for all your forklifts service NZ at www.stellarmachinery.co.nz. We look forward to hearing from you!

How to Get Licenced to Operate a Forklift in NZ

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To operate a forklift on the roads of New Zealand, a driver must have the F endorsement on his or her driver’s licence. It is important to note that the licence endorsements and class systems work together and that the licence covers the vehicle’s weight and type. Below is more information on the New Zealand forklift licensing process.

Licence Classes

In NZ, a Class 1 licence with the F endorsement pertains to machines with a loaded weight of less than 18,000kg. Class 2 licencees with the F endorsement may operate warehouse forklifts NZ with a loaded laden weight in excess of 18,000kg. If a driver is not sure if they need the F endorsement, they should call the nearest NZ Transport Agency location.

“Road” Definition

For the purposes of New Zealand’s transport laws, the definition of the term “road” is rather broad. It includes highways and streets, but it also encompasses other places the public can access, such as culverts, bridges, riverbeds, beaches, reserve lands, road shoulders, and wharves. If a person drives a forklift in any of the above areas, the rules of licensing, registration, and driver behaviour apply.

What Does a Driver Need to Get and Do?

If a driver wants to get the F endorsement, they must have a full driver’s licence (other than for motorcycles). The driver must offer proof that he or she has successfully finished a NZ-approved course that teaches specific skills and knowledge relating to safe forklift operation on the road. Approved courses cover licensing requirements only, and employers may require applicants to attend OSH (occupational safety and health) seminars in addition to having the F endorsement.

Finding a Licencing Course Provider

Drivers can find a list of course centres on the website at www.nzta.govt.nz/licence/getting/course-providers/index.html or call the contact centre. It is important for drivers to note that they cannot drive a forklift on a road because they’ve earned a course certificate; they must have the F endorsement on their driver licence.

Forklift Operator Course Outcomes

Courses cover the theory and practice of forklift operation, and they include familiarity, terminology, user responsibility, travel and control skills, loading, unloading, manoeuvring, stacking, and hazards. Upon successful completion, an operator will:

  • Understand the requirements related to operating a forklift on the road
  • Driving procedures and considerations
  • Environmental factors related to safe forklift operation
  • Demonstrate safe and legal forklift operational procedures
  • Applying for the F Endorsement

Drivers can apply for the F endorsement at their nearest driver licensing office (participating agents of Vehicle Inspection New Zealand, Vehicle Testing New Zealand, and Automobile Association. The operator will need to do the following before applying:

Complete the DL19 application (which can be downloaded on www.nzta.govt.nz/form-dl-19)
Provide proof of identity, such as a New Zealand licence, passport, or two other acceptable forms of proof of identity
Provide proof of successful completion of an accredited forklift endorsement certification course
Pay the application fee ($44)
Drivers should note that the F endorsement expires concurrently with their driver licence.

Passing the Eyesight Adequacy Check

Every time a driver applies for a new licence class or endorsement, or renews their licence, they must prove that their eyesight meets the minimum legal standard. To do it, the driver can:

Present a certificate provided by a NZ-registered optometrist (the certificate must be less than 60 days old)
Present a certificate issued by a NZ-registered doctor (again, it must be less than 60 days old, and it must specifically note the driver’s eyesight
Pass a screening check at the nearest driver licencing agent’s office
The agent’s screening machines eliminate the need for drivers to be tested by a doctor or optometrist. However, if the driver does not pass the screening test, they must offer one of the certificates listed above before receiving a new licence. Some operators of warehouse forklifts NZ choose to offer a certificate instead of undergoing a screening before they choose a forklift truck servicing in NZ. Those with vision in one eye only should provide a certificate from an optometrist or doctor.

New Zealand’s requirements for road forklift operators are quite stringent, but the rules keep operators and the public safe. After getting a forklift endorsement on a driver licence, an operator can count on Stellar Machinery (www.stellarmachinery.co.nz) for forklift rental throughout NZ. Contact them to find out how your business can be supported by their wide range of forklift machinery.

Why New Zealand Businesses can Benefit from Forklift Leasing Companies

 

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Forklifts serve as a unique piece of equipment. When they are needed, no other machine can take their place, yet many companies fail to recognise the benefits of having a machine of this type in their facility. Manufacturing plants and lumber yards generally have this equipment on hand, yet they are also of benefit to many other companies, such as those in the construction industry and recycling yards. Obviously, these machines are often seen in retail stores, moving merchandise from location to location. Any company looking to purchase a forklift to reduce their workload should look to forklift leasing companies in NZ to save money on this essential machine.

The Versatility Of Forklifts

One reason forklifts are found in so many industries is they are very versatile machines.The machine is capable of moving a variety of materials, including crates and containers. Heavy loads that need to be moved from location to location on a construction site, such as steel beams and bricks, can easily be transported with the help of a forklift, and a retailer can unload merchandise from a truck and store it in the appropriate location easily with the help of this machine. The forklift may then be employed to stack crates and boxes or pull them down from the storage location to be moved to the sales floor.

Recycling yards benefit from the purchase of this machine, as it easily relocates shredded and/or crushed metal, copper wiring and more to their final destination. Furthermore, optional forklift accessories in NZ may be attached to the forklift, such as a snowplow, to handle tasks that need to be completed less frequently but can be completed in a short period of time with the help of the machine. Regardless of where a person needs to take the forklift, it will easily be moved into the desired position thanks to its maneuverability.

Why Buy Used Forklifts?

Unfortunately, a forklift hire in NZ for a short period of time typically isn’t economical, as the number of times it must be hired adds to the cost significantly, and this is why many companies are now opting to obtain used electric forklifts for sale in NZ or forklifts powered in another way. Doing so saves them money, and the items often are of the same quality. Care must be taken to ensure the forklift has been properly cared for and reconditioned to factory standards. In fact, some new machines have issues as soon as they come off the sales floor, thus there are no guarantees when buying any power equipment.

One benefit you get when you buy used forklifts is maintenance costs tend to be cheaper due to the lower cost of parts. Newer machines have electric motors and onboard computers, and this could lead to a higher cost of maintenance, although this isn’t always the case. Maintenance costs should always be considered when making a purchase of this type, as the low cost of a machine can easily be offset by high maintenance and repair costs over the long term.

Forklift Options

Individuals who choose to buy used forklifts often find the range of options available increases significantly. Understanding these options is critical before a business goes shopping for this item. Some find an electric forklift best meets their needs, as it produces extremely low emissions, the noise level is low compared to other models, and the machine can be charged overnight. Be aware that the maximum load for this type of forklift is 15,000 pounds, which may be a problem for some companies. One major benefit of choosing an electric model is the longevity of the machine. The battery and electric motor can easily be replaced when needed for major cost savings.

Forklifts powered by gas, diesel, or bio-diesel are other options to consider. Proper ventilation precautions must be taken when using these machines indoors, but they are capable of carrying loads up to 35,000 pounds and, sometimes, more. Most are seat operated, and they are typically found in lumber yards, construction sites, manufacturing plants, and other industrial sites. They are ready to go at any time, however, as long as they have fuel.

Pallet Jacks

Certain businesses find they don’t need the power offered by a traditional forklift and turn to a pallet jack instead. The power lifts move and relocate items on pallets and can lift up to 5,000 pounds if the pallet jack is a manual version. Electric-powered pallet jacks can handle up to 8,000 pounds, and one of these may be the best option for a company that doesn’t need to move anything heavier.

Multiple Machines For The Same Price

When a company chooses to buy a used forklift, they may find they are able to buy multiple machines for the same price as one new one. This reduces the workload placed on any one machine and allows a business to increase their productivity. As a result, companies typically see their profits go up when they choose to go this route.

Turn to forklift leasing companies in NZ when the time comes to buy a machine of this type. Stellar Machinery (www.stellarmachinery.co.nz) is a company many businesses count on when they wish to obtain this machine for their organisation. Doing so helps to save time and money while allowing the company to increase productivity. Contact them today to learn what machines they have that may be of benefit to your business and how much you can save by going this route. It never hurts to obtain information and, once you do, you will be ready to buy.

Health and Safety Best Practice in a Warehouse

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Everyone should have the basic right to go out to work and come home healthy and safe. It is the responsibility of business owners to ensure their workplace is as safe as possible. It is equally the responsibility of each person to take every step possible to keep themselves and others safe. Accidents do happen despite preventative measures and when they do there should be a plan in place to minimise further injuries or death.

The transport, postal and warehousing sector has one of the highest rates of workplace death and serious injuries in New Zealand. In 2015 four people died as a result of work in this sector. These four deaths were preventable.

On Monday 4 April 2016, the new Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA) came into effect. For full details of the regulations and how they apply to all persons conducting a business or undertaking’ (PCBU) refer to the PDF of the act available for download at www.legislation.govt.nz.

The act basically requires that all PCBU’s have a duty of care to ensure that their workplace does not pose a risk to the health and safety of employees or members of the public.

Potential hazards for workers in warehousing:
– unsafe practice with forklifts
– failing to stack products in a safe manner
– failure to use personal protective equipment provided
– not following proper procedures
– inadequate fire safety provisions and equipment
– repetitive motion injuries from long hours without breaks

No matter how prepared a workplace environment is or how aware and trained the employees are, accidents can and do happen. The aim is to reduce the incidence and the severity. There are several steps that an organisation can take to increase safety, reduce injury risk and enable a swift response to incidents in a warehouse environment. Simple and basic safety training combined with ongoing improvement and assessment of risks will go a long way towards reducing the incidence of injuries and also their severity.

For New Zealand specific information and guidance you can refer to www.business.govt.nz/worksafe.

When looking at your work environment consider these three questions:
1. Are your personnel equipped with the best personal protective equipment (PPE)?
2. Does your warehouse have first aid and emergency response kits?
3. Does your facility have an action plan?

Personal protective equipment should be the best available and not be somewhere you look to make budget cuts. Providing the equipment is just one step, employees need training to understand their role in correct use of the equipment provided. Should an accident occur the first aid kit needs to be capable of treating the injuries until professional help arrives. With the kits it is important to have several staff trained in emergency first aid. Indeed it would be ideal if all staff could attend regular first aid courses as you never know who will be first on the scene.

With many workplace injuries response time is so important to preventing severe injury and death. In the event of an incident there needs to be a procedure or action plan in place so each employee knows the ‘rules’. Following an incident an evaluation needs to assess what happened and strategies put in place to prevent a recurrence.

One of the biggest injury risks in warehouses can involve forklifts, so make sure your fleet is of a high standard and your employees are well trained and qualified users. At Stellar Machinery we have forklifts for sale as well as a range of second hand forklifts. Visit our website www.stellarmachinery.co.nz for images, information and contact details. If you do not require a forklift full time, consider hiring one, although our used forklifts for sale NZ wide are great value.

A Taste of the Country- What Type of Farm is Right for You

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Considering a move to the New Zealand (NZ) countryside? Maybe you have always dreamed of collecting fresh eggs daily from your own chickens, feeding your kitchen scraps to the pigs, shearing your own flock of sheep to spin their wool and knit the cosiest of jumpers? What about growing all your own fruit and vegetables and working towards being self-sufficient for food?

Life in the country on a farm in NZ can be hard work with almost as many hours needed to maintain a hobby farm as a full scale farm. There will always be fences to repair, animals to move and feed, seeds to sow, harvesting etc. Farms cost money and often the expenses will exceed the earnings for at least the first few seasons depending on the crops grown as they reach maturity e.g. asparagus, nuts or grapevines.

A hobby farm may be called a lifestyle block in New Zealand often characterised by enough land to grow a fair amount of vegetables, room for fruit and or nut trees, keep a small flock of sheep, a large brood of free-range chickens, a couple of pigs, a house cow (for fresh raw milk), couple of beef cows for the freezer, a goat or two for milk and cheese making plus maybe a horse and a few ducks.

A hobby farm may be one you live on or visit regularly but you will also have a main source of income as the farm is just a hobby after all. Hobby farms can be scaled up when you have time for example when you retire or you find the hobby farm actually returns a significant income or living wage and you can quit your job early!

A hobby farm may allow you to grow all your own vegetables so that you don’t have to purchase from a supermarket. You may even find you have a surplus of seasonal vegetables to sell at a local market. If you are selling produce then you will need to keep a track of your costs and sales to work out profits for paying tax.

If you have a dream to live in the country the first thing you should do is write a list of what you need from your farm: livestock, pets, vegetables etc. or maybe you want to consider growing one product such as lavender commercially and using the oil to make natural body products for example. Whatever you decide remember that you will actually spend more hours ‘working’ on your hobby farm than you think you will with a never-ending ‘To-Do’ list or plans for expansion.

So whether you are looking to keep a couple of chickens in a coop or start selling fresh asparagus to the local restaurants on a massive scale, a move to the country could be just what you need to escape the hectic life of the city!

We at Stellar Machinery always have a stock of diesel and electric forklifts for sale both new and second hand forklifts. Visit our website www.stellarmachinery.co.nz for contact details and information on our used forklifts for sale in NZ. If you do not have the budget or need for a forklift full time consider our hire service to meet your needs.