Blog 2020 & 2021

Benefits of Electric Forklift Trucks

Benefits of an Electric Forklift TruckIf you are in the market to buy a forklift truck, you have a large number of options to consider. First you have to consider the type of forklift which is ideal for you, depending on the maximum load, maximum height, the turning circle and the environment it will operate in. The types of forklift trucks available are:

Then you to have to decide on the type of fuel from diesel, liquid propane gas (LPG) or Electric.

In recent years we have seen a huge increase in the sale of electric cars (about 148% up from last year), although from a low base, and about 30% decrease in the sale of diesel cars. Similarly, there has been a huge increase in the sale of electric forklift trucks compared to diesel and LPG. In this blog we will look at the benefits of electric forklift trucks which include:

1. Ease of Use

Electric forklifts offer a smooth and comfortable drive. It has no clutch and hence is much easier to drive like an automatic car. The electric forklift is operated with steering wheel and an accelerator. The overall experience of driving electric forklift truck has been said to reduce stress on the operator, allowing the driver to concentrate on his job thus reducing the risk of accidents.

2. Reduced Noise

Like electric cars, electric forklift are a lot quieter than diesel and LPG as it does not have an internal combustion engine. Hence the only noise is from the tyres. However, quieter forklifts may be deemed a disadvantage as it does not warn others employees that it is approaching. With the correct safety procedures in place, the quietness of electric forklift trucks should not be a disadvantage and it also enables the driver to hear other employees and vehicles better thus reducing the risks of accidents.

3. Reduced Operating Costs

Although the initial investment may be higher for electric forklift trucks, the lifetime cost is lower as the operating cost is lower. Electric forklift trucks have fewer mechanical components hence the servicing and maintenance cost is lower. It does not need regular oil or coolant changes. The battery does need to be regularly maintained through cleaning and servicing to ensure your forklift operates at an optimum level of efficiency. Also the cost of electricity is less than diesel and LPG, which needs ordering and storage.

4. No Pollution – Zero Carbon Dioxide Emissions

Electric forklift trucks emit no carbon dioxide and therefore it is environmentally friendlier. It is better for the driver and other workplace employees. When it comes to warehouse ventilation, there is no need for expensive ventilation solutions or you do not need to keep the warehouse doors open for ventilation and thus reduce heating bills. This makes it ideal for use in food processing industry.

5.0 Extended Operating Times

The introduction of lithium batteries have revolutionised the electric forklift sector.  They are great for increasing operating times between battery charges. Consequently, they are becoming more commonplace.  Lithium cells also have the added benefit in that they can be opportunity charged in-between shifts or during breaks without any damage to the cells. More companies are making the switch to electric power as a result.

There are numerous other advantages of using an electric forklift truck. They can be used indoors and outdoors, the three wheelers offer small turning circle and better rear visibility. Electric power is available on all types of forklift trucks. Electric forklift trucks can be used on most jobs except for the highest of the loads and tallest heights to be reached.

Wallace School of Transport is a fully accredited RTITB company with over 50 years' experience. You can be trained either at your own work site or at Wallace Centre in Park Royal. If you have any questions, call Wallace Forklift Training for free on 0800 612 8948, choose option 3 or click here to email us.


COVID-19 compliant forklift trainingUpdated COVID-19 HSE Guidelines for Forklift Truck Training

We wrote a blog, “Wallace Forklift Training is Open for Business” in March 2020 during the first lockdown following advice from Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Road Transport Industry Training Board (RTITB) and Association of Industrial Truck Drivers (AITT). The HSE has revised and updated its advice which is summarised in this blog. HSE has confirmed that urgent and essential forklift operator training can continue during the current lockdown and hence Wallace Forklift Training is open for business.

HSE advises that employers should ensure that all staff who operate a forklift truck are adequately trained. These include initial or refresher training for new starters, refreshers for existing staff or when existing staff use new types of equipment. A forklift lift truck operator should be routinely monitored and go on a refresher or retest, usually every 3-5 years. This is a best way to make sure that the forklift operator remains competent.

To manage the risks of COVID-19 transmission, HSE has advised employers and forklift training providers to consider;

  • if the training needs to be done urgently, based on their own assessment of forklift drivers’ competence and experience;
  • If there are other qualified forklift drivers with the appropriate training who could carry out the tasks on a short-term basis;
  • Checking prior to training commencing that no one is exhibiting Covid-19 symptoms;
  • Providing a system for separate entry and exit points from sites so that social distancing can be maintained
  • Minimising touch points and shared contact surfaces, such as pens, pointers, or touch screens;
  • To have easy and safe access to toilets and handwashing facilities with hot and cold running water, and that handwashing is carried out at regular intervals;
  • How social distancing can be maintained. This may mean reducing class size if suitable distancing cannot be maintained;
  • Sanitising shared surfaces such as equipment controls between users;
  • Providing fresh air ventilation wherever possible by opening windows or doors. Mechanical ventilation should not be set to air recirculation mode;
  • Use of alternative learning methods such as e-learning or webinars where practicable;
  • Minimising face to face work wherever possible.

Wallace School of Transport has over 50 years’ experience and has dedicated facilities for training on all types of forklifts including Counterbalance, Reach. Pivot Steer and Truck Mounted (also called MOFFETT). Ruth Wallace of Wallace School of Transport said, "we do not use brokers/agents and contractors and hence have complete control of all the processes. This enables us to follow HSE guidelines for safety of our staff and customers".

Click here to follow Government Guidance on COVID-19.

Wallace School of Transport is a fully accredited RTITB company with over 50 years' experience. You can be trained either at your own work site or at Wallace Centre in Park Royal. If you have any questions, call Wallace Forklift Training for free on 0800 612 8948, choose option 3 or click here to email us.


Truck Mounted Forklift Truck Operating Skills Enhances Job Prospects

Truck Mounted Forklifts have been around for over 40 years. It was invented by Cecil Moffett of Clontibret, Ireland and have revolutionised the logistics industry. Truck Mounted Forklift is commonly known as Moffett after its inventor and is located on a back of a lorry or trailer without taking up load space. The Truck Mounted Forklift is based on counterbalance principal but the wheels are moved forward under the load, resulting in the fulcrum being further forward, thus reducing the need for heavy counterweight.

Truck Mounted Forklift - Moffett - Wallace Forklift Training

The benefits of Truck Mounted Forklift include:

  • Costs and Labour Saving – Without Truck Mounted Forklift, some of your customer will have to hire a forklift or borrow one. Either way you will still need a certified driver. With Truck Mounted Forklift, the lorry driver also operates the forklift. This saves time and money. Even if your customer has a forklift, having a Truck Mounted Forklift means that the company’s forklift can keep working on its usual job. It is estimated that for some jobs, Truck Mounted Forklift delivery compared to HIAB could be up to 70% cheaper.
  • Health and Safety – With no forklift on site, the only option is to offload the lorry by hand. This could cause injury even with moderately light loads, resulting in staff taking time off work.
  • Speed and Ease of Operation – Truck Mounted Forklift can be dismounted and ready to use in as little as a minute. They are easy to use and eliminate manual handling as the load can be precisely and safely positioned by the operator in almost any location. Time is money and manually handling is clearly slow.   HIAB (acronym for Hydrauliska Industri AB) or Crane Loader is also slow as it takes time to unload every pallet using lifting chains. Each time lifting chains have to be attached and removed when using a HIAB, while on Truck Mounted Forklift offloading is quick and easy.
  • Access and Manoeuvrability – Truck Mounted Forklift is lighter, more agile/manoeuvrable, and can be used in places where accessibility is difficult such as construction and off-road sites. For example, if you are delivering a load of bricks at a construction site which is difficult for a lorry to reach, then a HIAB can only offload the bricks by the side of the road but a Truck Mounted Forklift can take the bricks all the way to the construction site. A Truck Mounted Forklift has all wheel drive with diff locks and large diameter pneumatic tyres and hence can tackle rough terrain.

Truck Mounted Forklifts are popular in a number of sectors including:

  • beverage logistics,
  • recycling material transportation,
  • delivery of technical and medical gases,
  • agriculture
  • delivery to live events,
  • builder and timber merchants - delivering building materials, plasterboard, insulation & wood.
  • pet food, bird seed & agricultural feed distribution,
  • palletised distribution
  • landscape and gardening

Drivers with Truck Mounted Forklift certification often earn more because their qualifications and skills increase productivity for their employer who can reward them accordingly.

If you planning to get HGV/LGV/lorry licence, then why not get a Truck Mounted Forklift / Moffett certification as well for a small additional cost. Contact Wallace School of Transport on 020 8453 3440 or 0800 612 8948

If you need a driver with Truck Mounted Forklift / Moffett operating skills or would like to get a Truck-Mounted Forklift qualification, or if you’ve got the qualification and are looking for work we can help. Call Wallace School of Transport – 0208 453 3440 ask for Russell

If you are a lorry driver and would like to enhance your skills and job prospects by getting Truck Mounted Forklift / Moffett certification, then Wallace Forklift Training can help you. Call Wallace Forklift Training for free on 0800 612 8948, choose option 3 or click here to email us

Wallace School of Transport is a fully accredited RTITB company with over 50 years' experience. You can be trained either at your own work site or at Wallace Centre in Park Royal. If you have any questions, call Wallace Forklift Training for free on 0800 612 8948, choose option 3 or click here to email us.


Risks Involved in Loading LGV using Forklift Trucks

Forklift Truck loading LGV/HGVLoading and unloading Large Goods Vehicle (LGV) or Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) is an everyday task for most logistic companies and warehouses, but it is fraught with dangers if not executed properly. Loading and unloading a LGV/HGV is usually done by forklift trucks and takes place where there are other moving vehicles and pedestrians, although these should be kept to a minimum or eliminated completely if possible to reduce the risk of accidents. A forklift operator should be aware of the risks involved with the type of vehicle they are loading or unloading, such as the characteristics of trailer suspension movement and ensure that the LGV/HGV is securely parked. Also moving heavy loads at height adds to the risks.

RTITB has recently published a blog highlighting the five top tips for safe loading of LGV/HGV with forklift trucks. Here is a summary of the top tips.

1) Training

All forklift operators involved in loading and unloading must have received appropriate training by an RTITB accredited instructor and should train across all three stages – Basic, Job Specific and Familiarisation. The company must ensure that the forklift operator certificate is valid. If expired, a re-fresh and re-certification is required. The forklift operator must be aware of the risks involved. A fully trained forklift operator will not only improve load handling safety and reduce damage but also maximise productivity and ensure compliance with relevant regulations.

2) Be Prepared

The essential part of forklift operator training is to understand what is required before loading or unloading begins. The operator must take personal responsibility for their own safety and should not rely on others to make necessary checks and take appropriate safety steps. Site specific guidelines on policies and procedures regarding loading and unloading must be in place.

Before loading or unloading begins, the vehicle or trailer must be properly secured. The safety procedures should include:

  • ensuring that the LGV/HGV parking brakes are on,
  • neutral is engaged,
  • engine is switched off
  • keys removed
  • wheels chocked and any stabilisers or ‘semi-trailer trestles’ such as fifth wheel supports are applied

3) Establish what a ‘Good’ load looks like

Operators need to be trained as to what a ‘good’ load looks like. All loads or pallets should be in a good condition prior to loading. Forklift truck operators must be taught how loads should be securely attached to a pallet and to a vehicle once loaded to prevent it from moving or falling off. Overhanging loads should be avoided if possible.

Uneven loads can make a vehicle unstable and hence loads should be spread as evenly as possible. Consideration should be given to multi drop deliveries so that the LGV/HGV can be loaded in the correct sequence.

During loading, consideration must be given to the unloading process so that the load arrives in a safe and suitable condition. Checks should be made before unloading to make sure no movement has occurred during transit. It is also important that the load will not move or fall when the restrains are removed.

4) Specific Risks

Forklift truck operators loading and unloading LGV/HGV should be aware of the risks involved, which includes knowledge of vehicles they are loading. For example, extra care needs to be taken when loading and unloading unsupported semi-trailers as excessive weight placed over the kingpin may result in the trailer tipping forwards. Also they need to be aware that there is no edge protection if they are loading or unloading curtain-side trailers. Failure to load correctly may lead to upending or damaging the trailer, collapsing the landing gear, lateral instability, trailer suspension movement, load bed damage or working at height incidents all of which pose a serious risk to safety. Forklift operators should be trained with an understanding of how to assess and reduce these risks.

5) Understanding of Other Equipment a Forklift Truck operator may come across

Forklift operators must be aware of the other equipment that they will come across and the risks involved, such as ramps, dock bridging platforms and goods lifts. Safety checks should be made before using these equipment. They must be able to check if the equipment is compatible with the vehicle or trailer, how to secure it properly so that is doesn’t move and how to securely fit any edge protection. They should check the maximum load permissible on ramps, platforms and lifts and ensure that the combined weight of their truck and the load does not exceed the maximum load.

There are numerous other risks involved in loading and unloading a LGV/HGV vehicle. Appropriate forklift training should mitigate these risks.

Click here to read the full RTITB blog.

Wallace School of Transport is a fully accredited RTITB company with over 50 years' experience. You can be trained either at your own work site or at Wallace Centre in Park Royal. If you have any questions, call Wallace Forklift Training for free on 0800 612 8948, choose option 3 or click here to email us.


Wallace Forklift Training offers Pivot Steer Truck training

Pivot Steer Forklift Truck training also known as Bendi or Flexi trucks

To keep up to date with the latest trends, Wallace Forklift Training has invested in a Pivot Steer Forklift Truck, also known as Bendi (manufacturer’s name) or Flexi truck. Wallace Forklift Training are pleased to offer training on all three types of forklifts, namely Pivot Steer, Reach and Counterbalance at its dedicated forklift training facility at Park Royal in London. Alternately, we can also train you at your own site.

What’s special about the Pivot Forklift trucks is that they bend in the middle. In other words, they are articulated. The forks are on a pivot which can be moved to the left or the right and can be at a complete right angle to the body where the operator sits (on top of the batteries). The versatile Pivot Forklift truck has the speed of a Counterbalance truck with the high lifting capacity of a Reach truck and can operate in very narrow aisles (VNA) which allows warehouse and distribution companies to increase capacity on their existing site without paying extra rent or rates and without the expense of moving to bigger premises. Another advantage of Pivot Steer forklift truck is that they are legally allowed to lift their load as they move – something not allowed in Reach trucks. This cuts the time they need to position a load on a shelf. It’s estimated that this increases productivity by up to 15%.

The graphics below clearly shows the advantages of the Pivot Steer forklift truck’s ability to operate in a VNA. In a typical warehouse you could have upto 77 bays of racking if you use Pivot Steer forklift, compared with 60 for Reach trucks and 46 for Counterbalance trucks. 

Advantages of Pivot Steer Forklift Truck also known as Bendi or Flexi Trucks

Due to the benefits of Pivot Steer forklift trucks, they are currently outselling Counterbalance and Reach machines. Of course, it’s going to take many years for the traditional and trusty Counterbalance and Reach forklifts to be completely phased out as there are still many machines in use every day. However, more and more people who want forklift qualifications are deciding to get training and certificates to operate all three machines.

Having all three Counterbalance, Reach and Pivot Steer (or even two Counterbalance and Pivot or Reach and Pivot) opens up more job opportunities. For example, looking at job vacancies on Reed.co.uk, over a quarter of the jobs advertise want Pivot Operators (or a combination of Pivot and Counterbalance and/or Reach).

If you are planning to get forklift training, make sure it also includes Pivot Steer forklifts as it will improve your future job prospects.

Wallace School of Transport is a fully accredited RTITB company with over 50 years' experience. You can be trained either at your own work site or at Wallace Centre in Park Royal. If you have any questions, call Wallace Forklift Training for free on 0800 612 8948, choose option 3 or click here to email us.


Forklft and Pedestrians – Safe Working Distances

Forklift accidentsWelcome back to Wallace Forklift Training blogs. Although our forklift training has been operational throughout the COVID-19 lockdown as forklift drivers were deemed key workers, some of our admin staff had a break.

In this blog, we look at the safety of pedestrians working in the vicinity of forklift operations. In UK, about 1300 workers are injured each year by forklift truck accidents. According to RIDDOR, 75% of these are impact with pedestrians that were completing tasks unrelated to the forklift truck operation.  In our July 2019 blog titled Fatal Forklift Truck Accident reported by Health and Safety Executive (HSE), we highlighted the case of Christine Workman who was struck by a forklift truck while walking on a designated pedestrian area. Therefore, a question arises that what is a safe distance to work while in vicinity of a forklift operation?

Ideally, there should be no pedestrians in the vicinity of a forklift operation. However this is not is not always possible.  To minimise the risks, some companies opt for generic safe distance rule across the entire site. However, not all tasks are the same and each task has its own risks associated with it. Therefore, each task must have a risk assessment carried out followed by appropriate safe systems of work procedures to minimise the risk of accidents.

A lot of third party injuries occur to colleagues working alongside forklifts. These could be due to falling loads or unstable loads which a colleague is trying to help stabilise. This should never happen as it is likely to lead to severe injuries or even fatalities. A falling load may damage goods but if no one else is in the vicinity, it will not cause injury to the third party.  In the January 2020 blog title Work Related Fatal Injuries Data from HSE, we highlighted a case of Michael Douglas Autosalvage where a forklift was being loaded on to a recovery vehicle. The metal ring on the forklift truck that the winch wire was attached to failed, causing fatal injuries to a third party.

Another key issue to avoid accidents is to ensure that the forklift driver as well as all workers are well trained and are aware of the risks associated with forklift operation.

Wallace School of Transport is a fully accredited RTITB company with over 50 years' experience. You can be trained either at your own work site or at Wallace Centre in Park Royal. If you have any questions, call Wallace Forklift Training for free on 0800 612 8948, choose option 3 or click here to email us.


March 2020 - Coronavirus (Covid-19) – Wallace Forklift Training is Open for Business

Following guidance from Health and Safety Executive (HSE), RTITB and Association of Industrial Truck Trainers (AITT), Wallace Forklift Training is open for business and will continue training new operators and those who need requalification. Forklift operators are deemed key workers to keep the country functioning.

Adam Smith, the Managing Director of AITT says:

“Forklift operator training is required by law and employers have a legal obligation to ensure the safety of their staff. During this time, those who supply essential items such as food and medical resources are classed as critical workers, so it is extremely important that they receive appropriate training on the equipment they are required to use.

Conversion training may also be necessary where workers are having to change roles or work with different equipment, as businesses adapt ways of working to new circumstances. Employers must be vigilant and ensure that operators are not complacent on site. Goods are crucial right now and companies cannot risk damage and downtime caused by reckless operation.”

All new forklift truck operators must be fully trained to avoid accidents at this critical time. Those who need requalification training may extend the validity of current certificates by up to 3 months, provided they can demonstrate that training could not take place for reasons associated directly with coronavirus such as closure of training facilities, unavailability of trainers or complying with advice on isolation and social distancing.

Ruth Wallace of Wallace School of Transport says “It is our duty to take care of welfare and safety of all our staff and customers and will follow government guidance on coronavirus (COVID-19) including social distancing, washing hands and frequently cleaning and disinfecting objects and surfaces that are touched regularly. We are proud to do our part to keep the country functioning”

Click here to view the HSE statement regarding forklift Training

Click here to view the Government Guidance on coronavirus

Wallace has a dedicated facilities for training forklift drivers at Park Royal or can carry out training at your own site.

Wallace School of Transport is a fully accredited RTITB company with over 50 years' experience. You can be trained either at your own work site or at Wallace Centre in Park Royal. If you have any questions, call Wallace Forklift Training for free on 0800 612 8948, choose option 3 or click here to email us.


Forklift Safety from Forklift Training LondonJanuary 2020 - Work Related Fatal Injuries Data from HSE

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) recently released annual figures for work-related fatal injuries for 2018/19. The data revealed that 147 workers were fatally injured, which is at a rate of approximately 1 worker per 200,000. There was an increase of 6 fatalities over the previous year, although the number has remained broadly level in recent years.

The fatal workplace injuries are spread across different sectors, with agriculture, forestry, fishing and waste and recycling seeing the largest fatalities with 32 deaths. This sector accounts for a small fraction of the workforce but has 20% of worker fatalities. The three most common causes of fatal injuries which account for 60% of the injuries are:

  • Workers falling from height (40)
  • Being struck by a moving vehicle (30)
  • Being struck by a moving object (16)

The HSE data also highlights risks to older workers. Workers aged 60 or over account for 10% of the workforce but 25% of the fatal injuries were to this age group.

In addition to the above figures, 92 members of the public were fatally injured in incidents connected to work.

One fatal accident that may be of interest to our customers took place at Michael Douglas Autosalvage Ltd in Carlisle. A customer had purchased a lift truck from the salvage company which was being loaded onto a recovery vehicle. The metal ring on the lift truck that the winch wire was attached to failed, causing the lift truck to fall and trap the customer against the skip lorry. The HSE found that the company had failed to ensure that the lifting process was properly planned by a competent person and failed in its duty not to expose customers to risk. Michael Douglas Autosalvage Ltd was fined £23,000 and ordered to pay costs of £8000.

For more information, click here for link to HSE site.

Wallace School of Transport is a fully accredited RTITB company with over 50 years' experience. You can be trained either at your own work site or at Wallace Centre in Park Royal. If you have any questions, call Wallace Forklift Training for free on 0800 612 8948, choose option 3 or click here to email us.