Everything You Need to Know about Forklift Speed

When it comes to operating forklifts, the number one priority should be safety. One requirement would be for your operators to maintain a safe speed at all times. While there’s no set speed limit for all forklifts, there are some general guidelines that should be followed to keep operators, pedestrians, and loads safe.


What’s a Safe Speed?

The optimal safe speed for forklifts in your business is determined by a number of factors such as:

  • Type of forklift
  • Work Environment
  • Surface conditions
  • Manufacturers speed recommendations
  • Types and weight of the loads
  • Pedestrian traffic


A general rule of thumb is to set the speed limit at five miles per hour but setting speed limits on forklifts is subjective. In most cases, determining the optimal speed limit in your operation is a trial and error scenario. If the speed limit is set too low, it can slow down production, but if set too high, it can cause accidents. If your operators are moving loads from the outside to the inside, or vice versa, slower speeds will expose them to the weather for longer periods of time.


Keep your Distance

Forklift speed is also related to stopping distance. Like driving a car, it’s important when operating a forklift to maintain a safe distance between you and other vehicles.  The important factor here is stopping distance. Determining a forklift's safe stopping distance can help you set safe forklift speed limits in the facility, since you'll be able to estimate how long it takes to stop at certain speeds.


Controlling Speed

There are ways to control the speed of your forklifts. Obviously, setting and enforcing a fixed speed limit is an option, and placing speed limit signs throughout your facility can be somewhat effective. The installation of speed bumps can also slow the lifts down to a safe operating speed. In addition, there are speed control units you can add to your forklifts that will electronically limit the speed of the lift.


Safety is Number One

Each business has unique needs. Consider the role that forklift speed plays at your facility for both production and operator safety, and establish the correct speed limits for your business.


If you need any assistance in establishing safety standards for your forklift operators, check with the professionals at Ring Power Lift Trucks. We are the premier forklift dealer in Florida with a broad range of forklifts as well as other materials handling equipment. We represent all of the leading forklift manufacturers and can work with you to select a new or used forklift for your operation. We also offer short term and long term forklift rentals. We serve Jacksonville, Sarasota, and many other locations in Florida, and our service go beyond sales and rentals. We can also supply you with forklift parts and service to minimize your downtime.


If you would like any more information about the products or services we offer, visit our website or reach out to us at 877-544-5438.



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