Individuals who are going through order picker training are taught to guard against the different conditions that can put them at risk of overloading the lift vehicle. This article discusses some of those risk factors that order picker operators are trained to identify and avoid.
Loads on Additional Platforms
Order pickers can have an extra platform connected to them in case more loads need to be carried. That extra platform has its own load limit that should not exceed the maximum capacity of the lift truck when the primary platform has also been loaded.
The order picker can be inadvertently overloaded when the operator places heavy loads towards the end of the additional platform instead of closer to the centre of gravity of that lift vehicle. This way of positioning the loads can exert an excessive strain on the stability of the vehicle until it reaches a point of toppling over. Operators are therefore encouraged to position the loads as far away from the edge of the additional platform as possible.
The Operator's Weight
Another risk factor for overloading the additional platform, and the order picker in general, occurs when operators forget to account for the effect of their own weight when they are loading the extra platform. It is very easy for an operator to keep track of the total weight of the items that he or she is placing on the extra platform without adding his or her own weight to that total. The operator's weight can therefore cause the order picker to be overloaded. Care must be taken to account for your weight so that the total load carried by the order picker stays within the safe limit.
Order pickers can also be overloaded if the variation of the safe loads based on the platform height isn't considered. Different maximum load ratings are normally given for the different heights at which the platform is raised. For example, a safe load when the platform is a few feet from the ground may be unsafe when that platform is at the maximum possible height. You must therefore keep adjusting the maximum loads that you carry based on the desired platform height as you are moving the order picker.
As you can see, it is easy for the order picker to be overloaded and unstable depending on the circumstances under which you are operating. It is therefore important for you to undergo extensive order picker training so that you can get all the skills and knowledge that is required for you to react correctly to the different workplace conditions.