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Towlift News

Optimize your Warehouse for Winter

12/01/2023

Winter is upon us, bringing cold weather, snow, and ice impacting your warehouse operation. It can be easy to get caught unprepared when the winter season hits. To ensure your operations continue to run smoothly and efficiently, let Towlift help you optimize your warehouse for winter with these helpful tips.

1. Stock up on de-icing materials
Ensure that de-icing materials are in stock and on hand for your employees. Be sure that scoops, salt spreaders/sanders, or other plowing tools are readily accessible.

Ice and snow can result in slips and falls for employees and can make operating heavy machinery dangerous. Proper snow clearing and de-icing should be performed before employees arrive and during the evening to ensure your crew can work their entire shift safely without having to wait for this process to be completed.

2. Continued Forklift Maintenance
Forklifts can face additional damage during the winter months without a proper maintenance routine. A thorough maintenance routine begins with Towlift Service’s planned maintenance program to provide regular maintenance all year long.

Like any vehicle, drops in temperature can have a negative impact on fluids. To avoid damage over time, malfunctions, and costly repairs, fluids should be flushed and replaced with winterized fluids when necessary.

Proper battery maintenance is equally as important as maintaining your forklift. Cold temperatures can reduce battery life and run time. Preparing for this can affect your productivity ahead of time. Consider additional batteries and charging options to prevent downtime.

After every shift, forklifts should be cleaned of any snow, salt, dirt, or debris and parked in a warm, dry place between use and avoid ice formation.

3. Warehouse Layout & Interior
Is your warehouse allowing cold air to quickly move from the doors and throughout the rest of the building? Considering the configuration of how your shelves and aisles may create wind tunnels, consider moving things around.

Absorbent, slip-resistant rugs, wet floor caution signs, and keeping walkways clear and dry throughout the warehouse interior will ensure the safety of employees, customers, and equipment preventing falls and accidents.

4. Dock & Doors
Keep your loading dock area safe and running smoothly by installing a dock seal or dock shelter.

Dock seals provide airtight closure between your loading dock and truck, keeping the elements out of your warehouse. Dock seals keep out cold temperatures, protect products & cargo, and create a safe work environment.

Dock shelters cover the gap between the dock and the trailer, providing unobstructed access to the trailer. Unlike dock seals, dock shelters do not have an airtight seal and thus put less pressure on the building. Dock shelters also help to create a safe workplace, lower electricity costs, and are less likely to become damaged.

5. Preparing your employees
Regardless of the season, only those trained and licensed in accordance with OSHA standards should be operating a forklift. Employers should evaluate and recertify their employees every three years. Ensure your whole team is up to date on the warehouse’s winter plan, cold weather driving procedures, and general forklift safety.

Providing employees with waterproof jackets, boots, and gloves and refreshing them to dress warm can help keep drivers focused and alert.

Contact the Towlift team to help you prepare for winter!

The Forklift Training Center: For complete training courses, go to towlift.com/training

Forklift Safety Accessories: There are new innovative safety lights and alarms that make others aware of forklifts to keep them at a safe distance. Contact our Parts Department for these items.

PM Inspection Service: Our Planned Maintenance service includes essential safety checks. Contact a Towlift Sales Representative for pricing.

Warehouse Safety Products: We sell barrier products such as guardrails, rack protectors, and dock accessories to make your forklift areas safer. Talk to a Towlift Sales Representative.

Forklift Batteries & Chargers: Towlift recommends Wilson Barrett as the expert on forklift batteries and chargers. Contact them today!

We’re here to help.

OPERATIONAL SAFETY RESOURCES