What You Should Know About Rough Terrain Forklifts

rough terrain forkliftRough terrain forklifts, off road forklifts and heavy-duty lifts are essential for large construction projects. They’re also used by roadway crews, surveying companies and similar enterprises. These powerful machines lift heavy loads across uneven, rocky surfaces. It’s no wonder they’ve become the go-to equipment for so many different industries. From construction sites to highways, dockyards to beaches, rough terrain forklifts are essential to the success of so many different kinds of projects.

Do you use rough terrain lifts? If so, you need to provide rough terrain forklift certification for all of your rough terrain forklift operators. ForkliftCertification.com (FLC) leads the way with affordable, OSHA compliant training and certification. Sign up to avoid expensive OSHA fines and penalties.

What are Rough Terrain Forklifts and Off Road Forklifts

Designed to travel across uneven terrain, rough terrain forklifts are just like regular warehouse forklifts, in some ways. Functionally, they’re very similar. Each has forks, tires, cabin controls, safety mechanisms, the whole works. But rough terrain lifts are specifically designed to handle all kinds of surfaces, not to mention variable outdoor conditions. There are three main types: truck/trailer mounted, variable reach, and vertical mast lifts. The next time you pass by a road construction site, try looking for them. 

Rough terrain forklifts are suitable for a wide range of surfaces. Roads, beaches, and building sites are all easily matched by these powerful machines. Workers use these forklifts to transport heavy loads across uneven surfaces. The tires are specifically designed for easy maneuvering on rough terrain, which makes the lift truck more functional and safer to use. 

These kinds of lifts are characterized by their large, oversized wheels and heavy duty forks. A rugged powertrain is designed to handle heavy loads – some over 7,000 pounds – and protective cabin accessories help workers stay safe no matter the weather conditions. That’s why OSHA classifies them as Class VII.

Next time you drive by a road construction site, try to spot a rough terrain forklift. They’re also common at construction sites, as they help move material into place.

 In the OSHA classification of forklifts, rough terrain forklifts and off-road forklifts are Class VII.

How to Operate a Rough Terrain Forklift

Operationally, rough terrain trucks are similar to regular Class I and Class II forklifts. However, extra caution is required due to the following variables:

  • Terrain Track
  • Weather
  • Load size
  • Other equipment vehicles nearby
  • Special OSHA safety standards for rough terrain forklifts
  • And more

One important factor to note with this type of lift: according to OSHA’s own Rough Terrain Forklift e-Tool: “the term ‘rough terrain’ does not imply that the forklift can be safely operated on every conceivable type of terrain.” It’s important to always survey the route before getting started. While these forklifts can manuever well over bumpy ground, size must be kept in mind. Because rough terrain forklifts are so large, encountering obstacles can become challenging. Walking the path before you drive it can help you spot obstacles that might negatively impact your route. Driving slow and steady can ensure operators and their cargo arrive to their destination safely.

 The processes of lifting, maneuvering, etc. are common with regular lifts, but given the hazardous conditions often associated with outdoor work, it’s imperative that your crew gets the proper training & certification to operate these special lifts. Without certification, OSHA could fine your company thousands of dollars!

Rough Terrain Certification Requirements

All rough terrain forklift operators are required to be certified before they begin work. All Class VII (rough terrain and off road forklifts) fall under OSHA standard 1910.178, but most companies lack the in-house expertise to understand all the ins and outs of this guideline, let alone create a training curriculum based on always-evolving safety data and rules.

With our Training Kit, we’ll get your employees up to speed with the latest OSHA info regarding rough terrain forklifts. A typical FLC course for rough terrain lifts includes, but is not limited to:

  • Driving outdoors
  • Safety considerations on construction sites
  • Navigating over rough terrain
  • Safe driving speeds
  • Rough terrain forklift operator requirements
  • Using safety controls
  • Inspections & maintenance

Interested in having your own certified trainer to train & certify new drivers? Get our Train a Trainer course today! 

Why Rough Terrain Forklift Training Matters

Construction sites have their own share of dangers. Having an uncertified operator increases the chances of injuries or even fatalities. Rough terrain forklift training can help educate workers about the risks associated with this equipment and help them avoid accidents on the job. Proper training can also help employees use forklifts as efficiently as possible. A trained worker is a productive worker.

OSHA takes training and certification violations seriously. Fines for non-compliance often reach into the tens of thousands of dollars. In fact, according to a recent survey by our sister training company, CertifyMe.net, many companies were fined over $100,000 for negligence!

Safety is simply too important to overlook with rough terrain forklifts. Make sure you’re OSHA compliant with FLC and sign up for our certification programs today.

Rough Terrain Forklift FAQs

Still have questions about how rough terrain forklifts are used? Here are a few answers to some of the most frequently asked questions on the subject. 

How Fast Do Rough Terrain Forklifts Move?

While most forklifts can reach speeds of 20 miles per hour, rough terrain forklifts are generally much slower. Their size and carrying capacity means operators must take it easy when moving cargo. It is recommended that rough terrain operators travel no faster than five miles per hour.

How Much Weight Can a Rough Terrain Forklift Carry?

These powerful machines can lift upwards of 55,000 pounds. Maximum capacity varies by model, though, so always be sure to check the manufacturer’s recommendations before attempting to lift excessive loads.

Can You Drive a Rough Terrain Forklift Indoors?

While it’s certainly possible to drive a rough terrain forklift inside a warehouse, it’s not really recommended. Their true power lies in managing uneven surfaces, so using it inside may be overkill for the task at hand.

The Consequences of Not Having Rough Terrain Forklift Certification

Construction sites have their own share of dangers. Having an uncertified operator increases the chances of injuries or even fatalities.

OSHA takes training and certification violations seriously. Fines for non-compliance often reach into tens of thousands of dollars. In fact, according to a recent survey by our sister training company, CertifyMe.net, many companies were fined over $100,000 for negligence!

Safety is simply too important to overlook with rough terrain and off-road forklifts. Make sure you’re OSHA compliant with FLC and sign up for our certification programs today. Select a training package to get started. Should you have any questions about forklift license costs, give us a call at (888) 278-8896 or reach out online.