If you manage a vehicle lot, you probably have a lot of experience moving vehicles, but there are always ways to make your work more safe for employees, the equipment you use, and the vehicles you move. Here are 5 tips you can use to make your operation safer today.
Safe Towing Tips #1: Check Equipment Routinely
Moving vehicles on your lot can only be as safe as the equipment you’re using. You should choose each item carefully, monitor it to make sure it’s serving your needs, and replace it when it’s not working anymore.
- Only use equipment for its intended purpose. If your towing equipment is only meant to be used for certain vehicles, make sure you have the proper attachments to adapt it — don’t attempt to Mcgiver your own accessories.
- Pay careful attention to the weight capacity rating of each piece of equipment, and understand the weight distribution of the vehicle you’re towing and how it affects your towing vehicle, towing speed, and maneuverability.
- Make sure the vehicle you’re towing with meets the weight requirements for the towing equipment with the combined weight of the items being towed.
- Check all equipment before use for loose or missing parts, and to make sure it complies with safety regulations in your workplace.
- Finally, if your towing system doesn’t have a braking system, be sure to install one as a safety precaution prior to towing.
Safe Towing Tips #2: Protect Employees Against Strain and Injury
Your employees must be properly outfitted with equipment and training to protect themselves from strain and injury, and to protect your business from liability.
- Make sure all employees wear protective equipment when operating equipment, such as gloves, sturdy footwear, and eye protection.
- Train employees on how to use equipment effectively and safely, how to identify risks when operating equipment, and how to troubleshoot equipment failure.
- Have a dedicated team member supervising towing that involves multiple employees to direct moving vehicles and to warn the team about potential dangers.
- Keep a first aid kit available and a fire extinguisher handy and make sure employees understand how to use both.
Safe Towing Tips #3: Check Environment for Safety Hazards
Before any vehicles can be moved on your lot, you need to make sure that no safety hazards exist which could derail towing the vehicle or endanger employees.
- Make sure the vehicle being towed is securely attached to towing equipment before moving it. Make it standard procedure to perform a physical check of all straps, bolts, or bars before towing.
- Confirm that no hanging parts will drag on the ground when the vehicle is towed that could damage the vehicle, swing and hit an employee, or create sparks and start a fire.
- Before moving vehicles, make sure the path is clear of debris or obstructions, and be prepared for uneven or sloping terrain.
- Take it slow! It’s better to do the job slowly and effectively than to rush it and risk injury to employees or damage to the vehicle.
Safe Towing Tips #4: Know Your Capabilities (and Limitations)
Not every job will be within your scope, considering your employees and equipment. It’s crucial to recognize when a job is beyond your capabilities and when to seek resources or assistance.
- Don’t just muscle vehicles around, you may injure your employees or cause damage to the vehicle.
- Call a professional when the job is out of your depth. It’s better for the company in the long term to deal with the extra expense than to risk liability.
- Identify areas where the company could benefit from better training or better equipment and weigh the costs of the improvements over the potential gains from increased capability.
Safe Towing Tips #5: Invest in Efficient Tools
Once you’ve identified areas where your business could improve its efficiency, invest in the right tools and equipment to help you get there.
- Invest in equipment that will save time and effort for employees or improve workplace safety. A forklift towing attachment can achieve all of these:
A forklift towing attachment can be operated by one person with a little training, and is a reliable tool for moving vehicles securely. It can better maneuverability than other towing options, and does the job much faster than a wrecker and safer than a tow dolly. If you have to move a lot of vehicles on your lot, this can add up into serious savings for your business.
Looking for a safe way to move around vehicles on your lot? The Forklift Wrecker is the solution you need. To learn more about how this piece of equipment works to save money for your business, call our team today.
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