Why would a forklift tip over?

When operated properly, forklifts are a great way to lift and move a variety of different types of objects in the workplace. They can safely transport pallets loaded with just about anything one can imagine, and bring it to the location where it is needed. Forklifts can, however, tip over if they aren’t operated properly. When a forklift tips, it not only puts the materials being transported at risk, but also the forklift operator and anyone working the area. Anyone who is working with, or driving, a forklift should be aware of what types of things can cause them to tip over so that this can be avoided.

Reasons Forklifts Tip

Forklifts are designed to provide a stable way to transport objects. When used according to the proper guidelines, the forklift should never tip over. The following are some of the most common things that can lead to a tip:

  • Overloading the Forklift – Each forklift is rated for a specific amount of weight. Loading it up with more than the rated amount will put the forklift at risk of tipping.
  • Rapid Acceleration in Reverse – When accelerating in reverse it will shift the center of balance, which could lead to a tip. When a forklift is loaded it is important to increase speed slowly.
  • Driving Uphill – Driving uphill can shift the center of balance. It can also cause the load to shift. Both of these can cause the forklift to tip over.
  • Turning Corners Quickly – Going around corners to quickly will cause a forklift to tip over. This can even happen when the forklift is not fully loaded, so always take corners at a low rate of speed.
  • Hitting the Brakes Hard – When traveling fast with a loaded forklift, hitting the brakes hard can cause a tip. This is why a forklift operator needs to be aware of their speed at all times.
  • A Combination of Factors – Multiple minor factors can combine to cause the forklift to tip. For example, when driving up a hill with a forklift that is loaded to near capacity, it is at risk of tipping even if it wouldn’t normally tip with that amount of weight.

There are a many other things that could cause a forklift to tip over. This is why it is so important to provide all forklift operators with comprehensive training on how to safely operate this machine.


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