Tricks Of The Trade: Forklift Damage Issues

By B. Kevin Folsom, CEP
Published in the September 2013 issue of Today’s Facility Manager

QWe are dealing with constant maintenance issues in our distribution center concerning rack and equipment protection, specifically due to forklift damage. We use bollards to protect critical areas in the distribution center. However these bollards become damaged, and often the concrete is broken, which leads to a new maintenance problem.

Are there any better methods of protection from the overzealous forklift driver? We have used both surface mounted and cored versions of guard posts, but eventually even the floor gives way. Are there flexible products to use?

Frank Olowniuk
Facility Manager
Stafford, TX

AA facility that does not move and heavy equipment that does move do not get along very well. All the bumpers in the world can’t stop everything.

In my humble opinion, you need more forklift operator training, discipline, and/or industrial engineering review. This kind of engineering review can look at your operation for efficiency and safe working practices. Still, placing bollards throughout the facility cannot prevent all damage from occurring.

As far as a product that can help mitigate damage, if you do an Internet search for flexible bollards, there are a number of items on the market that might fit your needs.