Specialist tow trucks are routinely used to transport forklifts from one construction site to another. In most cases, the forklift is loaded onto a trailer and this trailer is then attached to the tow truck.
Due to the enormous combined weight of the truck and the machinery, it is important for drivers of these trucks to be extremely cautious during their road journeys. Here are two ways that road accidents can be prevented during machinery transport operations.
By driving with extreme care
Drivers of small vehicles can sometimes get away with slightly riskier driving choices, such as making sudden, sharp turns or overtaking another vehicle on a busy road. Most of the time, these decisions will not result in a road accident.
However, this is not the case for those driving powerful, bulky tow trucks that are carrying heavy construction equipment. Reckless driving of this type of vehicle could quite easily result in a serious collision. As such, it is important for those tasked with driving vehicles of this kind to avoid taking any risks during their road journeys.
Drivers of tow trucks carrying forklifts should be very familiar with the routes they are taking; this will enable them to anticipate upcoming turns and ensure that they have plenty of time to slow down before they reach any corners. This is crucial, as the momentum created by abruptly swinging a heavy vehicle around an unexpected sharp turn would almost certainly result in the driver losing control of the vehicle.
Where possible, drivers should also choose routes which are free from steep inclines, as the weight of the forklift could lead to the vehicle being pulled backwards, down the slope. This, in turn, could result in a potentially fatal collision.
By ensuring that the tow truck is well-maintained
A tow truck that is used to transport a forklift needs to be in excellent condition. If it is not, there is a very good chance that it will cause a road accident. If, for example, the brakes suddenly fail when the driver is attempting to stop the vehicle at a crossroad, they could hit and seriously injure another road user.
As such, tow truck drivers should ensure that their vehicles are well cared for. The brake fluid and brake pads should be replaced on a regular basis and drivers should practice basic tyre maintenance.
The latter is particularly important, as the weight of the tow truck itself and the forklifts it transports can lead to the tyres wearing or deflating very quickly. These issues could, in turn, increase the likelihood of a tyre blowout occurring whilst the vehicle is on the road. As such, the tyres' tread depth and pressure levels should be checked, and any necessary adjustments should be made, before each journey.