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Your Guide to Forklift Transport

Posted by: admin on March 22, 2022 - how to tow a forklift

Forklifts are not legally classified as automobiles, so they can’t be driven on a road like a vehicle. Forklift transport demands safety and efficiency, which is why we’ve put together this guide. 

An In-Depth Look at Forklift Transport

Forklift transport is one of the most underappreciated skills involved with heavy-duty machinery. While it might not be the most common practice – since most forklifts on site will never leave their general work area – it’s sometimes required to optimize asset workflow, assist in times of peak activity, or undertake forklift moving duties.

If you’re not sure how to move a forklift, or if you need assistance in learning how to transport a forklift, keep reading! also has the OSHA-compliant training courses you need to teach your forklift operators how to maintain a safe, productive workplace. Check out our courses and sign up today! 

How to Safely Transport a Forklift

Some companies specialize in forklift transport and have the necessary equipment to move your forklift to your worksite. However, there may be times when it’s more cost-effective to transport a forklift on your own.

Attention to safety is crucial if you select a company to move your forklift or relocate your lift on your own. If you prioritize safety, you can identify any dangers before you load your lift onto a trailer and take it to a new location. You can also ensure that your lift safely arrives at its final destination, so you can begin using it right away.

Popular Forklift Truck Transport Options

When it comes to forklift transport trailers, there are a number of choices from which to select. Some of the best options for forklift transport include:

1. Flatbed Tow Trailer

A flatbed tow trailer offers a fast, cost-effective option for forklift transport. If you choose this option, ensure the flatbed tow trailer has the weight capacity to accommodate your lift. Also, verify the lift is well-rigged before the trailer departs.

2. Flatbed Tractor Truck

Curious about how to transport a forklift using a tractor truck? It offers ample space and a substantial weight capacity to accommodate one or more forklifts. Additionally, a flatbed tractor truck has a low deck, so it usually has no trouble with clearance when it travels under bridges or tunnels.

3. Tilt Tray Truck

A tilt tray truck can typically carry up to four forklifts, depending on the size of the lifts and their weight. The truck has a tilt tray bed for easy loading and unloading of lifts, too.

4. Automated Tailgate Truck

An automated tailgate truck has a hydraulic-operated tailgate, so the tailgate can be seamlessly lowered and elevated as needed. Like a tilt tray truck, an automated tailgate truck makes forklift transport easy.

Evaluate the aforementioned options closely before you make your final decision regarding forklift transport. This will ensure that you can identify which transport option is suitable based on your forklift’s weight and size. Plus, you can minimize the risk of forklift transport delays or safety issues.

Why Do You Need to Plan Ahead for Fork Truck Transport?

Forklifts are not classified as automobiles, and they can’t be driven on the road. Thus, if you need to get a forklift to a worksite, you need to know how to transport a forklift without putting yourself and others in danger.

It may seem easy to transport a forklift to a worksite, but you need to plan accordingly. If you understand the options available for forklift transport, you can get your forklift to your desired destination as quickly and safely as possible.

Forklift Transport Tips

When it comes to forklift truck transport, err on the side of caution. If you prioritize safety during forklift transport, you can limit the risk of forklift accidents or damage during transport.

How to move a forklift isn’t rocket science. All you need is some common sense, proper safety precautions, and the equipment to make it happen. Without the proper planning and foresight, it’s nearly impossible to safely move a forklift. Now, let’s look at seven forklift towing tips you can do to safely move your forklift to your worksite.

1. Weigh Your Forklift

Weigh your forklift and ensure your forklift trailer is rated for the weight capacity of the forklift itself. Check your forklift trailer’s maximum capacity; trailer capacities vary, and you should verify the capacity based on the manufacturer’s specifications. Along with weight, verify the length of your forklift trailer.

2. Inspect Your Forklift

Ensure your forklift is in good condition before loading it onto the forklift transport vehicle. The wheels should be chocked to prevent them from rolling. If the trailer isn’t already attached to a truck, put a nose jack under the front of the trailer to prevent it from tipping.

3. Load Your Forklift

Drive your forklift onto the truck or into the trailer in reverse and ensure its forks are pointing away from the transport vehicle. Review recommended forklift transport policies, depending on your jobsite requirements.

4. Center Your Forklift

Knowing how to transport a forklift in a trailer often comes down to centering the machine correctly. Lower the forks to the floor and tilt them forward. Place wood blocks behind each wheel of the forklift for stabilization. Fasten the blocks in place by driving screws into the blocks and into the wooden floor of the transport vehicle.

5. Shut Off the Fuel Supply

Disconnect the propane tank from your forklift before you depart. For gasoline- and diesel-powered forklifts, ensure the tank is secure, so no fuel can splash out of the tank during transport. Disconnect the battery terminal to prevent arcing. Furthermore, if you are transporting an electric forklift, recharge the battery before you depart.

6. Use Chains and Come-Alongs

Fasten the forklift with chains and come-alongs, secure them to the edges of the truck bed, and tighten them. Establish four anchor points at each corner of the forklift transport vehicle using at least two chains or come-alongs.

7. Check the Vehicle Clearance

Assess the clearance of the vehicle. If the top of the forklift is taller than the forklift transport vehicle, avoid overpasses or bridges.

how to transport a forklift in a trailer

Forklift Transport FAQs

If you still have questions about forklift transport, there is no need to worry. Here are answers to some of the most common questions regarding forklift truck towing and how to transport a forklift from one worksite to another.

How much does forklift transport cost?

The cost of forklift transport varies based on the type of lift, the travel distance, and other factors. On average, fork truck transport can cost anywhere from $200 to $1,500.

Is towing with a forklift legal?

It is illegal to tow with a forklift. Those who try to tow with a lift can put themselves and others in danger. In addition, they may receive OSHA fines and penalties.

How do you load a forklift on a flatbed?

Careful planning is key to safely load a forklift transport trailer. First, you should evaluate the weight capacity of the flatbed. If your flatbed cannot handle the weight of your forklift, you should consider other options. To load your lift onto a flatbed, put a nose jack under the front. Ensure the nose jack is within an inch of contact with the flatbed, as this helps prevent your forklift from tipping over during transport. Finally, back your forklift onto the flatbed. Keep the forks pointed toward the rear to improve stability.

How do you secure a forklift for transport?

Chocked wheels can prevent rolling from occurring during forklift transport. You can place wooden blocks behind your forklift’s wheels and secure them to the base of the vehicle you’re using to transport your lift. Chains and straps can also be used to further secure your forklift for transport. They allow you to secure anchor points at each corner of your forklift to limit movement during travel.

Forklift safety certification training answers these questions and many others relating to forklift transport. It can even offer insights to help you make an informed decision regarding whether to seek out additional help to tow your forklift.

Does Your Business Have a Forklift Safety Training Program?

Forklift transport can be challenging, regardless of whether you do it on your own or hire a forklift towing company. That’s why it’s so important for companies to invest in forklift safety training programs for their employees. Given the risks associated with improper forklift truck transport, it’s simply too expensive not to train workers thoroughly. 

Using the aforementioned tips can help you understand how to transport a forklift in a trailer. They are really just the tip of the iceberg, though. Without thorough training, workers may find themselves in over their heads, performing unsafe maneuvers to get the job done. Enrolling employees in a forklift safety training program can help reduce the odds of a workplace accident and keep productivity rates high. It’s one of the best investments a company can make.

Learn More About Safe Forklift Transport Now offers comprehensive forklift safety training courses for lift operators around the country. Whether you’re new to forklifts altogether or you’re a business owner hoping to invest in your organization’s safety, there’s no better option than CertifyMe. Our online courses are convenient and affordable, allowing workers to get certified and OSHA compliant in one afternoon. The material covers everything from the most basic forklift operation to forklift transport best practices.

Still have questions about our courses? Please contact us online or call us today at 1-888-699-4800.

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