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Tricks Of The Trade: Forklift Damage Issues

Written by Tricks Of The Trade Columnist. Posted in Ask The Expert, Columnists, Construction & Renovation, Facility Management, Featured Post, Magazine, Safety, Topics, Tricks of the Trade

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Published on October 01, 2013 with No Comments

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.

About Tricks Of The Trade Columnist

Tricks Of The Trade Columnist

Folsom is director of campus operations at Trinity Christian Academy in Addison, TX. Previously, he was director of facilities & plant operations, and energy procurement & efficiency at Dallas Theological Seminary in Dallas, TX, where he worked for 25 years. He is the recipient of numerous awards from the associations of Higher Education Facility Officers and Energy Engineers for facility and energy management practices, industry leadership and involvement, and writing. He has also provided facilities assessment consulting to several organizations through All questions have been submitted via the “Ask The Expert” portion of the magazine’s web site. To pose a question, visit this link.

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