Forklifts are no strangers to harsh environments. Rain, sleet, snow, wind, dust, dirt, and various other kinds of substances in the atmosphere can really do a number on them. Not to mention extreme temperatures and seasonal changes that can put a lot of stress and wear and tear on a forklift.
The same applies to forklift operators who are subjected to these harsh elements as they try to get through the work day. So what can you do to help keep your operators comfortable, happy, and productive in these types of unpleasant conditions? Utilizing an operator cabin or overhead guard cover to provide an extra level of weather protection could be just the right solution.
Polycarbonate Forklift Overhead Guard Cover
One option for basic weather protection is the polycarbonate overhead guard cover. These types of covers are typically made available as a factory or field installable feature to help shield the operator compartment from rain and inclement weather. It consists of a polycarbonate (plastic) sheet that is attached to the top of the overhead guard. The method of attachment will depend upon the design. Many types come with tinted versions to help reduce glare form the sun.
While attempting a DIY solution may seem like a cheap and efficient method to provide protection, such a solution may be a violation of ANSI or OSHA regulations. In most instances, using manufacturer approved parts and installation instructions is necessary to keep your forklifts compliant.
Polycarbonate Forklift Cab
In addition to a polycarbonate overhead guard cover, polycarbonate forklift cabs also include doors and front and back windshields to help shield operators from the elements in all directions. These designs typically use hinged doors and sometimes incorporate windows, locking doors, and windshield wipers as well. While these cabs don’t come with all the amenities of a steel cab, they provide a cost-effective alternative and many can accommodate additional features through a special design request. The polycarbonate cab option on Toyota’s Core IC Pneumatic models is also a great option if you’re in need of retrofitting an existing forklift with a cab.
Steel Forklift Cab
A step up from the polycarbonate cab, the steel cab incorporates steel panels into the design for greater rigidity and typically has a tighter seal for better protection from the elements. Many steel cabs, such as the one available on Toyota’s Core, Mid, and Large IC models also feature headliners, front and rear washer/wiper systems, locking doors, glass windows, a fan, and a heater/defroster. For warmer environments, air conditioning units can also be installed to help reduce the temperature in the compartment.