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Drivers and onlookers in Salford were treated to an interesting show last month when a forklift driver made a bad decision, resulting in his vehicle tipping over. It took nearly an hour to right the forklift after the mishap, which blocked a local street in the interim. Thankfully, no one was hurt in the accident. As for the driver, one wonders if he found himself wishing for more counterbalance forklift training at the moment he lost control of his truck.

The mishap began a little after eight o’clock in the morning when the forklift operator attempted to start unloading building materials from the back of a lorry. It appears from the pictures that the load was too heavy for the forklift, sending the forks crashing forward and down into the roadway. The load was heavy enough that all four wheels of the forklift were completely off the ground.

Local residents said they heard a loud bang at the time of the crash. Yet no one was prepared for what they saw out in the street. The forklift appeared to have been tossed like a rag doll by the heavy load it was carrying. After about an hour, the driver finally got the forklift truck back on the ground by creatively manoeuvring the forks. There is no word as to whether or not the forklift or cargo was damaged.

Counterbalance Forklift Principles

We have no way of knowing any of the details of this accident other than what was reported by local news sources. However, we are curious about several things. First, was the forklift operator an experienced individual who had previously undergone training and certification? Next, was he aware of the weight of the load he was attempting to move? Both questions are legitimate in light of the fundamental principles of counterbalance forklift operation.

A counterbalance forklift is designed to offset the weight of a load on the forks through weights built into the rear of the vehicle. Those weights can be a combination of the vehicle’s batteries and extra steel or concrete blocks, or simply a stack of blocks on their own. Yet regardless of how the counterbalance is created, the key is to never take a load that is heavier than the counterbalance weight. This Salford mishap is a clear illustration of the consequences of carrying an excessive load.

Here at the HGV Training Centre, counterbalance forklift training is included in our list of class offerings. We believe solid forklift training should be utilised by any company that employs forklifts in the workplace. Forklifts are heavy and cumbersome vehicles that can be dangerous when operated improperly. Furthermore, companies are required to take every reasonable step to ensure a safe workplace. It is hard to justify not putting drivers through qualified training in light of such a legal obligation.

We offer counterbalance forklift training at multiple centres across the UK. Contact us for more information about locations, class schedules, and pricing.


  1. Manchester Evening News – https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/forklift-truck-blocks-road-salford-9425874


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