Here Are Tips For How To Properly Secure Your Forklift Onto A Flatbed Trailer

For many manufacturers, transporting forklifts from one location to the next is nothing new. While it would be easier to just drive them to your company’s new location, they don’t legally classify as vehicles. Whether you perform the transport yourself or hire someone, they must be transported via truck. Specifically, a flatbed truck is one of the safest to do so.

It’s imperative that your construction vehicle arrives at its destination in one piece. Learning how to properly secure a forklift on your flatbed will reduce the chance of a major car accident on the highway. In today’s blog, let’s go over all the safety measures you can take to better protect your forklift during transit.

The Essential Tools Needed To Secure Your Forklift


Chain Binders:

To start things off, a chain binder ensures you have a sufficient amount of tensioning over your straps and chains. A standard ratchet binder can especially support the weight of your forklift. There won’t be any unwanted shifting during the transport. By using chain binders, you save yourself tons of time in securing your forklift onto your flatbed trailer.

Tie Down Straps:

Now it’s time for you to learn how to tie down a forklift onto your trailer. In greater detail, chains and tie-down straps add an extra level of protection over your vehicle. You can anchor down your forklift from every corner, keeping it locked in place over your flatbed’s trailer. Not to mention, it’s against the law to not use any tie-downs for your bulkier or heavier machinery.

Loading Ramp:

You should also use loading ramps to help drive your forklift onto the flatbed trailer. Be sure to use a set of durable ramps that can support the weight and size of your forklift. Properly drive the forklift onto the ramps to avoid any potential accidents. Make sure the ramp stays locked in place and has the proper angle for loading.

Wheel Chocks:

Investing in chocked wheels doesn’t hurt either. These wheel chocks will obviously keep your flatbed truck locked in place and prevent it from rolling away during loading procedures. Simply place the wooden blocks behind your forklift’s wheels and secure them to the base of the vehicle you’re using to transport your lift.

How To Secure A Forklift On A Trailer

Forklift on trailer
Image Credit: Tractor Transport

1. Inspect Your Forklift:

Before you even start loading your forklift onto your flatbed’s trailer, make sure it’s not already damaged. Trying to haul a piece of machinery with several defects or a broken component will definitely slow down the loading process. Look for any leaks, loose or hanging parts that could negatively impact the loading process. You want to make sure it’s in good condition before hitting the road.

2. Load Your Forklift:

Forklift load on flatbed truck
Credit Image: hflifttrucks

Also, the forklift must be driven onto the trailer in reverse. The forks must be pointing away from your truck’s trailer to avoid any damage during transport. Make sure that your machinery is in line with your truck’s center gravity as well. That way, you have an even distribution of weight and can prevent any tipping from occurring. Make sure you review all of your company’s guidelines on transporting a forklift to help you better understand the loading procedures.

3. Shut Off the Fuel Supply:

Another tip to remember is cutting off the forklift’s fuel supply before you take off. This is especially an important step to take for forklifts that run on gasoline and diesel. Cutting off the fuel supply will prevent any fuel from leaking out of the propane tank during the drive. Also, disconnect the battery terminal to prevent arcing. If you operate an all-electric forklift, recharge the battery before relocating.

4. Tie Down with Chains or Straps:

Using chains and straps just makes sense when it comes to securing heavy machinery. They’re especially crucial in securing your forklift before transport. Simply fasten and secure your tie-downs to the edges of your flatbed truck. You must use at least two chains and have four anchoring points to your machinery. Otherwise, you could risk everything from your forklift tipping over to causing an accident on the road.

5. Tighten and Tension

Make sure you apply a significant amount of tensioning to your chains and straps to ensure your forklift isn’t going anywhere. Use tools like your ratcheting load binders to add tension over your tie-downs and prevent any slack in your chains. Don’t go overboard with tightening your chains and straps, though. You might run the risk of damaging your construction vehicle, even before it arrives at your new location.

6. Blocking and Bracing:

You also want to add bracing materials around the forklift to ensure it stays in place over your flatbed’s trailer. Wooden blocks will do the trick. They’ll prevent your machinery from moving or shifting during the ride. During transport, you’re bound to switch lanes and make wide turns. If you don’t use any bracing materials, there’s a good chance your forklift could get damaged and fall off your truck.

Transport Your Forklift The Right Way

When transporting your forklift, you want to do it the right way. Make sure you know how to secure a forklift onto a flatbed. As discussed, there are several securement tools at your disposal, such as wooden blocks, chains, and straps. At the end of the day, you want to make sure you’re transporting your machinery in an efficient and safe manner.


How Much Does Forklift Transport Cost?

It costs roughly anywhere from $200 to $1,500 on average to transport a forklift.

What Are The Basic Cargo Securement Rules For Securing A Forklift?

There are tons of ways to secure your forklift on your truck. Using choked wheels will stop your forklift from tipping and falling off your flatbed during transport. Additionally, use chains, straps, and other tie-down methods to help anchor your forklift to the truck. That way, you won’t have to worry about it shifting while relocating your business.

Is Towing With A Forklift Legal?

Unfortunately, it is illegal to tow with a forklift. Not only is it dangerous, but you could be slammed with OSHA fines and penalties.