Forklift on Clean Driving Surface

Maintaining Your Forklift Driving Surfaces: What’s the Big Deal?


Your driving surfaces have a larger impact on your safety than you may realize. Even common occurrences like an oil spill can be a serious safety risk. Watch out for these floor hazards and stay safe while operating your forklift.

For a quick overview of common floor hazards, watch the video below! Keep reading to see our tips on preventing and dealing with these hazards as they arise.


Slippery Conditions

Oil, grease, or other spills such as loose dust can cause skidding and ice, snow, mud or gravel can easily contribute to a tip over.

Our Tips

  • Prevent an incident by avoiding the hazard if possible. If you must drive over the surface, proceed slowly.
  • Report the area as soon as possible to prevent others from slipping.
  • Oil and grease will spread if operators drive over the area so they should be cleaned up as quickly as possible in accordance with your industry standards.
  • If spills occur frequently in the area, consider spreading absorbent material to reduce the hazard. We recommend using Pig Mat’s Universal Absorbent Mat Pads or Oil-Only Absorbent Mats.



Tip overs can be caused by traveling over obstructions or clutter like misplaced boxes and pallets.

Our Tips

  • Stay safe in cluttered areas by walking your route first. You’ll be able to spot problems more easily.
  • Pedestrian walkways and forklift lanes should be kept clear of debris and obstructions. Aim to check for these hazards after each shift as time allows.


Uneven Surfaces

Holes, bumps and inclines can cause a tip over if you aren’t prepared for them.

Our Tips

  • Don’t drive straight across bumps or railroad tracks, instead slowly cross at a 45 degree angle.
  • Travel backwards down inclines and stay parallel to the edge. Never at an angle.


Floor Limitations


Box Car with Stable Forklift Driving Surface


Floors have capacity ratings too and if you exceed the load limit of the floor, it could collapse. Trailers with rotted or cracked floors won’t be able to withstand their rated capacity and could be a fall hazard.

Our Tips

  • Take care to inspect the floor of each box car and semi-trailer you’ll have to enter.
  • Look for weakened flooring, damage and protruding objects.


Quick Overview: Common Forklift Floor Hazards

Floor conditions can make a big impact on forklift safety. Watch out for these common floor hazards when operating your forklift.


Read more on common forklift hazards in: 6 Common Forklift Accidents and How to Prevent Them.