Forklifts for farmers

The Criterion team works closely with local farmers to ensure they benefit from the investment in modern agricultural machinery.

TCM forklifts have many advantages for farmers and can be seen hard at work in various agricultural operations across South Africa. What’s notable about these reliable machines is they can operate efficiently in all weather conditions and also ensure easy handling, cost-efficient operation, low maintenance requirements and stability on site. TCM forklifts also optimise storage space in warehouses, as they have a high reach, eliminating the need for dangerous, unstable ladders and can easily operate in narrow aisles.

“An essential machine in every farming operation is the forklift truck. Robust TCM iNOMA forklift trucks offer reliable and safe handling of a wide range of materials, come rain or shine. High-performance forklifts help farmers meet tight delivery deadlines and enhance safety every day,” explains Brenton Kemp, Managing Director of Criterion Equipment – exclusive distributors of TCM forklift trucks. “Instead of handling heavy loads manually – like hay bales, bulk bins and bags of feed or fertilizer – farmers use TCM forklift trucks to efficiently move goods quickly and safely, minimizing injury and freeing up valuable time for other important tasks.

“Investing in TCM forklift trucks is a cost-effective solution, as these versatile machines help reduce labour costs and increase productivity, ultimately leading to higher profits.

TCM iNOMA forklifts, which are reliable, durable and simple to operate, with low maintenance and operational costs, are fitted with tough ISUZU C240 engines, that give farmers the assurance that their machines will never fail them.

TCM’s electric, diesel and gas units are ideal for use in packing houses and warehouses that need to comply with emission legislation for food, processing, and packaging environments.

The company also supplies and supports highly efficient walk-behind and pedestrian trucks for farmers who do not require a forklift but need to move pallets with goods over short distances.

Criterion Equipment offers the highly capable and efficient 1.8 TCM forklift for those who do not need a 2- or 2.5-ton forklift, so customers don’t have to purchase an over-sized and more expensive unit if a 1.8 ton is sufficient.

Units with lithium-ion batteries (for quick charging) are also available for companies that work multiple shifts.

Criterion Equipment specialists are on hand to advise farmers about which TCM forklift is best suited for specific agricultural applications. Factors to take into consideration include how much weight the forklift will need to transport and the height the load will be lifted to.

Short and long-term rental options are the perfect solutions for seasonal harvesting, as farmers may not have the need for a forklift all year-round.

Different attachments for different farm duties

The versatility of forklift trucks means they can be upgraded or modified at any time to be even more useful on the farm. And with the addition of special attachments, they are able to handle most handling tasks quickly and safely.

Criterion Equipment can source and supply attachments needed, including bin tippers, fork adjusters, rotating clamps, double pallet handlers and scales with printers. By using the correct attachments, a forklift can be used to quickly sweep and clean floors – this method is particularly efficient for cleaning stables and sheds. Other applications include the handling of crates of produce, fence posts and building supplies.

Safe operation requires operator training and certification

Although forklift trucks are a useful tool in farming and agriculture, they can also be dangerous if not used correctly.

Criterion Equipment specialists recommend that operators undergo a comprehensive training programme that covers the safe operation of forklifts, including proper loading and off-loading techniques, maneuvering in tight spaces and quick response in emergency situations.

Operators should also be warned about the hazards and risks associated with operating forklifts in agricultural settings, including the presence of workers and livestock, and challenging outdoor weather conditions.

Forklift operators must be aware of the environmental hazards they may encounter – like uneven terrain, rough surfaces and wet, slippery conditions. To prevent accidents, operators must adjust their driving techniques and slow down on uneven surfaces and avoid steep inclines or declines.

Specialists urge farmers to be especially careful about not overloading the forklift. Operators must be informed of the load capacity of their forklift and ensure that goods are evenly distributed and secured before moving them.

They should always avoid carrying loads that are too heavy or too large for the forklift, which can result in tipping and other accidents.

Good maintenance matters

Taking good care of forklift trucks is important to ensuring optimum performance and extended service life. Every machine requires regular servicing at a reputable specialist and regular load testing should form part of the maintenance programme.

Criterion Equipment’s service includes a national field services facility, which provides assistance during breakdowns, the repair and maintenance of machines and maintenance contracts. The company’s national workshops are also able to completely refurbish an existing machine according to OEM specifications.

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