Toyota Forklift Challenge raises safety awareness

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  • Plant & Equipment

The Toyota Forklift Challenge grand final held at Perth’s Market City last month saw winners taking home up to $500 worth of prizes but unlike other competitions, speed wasn’t the determining factor. Safety was.

Toyota Forklift Challenge raises safety awareness
Toyota Forklift Challenge winner Daniel Bunter from Smiths Enterprises (left) receiving his prize from Toyota Material Handling WA branch manager Lance Cross

The event, held on Friday August 15 at the Perth Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Markets in Canning Vale saw 10 contestants navigating a course designed to simulate a range of activities typical of a forklift driver’s normal working day.

The drivers were awarded points for displaying safe forklift driving habits while navigating the course, rather than how quickly they completed it.

First place and a $500 Coles/Myer gift card went to Daniel Bunter from Smiths Enterprises while Tristan Hill, also from Smiths, came second and collected a $250 gift card. Third place and a $100 gift card was awarded to Laurence Thompson of Fresh Express.

Perth Market Authority CEO Stephen Ward says his organisation was pleased to host the challenge which he says was a great initiative from Toyota to encourage safe forklift practices at the market.

"Safety is our number one priority and I was very pleased to see so many forklift drivers and tenants supporting this safety awareness initiative and participating in the event," he says.

Toyota Material Handling WA branch manager Lance Cross says the competition is a practical way to get the safety message across where it matters most.

"Events like this really get the driver thinking about workplace safety and how it applies to their everyday working lives," he says.

Participants in the final competed in the Toyota 8-Series 8FG18 counterbalance forklifts.

Some design and safety features of the series, according to Toyota Materials Handling, include Automatic Fork Levelling Control to level the forks during loading, ergonomically designed controls and smooth, quiet operation from the Toyota engine.

Some 8-Series models also feature Toyota’s exclusive System of Active Stability comprising the advanced Active Swing Lock Cylinder, which can help improve forklift stability and reduce the potential for lateral tip-overs.

Entrants of the challenge registered by completing an entry form containing questions regarding safe forklift driving habits. The top 10 entrants then moved to the practical round held at the markets.

Both the questionnaire and practical round were overseen and judged by workplace training course provider TCE training.

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