Trending Content

Chet’s Rent-All in Michigan is all in when it comes to forklift safety

By Connie Lannan

September 20, 2023

Like so many other rental operations, forklifts are an important part of the inventory at Chet’s Rent-All, headquartered in Rochester Hills, Mich., with eight other locations throughout southeast Michigan. Safety is paramount. That is why the roughly 80 percent of employees who operate forklifts can’t do so until they are certified.

In turn, that has meant waiting for a certified trainer to come in to train the staff. So when the company learned about the American Rental Association (ARA) Certified Forklift Training Program that will be available in January, Vic Matta Jr., CERP, rental consultant at the company’s Warren operation, knew this would be a huge benefit to the operation.

“Going through the ARA Certified Forklift Train-the-Trainer program will allow us to offer this training in-house on a timely basis. We won’t have to wait for an outside vendor to come in and provide the training. I plan to take the Train-the-Trainer program so I can help train our staff,” he says.

Chet’s Rent-All has 29 open and enclosed forklifts and telehandlers going up to 42 ft.

Besides making sure all forklift drivers become certified, the company covers this equipment during its safety meetings and goes through the forklift safety courses offered by ARA’s RentalU educational platform.

“We also make sure that when operating a forklift we are aware of our surroundings — 360-degree awareness — ensure our forks are as low to the ground as possible, be aware of what forks we are using and the weight capacity of those forks, have our seatbelts on, have only one person in the forklift, make sure we have three points of contact with the machine when getting into and exiting the forklift, never jump on and off the forklift, use spotters as well as our horn if backing up, drive slowly, make sure proper maintenance is done and, when they are not in use, line them up in a parallel fashion in a designated area so they will not be in the way of other equipment,” Matta says.

The team also goes through hands-on training to ensure their skills are up to date. For instance, when Matta joined the operation, he was already certified. “My manager had me go through a safety course with a pallet load to make sure I was operating the machine safely,” he says.

For Matta and the team at Chet’s Rent-All, it is important “to do everything right. If you have a question, don’t be afraid to ask. You have a powerful piece of equipment you are working with,” he says.