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Know your load to stay safe on your forklift

Forklifts can be invaluable tools in the farm shop when it
comes to moving large quantities of material or other machinery. But, without
the right safety precautions, these tools can lead to serious accidents.

That makes it essential to stay fully aware of your
surroundings when operating a forklift on your farm. And, that starts with what
you're moving and hauling. According to a report from the North Carolina State
University (NCSU) department of environmental health and safety, the most
common cause for forklift accidents is moving an imbalanced load, which can
result in tipping the machine.

That's why awareness of your load is of utmost importance.
NCSU officials recommend going through this checklist before moving any
material to ensure your safety:

- The capacity of the forklift: Can it handle the size and
weight of your load?

- Any odd characteristics of the load: Is it top-heavy,
cylindrical or awkward?

- The condition of the forklift: Are the forks damaged or is
there some other problem that could cause an accident?

- Where you are and where you are going with the load: Are
there any obstacles, bumps, ramps, people or narrow passageways to consider?

"You can avoid becoming a statistic if you'll just take
the time to review forklift hazards and how to avoid them," according to
an NCSU report. "Try to keep them in mind each and every time you prepare
to use a forklift."

uio? t ou can use it for 3 or 4 years and probably only drop the resale/trade-in
value by 25%. Then, if you want to get some newer paint, you just bump up
again.

"Personally, I love low-hour used iron. Great value as
long as you are willing to do the extra maintenance."

Others say the economic downturn that's thought to be the
culprit of lower sales actually could entice more sales. It's all about how you
write off equipment depreciation, says Machinery Talk member Pupdaddy.

"In this economic environment, we have what may be
possibly the best time to buy new equipment that we've ever experienced. If you
buy something, you can depreciate virtually all of it against your income in
the first year," he says. "On top of the Section 179 deduction that
you can take this year on either new or used is another 50% reduction against
your income if the machinery is new.

"I'd run a pencil over those figures this year, and I'm
thinking I might be buying a few necessary long-term usage items even if I have
to finance them."

And, if that latter point becomes a reality for you, talk to
your dealer, adds another Machinery Talk member. They may be just as hungry to
sell the machinery as you are to buy it right now.

"Dealers have special programs which you need to keep
an eye out for, like special financing on late-model used combines," adds
Iron 9681.

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