Rule and Regulation You Need to Follow while Driving Forklift on the Road

Rule and Regulation You Need to Follow while Driving Forklift on the Road

Forklifts on the public road

Forklift for road use and registration obligation. Here’s what you need to know:

Companies very often use forklifts on public roads. This generally occurs on short journeys: for example when they have to unload a stationary truck on the road or go from one company building to another, usually located nearby. In these cases it must be remembered that the forklift is a vehicle in all respects and, as such, it must be registered.

The road use of forklifts is strictly governed by the Highway Code (article 58 and article 114) and provides for a series of constraints, which are integrated with those already set for agricultural machinery and for other vehicles in general, which applies it is worth knowing in order to avoid complications, above all “insurance”. You must know that the forklift falls into the category of operating machines, distinguished according to the definitions included in article 213.

Machines used for the construction and maintenance of civil works or road infrastructures or for the restoration of traffic;
snow plows or auxiliary machines such as sand spreaders and the like;
trolleys: vehicles intended for the movement of things.

Road traffic forklift:

The forklift is therefore identified as an operating machine and is allowed to circulate on the road for its own transfer or that of things connected with the operating cycle of the machine itself. The operating machine, equipped with special equipment, can circulate on the road or on construction sites if it meets some requirements:

  • It is equipped with wheels (with a maximum speed limited to 40 km / h);
  • It is equipped with non-pneumatic tracks or wheels (with speed limited to 15 km / h);
  • It cannot accommodate more than three seats for employees (excluding the driver).
  • Articles 61 and 62 of the Highway Code also indicate some shape and mass limits that operating machines must comply with, beyond which they fall into the category of exceptional operating machines. Outside the constraints for size, operating machines can circulate on the road if they comply with the rules defined in Article 106 of the Highway Code and must be equipped with:

a) visual signaling and lighting devices.
b) Braking devices.
c) Steering device.
d) Acoustic signaling device.
e) Rear view device.
f) Wheels or tracks suitable for road travel.
g) Removable devices for the protection of dangerous parts.
h) Coupling devices if prepared for towing.
i) Transparent safety surfaces and squeegee.


These constraints are the same as those envisaged for agricultural machinery; in the event of non-compliance or malfunction of the same, the sanctions are defined in Article 112 paragraph 4. The operating machines belonging to category 0 or N must also be equipped with an under run device.

Registration obligation for the forklift:

For the electric trolley or with a thermal engine, equipped with a lifting device for moving things not in places not open to public transit, placed in circulation on public roads, the registration obligation is required pursuant to Article 114 of Legislative Decree.

However, circulation can be authorized for short operations aimed at loading and unloading on public areas, provided that the precautions and prescriptions provided for by the Ministerial Decree of 28 December 1989 are observed, namely:

  • The trolley must be equipped with the original technical data sheet, signed by the manufacturer containing maximum length, width and height; empty and fully laden mass and any towable mass.
  • The truck must be equipped with dipped beam headlamps that are always activated, even when the obligation is not required.
  • The trolley must be equipped with an additional device with yellow flashing light (gyros) mounted in compliance with the requirements set out in the technical annex of the Ministerial Decree of 14 June 1985 in point 1.6, which must always be put into operation while driving.
  • The truck must be accompanied by personnel on the ground to assist the driver; this obligation does not exist when the requirements set out in points 1.3 and 2.2 of the technical annex of the Ministerial Decree of 14 June 1985 are respected and the transverse dimensions of the objects transported must not exceed more than 50% of the maximum width of the vehicle, in compliance with limit silhouette of mt. 2.50.
  • The vehicle must be equipped with retro-reflective panels with white and red stripes suitable for indicating the encumbrance of the lifting devices.
  • The height limits of the load transported must be indicated in the technical data sheet and reproduced on plates visibly and permanently applied to the vehicle (safety stickers) in such a way as to ensure compliance with the driver’s visibility.
  • The speed of 10 km / h must not be exceeded for traveling on the road.

This authorization, lasting one year, can be renewed and allows these operating machines to circulate on the road, even if not registered. Article 114 of the Legislative Decree of 30 April 1992 and the Ministerial Decree of 28 December 1989 are still the references used by most of the Civil Motorization Offices, but based on the belonging of the road on which the trolley will be circulating it will be necessary also receive the technical clearance from the owner. This technical clearance is limited to expressing a mere assessment of the compatibility of the issue of any authorization with respect to traffic safety. However, in the presence of valid authorizations issued by the Provincial Offices of the Civil Motorization, the circulation of unregistered trolleys for short and occasional movements will in any case be considered regular and not punishable.

Obviously, in the absence of the authorization or with the authorization expired, the penalties provided for the unregistered truck will be applied.

Forklifts on public roads: the obligations of the employer
The employer who intends to use the forklift truck on public roads must verify that he possesses the requisites required and have suitable procedures to ensure safety in carrying out the operations, for example:

  • carry out only the strictly necessary operations on the public road,
  • check the appropriate lighting,
  • equip operators with dpi,
  • favor reduced traffic hours.
  • The persons in charge must monitor compliance with the provisions issued by the employer and report anomalies or the need for corrections to the procedures in force.
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