Prioritizing Forklift Operator Safety: The Importance of Operator Cabs

April 2, 2024By Harris-Stolper International Inc.Cab Basics, Customer Education

Forklift Operator CabsIntroduction

Forklifts are indispensable in warehouses, distribution centers, and manufacturing facilities for their efficiency in lifting and moving heavy loads. However, using these powerful machines comes with inherent risks, making safety a top priority. One critical safety feature that significantly enhances operator protection is the operator cab. Let’s explore why operator cabs are essential for forklift operator safety.

Enhanced Protection from External Hazards
Operator cabs provide a shielded environment for forklift operators, protecting them from external hazards such as falling objects, debris, and inclement weather conditions. By enclosing the operator within a designated space, operator cabs minimize the risk of injury from external impacts, contributing to a safer working environment.

Protection from Harmful Substances
In certain industrial settings, forklift operators may meet hazardous substances such as chemicals, dust, or fumes. Operator cabs equipped with proper seals and ventilation systems create a barrier between the operator and these substances, reducing the risk of exposure and potential health hazards.

Improved Ergonomics and Comfort
Forklift operators often spend extended periods behind the wheel, making ergonomics and comfort crucial for productivity and well-being. Operator cabs are designed with ergonomic features to accommodate  adjustable seats, controls within easy reach, and sound insulation to minimize operator fatigue and discomfort during prolonged shifts.

Noise Reduction
Forklifts can generate significant noise levels during operation, which can not only be disruptive but also pose a risk of hearing damage to operators. Operator cabs with soundproofing materials help mitigate noise levels, creating a quieter and more conducive working environment for forklift operators.

Protection from Falls and Accidents
In case of a forklift tip-over or collision, operator cabs provide a protective enclosure that reduces the risk of operator injury. Falling Objects Protection Structures (FOPS) integrated into the design of operator cabs enhance structural integrity and help prevent injuries in case of an accident, safeguarding the operator’s physical well-being.

Compliance with Safety Regulations
Occupational safety regulations mandate the use of operator cabs in certain industries and environments where forklifts are used. Compliance with these regulations not only ensures the safety of forklift operators but also helps organizations avoid penalties and legal liabilities associated with non-compliance.

In Summary

Operator cabs with FOPS are an indispensable safety feature in forklift operations, providing crucial protection from various hazards. By incorporating Falling Object Protective Structure (FOPS) technology into operator cabs, organizations can significantly enhance workplace safety for forklift operators. These cabs offer robust protection against falling objects, harmful substances, noise pollution, and accidents, thereby mitigating risks and promoting a safer working environment. Investing in forklifts equipped with FOPS-enhanced operator cabs demonstrates a commitment to prioritizing the well-being of employees and complying with safety regulations. However, ensuring optimal safety requires ongoing support and expertise.

That’s where Harris Stolper International Inc. comes in.

Harris Stolper International Inc. is a trusted partner in forklift safety solutions, offering comprehensive support and guidance to organizations seeking to optimize their safety measures. Our team of experts specializes in assessing workplace hazards, recommending tailored safety solutions, and providing training to ensure proper implementation and compliance.

Whether you’re looking to upgrade your forklift fleet with FOPS-equipped cabs or seeking guidance on safety best practices, Harris Stolper International Inc. is here to help. Contact us today to learn more about how we can support your organization in creating a safer and more productive work environment. Remember, when it comes to forklift operations, safety always comes first, and Harris Stolper International Inc. is your partner in achieving safety excellence.


July 19, 2022By rmacdonald@harris-stolper.comCab Basics

Got a question? We compiled a list of the most common questions we get:

What’s the difference between a cab and a Raingard®?


An enclosed cab is professionally engineered to protect from weather and environmental conditions. It is available in Full, Paneled, or Envelope variants depending on the Brand and Make of the truck.


The Raingard®, a budget-friendly alternative to a cab, comprises sturdy panels with optional vinyl curtains for the sides. These assembled steel panels clamp onto a forklift’s existing overhead guard, with no drilling or welding required.

Keep in mind though that a Raingard® solution is not a sealed cabin. For extensive outdoor use or extreme natural conditions, an enclosed steel cab may be a better option.

How do I know what I need?

For more information about figuring out what you need, check out How to choose the right forklift cab enclosure.

What do I need to order replacement Parts?

First step is to determine if you have a cab or a Raingard® installed.
To identify, cabs have steel doors, while the Raingard® will have vinyl curtains or nothing at all. Additionally, a Raingard® also has a Yellow Sticker on the side of the roof panel.
When identified, take note of the cab serial number/Raingard® model number, including the truck model number.

Email us at or connect with us at 905-792-3030 x 2 for Parts.

Where can I find the serial number of the cab?

The serial number of the cab is a 5-digit number that’s found inside the cab. It’s a metal plate welded onto the left-hand rear corner post, or above the left-hand door (near the roof). It’s also painted the same color as the cab.

Where can I find the Raingard® model number?

The Raingard® model number is located on the rear right-hand side of the roof panel. It’s a 4-digit number etched onto the panel, (see picture below). To order parts, we’ll need the information about your truck along with the model number of the Raingard®.

I can’t find the serial number on the cab. What now?

Please contact us with the lift truck information (make, model, and overhead guard height). We’ll do our best to identify the cab model and help you with the parts you need.

How do I find the part I’m looking for?

There are several ways to assist you.

  • Visit the Parts page of our website and filter by product category. Most of the standard inventory parts are stocked to ship in 24-48 hours (subject to availability).
  • Email us at
  • Connect with us at 905-792-3030 X 2 for Parts (U.S. toll free: 1-800-387-2494). Please have your cab serial number or Raingard® model number handy and we can help you find the right part.

I need to order a cab or Raingard® for my truck. Where do I start?

We engineer our products to fit your truck. Perfectly. Since every forklift truck is different, so is the design of our cab or Raingard®. Not every customer wants the same accessories or modifications, so we quote each cab and Raingard® individually.

To start the process, we’ll need the make, model number, and overhead guard height of your truck. Upon receipt of your PO, we will schedule your order for production and send you an order confirmation.

I need a quote for a part. Who do I contact?

To get a quote for a part, please email us at, or call us at 905-792-3030 x 2 for Parts (U.S. toll-free: 1-800-387-2494).

I need a quote for a cab. Who do I contact?

To get a quote for a cab, please email us at or call us at 905-792-3030 x 1 for Cabs (U.S. toll-free: 1-800-387-2494).


Didn’t find what you were looking for? Feel free to Contact Us, we’re more than happy to help you!

How to Choose the Right Forklift Cab Enclosure

November 24, 2021By Harris-Stolper International Inc.Cab Basics

It’s Saturday morning.

You’re standing in the cereal aisle at the grocery store.

The kids have asked you to pick up more cereal for them, but now you’re stuck.

You want to buy something healthy, but not too healthy that they won’t eat it.

Something that tastes good, but not loaded with too much sugar, or you’ll feel guilty.

And you want good value because grocery prices keep going up, thanks to COVID and the global supply chain disruption.

But there’s so many different box sizes and choices.

What do you do?

And what the heck do forklift cab enclosures have to do with cereal??

Thankfully, choosing the right forklift cab enclosure is a little less nerve-wracking.

There are far fewer choices. And far less sugar content.


Look, there are really 3 levels of choices if you’re considering a cab enclosure: Good, Better, and Best.

As your up-front purchase price increases, so do the enclosure’s capabilities. And over its lifetime, your cost of ownership comes down because of the productivity gains.

But, it’s important to know your application in order to maximize the return on your investment.

GOOD – Vinyl cover

Before you owned a car you probably took the bus. And before you took the bus, maybe you walked or rode your bicycle.

Likewise, a vinyl cover is an entry-level solution. It can give a forklift operator very basic protection from the elements.

Perhaps better than nothing, but it’s kind of like wearing a garbage bag in the rain.

They’re inexpensive, often selling for a few hundred dollars, and they typically come in a universal size to fit a host of different trucks.

Install time is less than an hour.

However, because they’re universally sized, they can be clumsy and ill-fitting.

And when the weather gets too cold, vinyl has a tendency to crack.

Some people claim vinyl covers are a safety hazard because of how they can impede visibility in the rain.

Most don’t come equipped with wipers, and if you’ve ever tried driving your car in the rain without the windshield wipers… gets dangerous pretty quickly.

Again, depending on your application a vinyl cover may act as a temporary solution, but be aware of its limitations.

BETTER – Hard Panels (e.g. Raingard®)

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly and durable solution to protect your operators against the rain or sun, consider leveling up to hard panels fitted for your particular truck.

These assembled steel panels clamp onto your forklift’s existing overhead guard. There should never be any drilling or welding required. Otherwise, you risk compromising the integrity of the OHG (and this voids your manufacturer’s warranty for the truck).

They’re most commonly sold in a set of three (front, top, rear), but also available individually so that replacing them is simple.

Tempered safety glass provides a solid surface for wipers, keeping visibility clear and unobstructed for your operators. Plus, if there’s an accident, shatter-resistant glass breaks into tiny pieces, keeping your operators safe.

No reason for anybody to get impaled.

Your roof panel should be fitted with a skylight, adhering to ANSI B56.1 standards, so that upward visibility remains intact.

Also, adding an optional heater, fan, or vinyl curtains can help keep operators comfortable (and productive) when temperatures dip.

Install time takes a little longer, averaging 3-6 hours.

Keep in mind though that a Raingard® solution is not a sealed cabin. If your truck gets extensive outdoor use in heavy rain, snow, or extreme cold temperatures, an enclosed steel cab might be a better option.

BEST – Enclosed Steel Cab

An enclosed steel cab is the Cadillac of the operator enclosure market.

It’s professionally engineered to withstand (most) weather conditions.
(We’ll exclude Tornadoes, for now).

An enclosed steel cab with heater can allow your operators to work comfortably for hours in below freezing temperatures.
Likewise, an enclosed steel cab with air conditioning can allow your operators to work comfortably for hours in blazing hot temperatures.

Operator safety and productivity don’t have to take a backseat to mother nature’s schedule.

The downside? Install time is the longest, averaging 8-16 hours.

But, at this level there are a host of additional options that can enhance the versatility of your material handling equipment:

  • Shatterproof glass alternatives like Margard Lexan to prevent glass contamination in industries like food processing
  • Protective cab screens and bi-fold door designs for increased operator safety in the lumber and building material industries
  • Special cab height accommodations for applications with low clearance
  • Cab heat shields for applications involving furnaces and foundries with hot rolling temperatures between 300-500 degrees Celsius
  • Wiper modifications, tints, LED lights, RFID mounts, and custom paint colors (among many others)

Keep in mind, beyond the initial purchase price of an enclosed steel cab, over time you may need replacement parts. Wipers, broken glass, door latches.

Forklifts are exposed to harsh environments, and even harsher treatment from some operators.

That being said, your cost of ownership will decrease with every year of use. The added capabilities often pay for themself over time.

And it’s not unusual for us to get inquiries about cabs still in use that are now 30 to 40 years old.


Still stuck?

As an example, consider for a moment the following 2 scenarios:

Mary owns a warehouse in Tennessee. It rains more than average there, but the Winters are bearable, and more importantly her forklifts stay indoors 75% of the time.
Occasionally when her forklifts go outdoors to load and unload the flatbed trucks, it rains, and her staff have had minor accidents because they don’t like getting wet. Mary could invest in 4 enclosed steel cabs for her operation, but it’s probably overkill in this case.

Opting instead for a middle-of-the-road choice, for example Raingard® panels (front & rear glass windshield, a solid top, and vinyl roll-up doors), would cost her roughly half the price, and still keep her staff dry. Problem-solved.

Bill on the other hand, runs a lumber yard in Michigan. His trucks live outdoors. Winters are a lot colder up North, and his state ranks in the top 5 for average annual snowfall. Although his guys dress for the weather, they complain a lot, morale is low, and it’s starting to hurt his customer service levels.
The enclosed steel cab, with heater and defroster fan, would be a much better option for him. Bill can quickly justify the expense and start to see results immediately.

The bottom-line is that choosing the right enclosure will depend a lot on your industry, your geography, but most importantly your application.
Need help?

We’re happy to assist, contact us today!

Worst case, maybe we can offer you some pointers for your next trip to the cereal aisle…