TITLE 8: Chapter 4, Subchapter 7, Article 25,
Section 3649 of the General Industry Safety Orders
Riderless, High-Lift Straddle Trucks


The existing Article 25, Section 3649 definition of "High-Lift Truck" describes a type of industrial truck equipped with a power operated lifting device used for the transporting and tiering of loads. This generic definition is intended to apply to all types of high-lift industrial trucks.

There exists a type of high lift industrial truck which is designed to straddle the load and is operated by an employee standing behind the truck who uses a moveable handle equipped with a control box. The control box and handle enable the operator to "drive," stop, raise the forks, start, turn, etc. the truck while walking or standing behind it.

Unlike the rider type truck, the operator is not at a fixed operator position on board the truck, when it is "driven." This type of a high-lift industrial truck is known as a riderless high-lift straddle truck and is designed to allow the operator to handle heavy loads in narrow aisles and other congested areas. Such industrial trucks provide an alternative for handling loads versus rider type industrial trucks. Riderless high lift straddle trucks are used in foundries, freezers, grocery warehouses, etc.

Board staff is proposing a revision to the definition of high-lift industrial trucks. The proposed revision will ensure the regulated public is cognizant and understands that certain Article 25 high lift truck regulations also apply to riderless high-lift straddle trucks.


As stated above, the proposed revision is a clarification of an existing definition consistent with the intent of Article 25 to regulate the use of riderless as well as rider types of high-lift industrial trucks.

The proposed revision is as follows:

Section 3649. Definitions
This section contains various defined terminology used in Article 25 as it applies to industrial trucks, tractors, haulage and earthmoving equipment. This section contains a specific definition for the term high lift truck which describes an industrial truck used to transport and tier loads.

A revision is proposed to add a second sentence which explains that high lift trucks, as defined in Section 3649, include riderless high-lift straddle trucks as described in the proposed sentence.

This revision is necessary to clearly indicate to the employer that riderless as well as rider high-lift trucks are addressed by the applicable requirements of Article 25 with regard to design, performance, required equipment, safe use, maintenance, etc.


  1. Memorandum from Standards Board Staff to All Standards Board Members, dated August 13, 1997, regarding Petition No. 369, Storage of Palletized Loads Using Walk-Behind, High-Lift Straddle Trucks.
  2. PDH, Power Drive Heavy-Duty Straddle Trucks, Product Brochure, Big Joe Manufacturing Company, copyright 1990, PDH 0790 (Rev. 0593).
These documents are available for review during normal business hours at the Standards Board office located at 1300 I Street, Suite 920, Sacramento, California.


It is anticipated that no adverse impact on small business will occur as a result of the implementation of the proposed amendment. This is because the proposed amendment merely consists of a technical, clarifying revision to existing regulations and does not impose any new or different requirements upon the regulated public. The central issue addressed by the proposed revision is to clearly indicate to the regulated public the applicability of Article 25 to various types of high-lift trucks including, walk-behind, riderless straddle trucks.


This proposal does not mandate the use of specific technology or equipment.


Costs or Savings to State Agencies
No costs or savings to state agencies will result as a consequence of the proposed revision to the Section 3649 definition of high lift truck. This is because the proposal imposes no new or added requirements and merely consists of a technical clarifying revision of existing regulations.

Impact on Housing Costs
This proposal will not significantly affect housing costs.

Impact on Businesses
This proposal will not result in a significant adverse economic impact on businesses, including the ability of California businesses to compete with businesses in other states. (See explanation under "Costs or Savings to State Agencies").

Costs Impact on Private Persons or Entities
The proposal will not require private persons or entities to incur additional costs in complying with the proposal. (See explanation under " Costs Savings to State Agencies").

Costs or Savings in Federal Funding to the State
The proposal will not result in costs or savings in federal funding to the state.

Costs or Savings to local Agencies or School Districts Required to be Reimbursed
No costs to local agencies or school districts are required to be reimbursed. See explanation under "Determination of Mandate" below and "Impact on Businesses."

Other Nondiscretionary Costs or Savings Imposed on Local Agencies
This proposal does not impose nondiscretionary costs or savings on local agencies. (See explanation under "Costs or Savings to State Agencies" and "Impact on Businesses."


The Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board has determined that the proposed regulation does not impose a mandate requiring reimbursement by the state pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of the Government Code because the proposed amendment will not require local agencies or school districts to incur additional costs in complying with the proposal. Furthermore, the regulation does not constitute a "new program or higher level of service of an existing program within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Construction."

The California Supreme Court has established that a "program" within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution is one which carries out the governmental function of providing services to the public, or which to implement a state policy, imposes unique requirements on local governments and does not apply generally to all residents and entities in the state. (County of Los Angeles v. State of California 1987 43 Cal.3d 46.)

The proposed regulation does not require local agencies to carry out the governmental function of providing services to the public. Rather, the regulation require local agencies to take certain steps to ensure the safety and health of their own employees only. Moreover, the proposed regulation does not in any way require local agencies to administer the California Occupational Safety and Health program. (See City of Anaheim v. State of California (1987) 189 Cal.App.3d. 1478.)

The proposed regulation does not impose unique requirements on local governments. All employers - state, local and private - will be required to comply with the prescribed standard.


It has been determined that the proposal does affect small business. The express terms of the proposal written in plain English have been prepared by the Board pursuant to Government Code Sections 11342 (e) and 11346.2(a)(1) the informative digest for this proposal constitutes a plain English overview.


The adoption of the proposed amendment to the regulation will neither create nor eliminate jobs in the State of California nor result in the elimination of existing businesses or create or expand businesses in the State of California.


No alternatives considered by the Board would be more effective in carrying out the purpose for which the regulation is proposed or would be as effective and less burdensome to affected private persons than the proposed action.