The Basics Of Operating A Forklift

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What are the basics to operating a forklift?

I’m not an expert with forklifts, so I did some research and listed some references to get more information about operating a forklift.  You will find there are more things to consider than you may have thought, like the load weight, OSHA requirements, having a license, or knowing an inexperienced forklift operator can be dangerous.

Forklifts look simple.  They scoot around and slide from station to station at a modest pace of 5 – 10 miles an hour.  They look harmless.  The back wheels turn and the tail of the machine swings out.  It reminds you of a bumper car at an amusement park.  But it is not!  A loaded forklift can be very dangerous to its driver and to anyone that gets in its path if safety is not taken into account.

Below are a list of some basic considerations when operating a forklift:

  • Make sure the forklift is in good condition.  There are no leaks, and all of the controls are functioning properly.
  • Inspect the forklift with a quick “walk-around”. Ensure there are no cracks in the steel or bends in the length of the fork.  Fork damage can be very hazardous.
  • Check for any loose bolts or warning lifts, and all of the fluids are at their specified levels.
  • Check the roll cage.  The roll cage cage is there to protect you should the forklift fall over.
  • Always wear a seat belt.  You do not want the forklift to rollover and you find yourself underneath it.
  • Be aware of the lift capacity and never lift more weight than maximum lift weight.
  • Never drive forward with your forks raised
  • Before driving the forklift, become familiar with all of the controls.
  • While driving the forklift, always maintain a clear line of sight.  Never carry a package that blocks your view or line of sight.
  • Only certified forklift operators should operate a forklift
  • Know how the brake system works.  Is it soft or hard? Does it come to quick halt or is it a progressive stop?  A quick halt can cause your package to become unstable.
  • Check if the horn works.  You can not blow your horn too much while operating a forklift.  When in doubt, blow your horn.
  • Drive with even more caution while carrying a load or while pedestrians are near.  Move slower, and keep your eyes alert.
  • Never allow anyone to walk underneath raised forks, especially if it has a load.
  • Remember the tail of the truck swings out during a turn.  Be aware of pedestrians and equipment that may be in your way
  • Never driver over anything and believe that it will okay.  It will not!

Brought to you by Industrial Surplus World.  We buy and sell forklifts both operational and non-operational, nationwide.

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4 thoughts on “The Basics Of Operating A Forklift

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    We Buy and Sell Forklifts « Industrial Surplus World said:
    October 23, 2013 at 9:13 AM

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