Forklift operators have a crafty nature and are one that needs a bit of practice to master. Yet, if you know some basic rules and guidelines for using a forklift, you’re sure to master the machines just as you’re mastering your warehouse space.
With this in mind, we’re here to share with you our thoughts on what you should keep in mind when operating a forklift. By sticking to this guide, you’ll be a forklift master in no time. Read along to learn more!
Table of Contents
1. Be Aware of the Surroundings
When operating a forklift, it is important to always keep an eye out for any obstacles such as people, objects, or other machines. Operators should pay attention to the floor conditions.
2. Avoid Carrying Any Dangerous Items
In some cases, special care must be taken when transporting certain items, such as explosives, hazardous chemicals, and other hazardous materials. But if you do, always handle it with care.
3. Park in Designated Areas
Try to park away from other traffic and out of walkways. Once parked, check to make sure the area is clear and that there are no impeding objects or machinery in the way.
4. Use Safety Gears
This includes a hard hat, safety glasses, a breathable face mask, reflective vests, and protective gloves. In some cases, steel-toed boots can also be beneficial.
5. Check the Brakes
If the brake is applied adequately, the wheel should not move. To release the brake, press the foot pedal and move the wheel gently back and forth. Repeat the same steps on the other wheels as well.
6. Test the Steering
The operator should also examine the steering shaft and linkages for wear or damage. Then, the operator should run the steering through its entire travel range (left to right) and listen for any unusual noises coming from the mechanism.
7. Learn to Adjust the Speed of the Forklift
This will help determine what the average speed should be under the conditions. Practice is key. Operators should drive the forklift around in different environments to get a better feel for when it should be slowed before hitting a curve or ramp.
8. Wear Seat Belts
Make sure your seat belt is properly adjusted by tightening it across your lap and shoulders. Next, always take the time to buckle your belt when you sit in your seat.
9. Observe Weight Limits
Loads should not exceed the weight capacity of the forklift or operator capacity. Before moving the load, you should secure the load with the appropriate tie-down equipment.
10. Don’t Exceed Speed Limits
The safest speed limit for any forklift is determined by the vehicle specifications and width of the operational area and should be quickly adjusted as per the changing conditions. Speeding is not an option with forklifts.
11. Avoid Turning Too Fast
Working in tight and confined spaces can be difficult, so operators should consider all of the potential hazards, such as other forklifts, pedestrians, as well as any potential objects that can be bumped into or knocked over. Turn with care always.
12. Use Rack Protection
Using warehouse rack protection will help protect the goods, and workers and help prevent property damage. Before driving a forklift, inspect the racks and make sure they are not warped and are at the correct angle.
Become One of the Best Forklift Operators Today
Forklift operators must take the greatest care when operating these heavy-duty machines to ensure the safety of themselves and those around them. Following these handy tips will help you reach a higher level of skill and safety. Get started today to make sure you’re operating your forklift safely and efficiently!
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