How to Drive a Forklift

If you have never driven a forklift before, this will certainly help!

Steps

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    Practice. Driving a forklift is nothing like driving a car. Forklifts are steered by their rear wheels, have unwieldy weight distribution, and often have counter-intuitive controls. Depending on where you operate, you may need a license or specialized training.
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    Complete the pre-operations checklist. Look around the vehicle for any damage or malfunction that might prevent the forklift from operating as it is intended. Pay special attention to hydraulic mechanisms and tire conditions. This is very important!
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    Familiarize yourself with all controls and meter readings. This can be done by reading the operator’s manual.
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    Note the size and shape of what you are lifting.
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    Make sure the fork you are using is set to the proper width.
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    Lift an object only to the height needed to move it, so as to balance the weight.
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    Observe your working environment, make sure it’s clean and clear of obstacles.
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    Start the forklift using the key and start button. Move it through basic operations. There will be knobs and levers that move the forks up and down, steer the vehicle and control the speed.
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    Practice driving the forklift in an open area. Try lifting empty pallets or bags of sand to get used to the controls. Once you are comfortable, you can begin your intended chore.

Tips

  • Drive safely and follow all safety precautions given in the drivers manual.
  • Use your common sense to determine at what height the weight is balanced.

Warnings

  • Park the forklift with the fork completely on the ground when you are finished.
  • Do not operate a forklift in an area of heavy foot or vehicular traffic, nor in slippery or otherwise unsafe working conditions.

Things You'll Need

  • forklift
  • Something heavy to lift
  • Open space

Article Info

Categories: Summarization | Trucks