In any warehouse setting, one of the most common machinery is a forklift or lift truck. These all-around machinery are comprised of a vehicle along with two split forks at the front that are capable of moving and lifting heavy items.
Forklifts can maneuver in small spaces and could lift items into hard to reach, up high places. Lift trucks are still really dangerous equipment and should be operated in a safe manner all the time, after proper training and certification has taken place.
Make the time to read the owners handbook after acquiring a new forklift to help you get familiar with the controls. The guidebook will feature the specific location of each control and the functions it has. Most forklifts have two levers which control the forks. The first lever controls the fork height. In order to make the forks go down, the lever must be pushed forward. To be able to move the forks upwards, you just pull back on the lever.
The forklift's second lever is utilized to tilt the forks allowing for better weight distribution across the forklift. This tilting action helps to keep objects steady and won't allow things to fall off while driving. Additionally, it helps items slide off when unloading in a more balanced way.
By pulling the second lever back, the forks will tilt back, when pushing the lever forward would tilt the forks forward. Some forklift models are equipped with a third lever that controls the fork width. Each one of these levers is located just to the right of the driver's seat.
Inexperienced drivers should take advantage of qualified coworkers who can go over the controls with them. Be sure to do this while the forklift is turned off and not in use. Ask the qualified professional if you have any questions about how anything functions.
Watch how the coworker shows the function of each of the controls. Observation is usually the best method to learn a new skill. On hydrostatic lift trucks, notice that to be able to make the machinery go, you use the gas. And if you want to make it stop, you just release the gas pedal. There is no brake on these kinds of forklifts. There are several kinds of hydrostatic forklifts which are outfitted with battery powered engines that turn off when the gas pedal is released. They start up when the gas pedal is pushed again.