Forklifts are the new powerhorse of the industrial empire. They are the mules upon which the load of the manufacturing universe is placed. There are many kinds of forklift trucks out there with different uses and different drivetrains as well. For example, the new alternative to traditional gas powered lift trucks are electric forklifts, which are far more environmentally friendly than their predecessors. Whether you are driving an electric or gas powered forklift, a Caterpillar or a Mitsubishi forklift, you are going to need to follow certain procedures to ensure a safe journey and operating time. Here are some tips that could help save your life.
You should only work a forklift truck if you have been instructed before. Make sure you have a license and the necessary training to drive the vehicle.
Make sure you wear safety clothing when operating a forklift. This includes safety boots, neon striped jackets and the typical construction hard hat. The clothes must fit snugly to ensure that there isn't a risk of lease sleeves getting caught in moving parts. Never use the controls of the truck if your hands are slippery - they may slip and do something stupid.
Just like a pilot does a preflight check on the plane before takeoff, a forklift operator needs to inspect the truck before driving it. Check the brakes, controls, tires and steering assembly. If you spot any faults, DO NOT drive the truck. Inform the appropriate management department immediately.
Make sure you use the right handholds and steps when climbing into the lift truck, especially if it is a taller model. Use the handholds on the interior to position yourself comfortably and securely in your seat before starting. Ensure that you can reach all the controls while seated in a comfortable position, and that you can see out of the rear and side mirrors. Wear your seatbelt before starting the lift up for the first time.
Check your surroundings
Always have an eye out for your environment. A warehouse or facility usually has roads with marked directions for travel. Always stick to your lane and travel at the designated speed limit. If there are special forklift lanes, use them and do not deviate for any reason.
Make sure you check for bumps and potholes in the roads while you are driving. If it is raining, reduce your speed for safety. Do not knowingly go over any loose rocks or other objects on the road, as it could cause the machine to move too much and possibly tip over.
There are many other things that you could do to ensure that your driving experience every time is safe for you and everyone around you as well. More than anything, remember never to leave a truck running unattended, especially at a construction site, where there is always the risk of either theft or accidents that can result in death. Remember to wear the right safety clothes and do your checks before driving as well, and you should be safe!