How to operate a forklift safely

Security is essential when you work with a forklift.

Forklift trucks are used in large and small wineries and gardening business. Many operations small as garden centres, nurseries, hardware stores and other businesses can benefit from having a forklift. These machines can be of great value to your business, but it is important to have anĀ onsite forklift certification and understand the safe operation of a forklift to safeguard your employees and your property.



There are several types of hoists. For wineries and shops indoors, preferred forklift is a model electric or propane, these do not expel the life-threatening carbon dioxide. For well ventilated areas and exterior courtyards, is usually used to forklifts powered by diesel or gasoline.


Before operation, operator must inspect the forklift for obvious damage; you are looking for flat tires, a damaged or missing belt, damaged or missing control knobs, mirrors broken or damaged, fluid leaks and any obstructions in the hoisting mechanism. Also, operator must open the engine compartment and check that appropriate fluid levels have and check the fuel gauge, making sure that there is at least one quarter of the fuel tank. If you find a defect, it is to be noticed and a mechanic should inspect it before operating it.


All the hoists have an ignition switch, brake hand, a steering wheel, a gauge of fuel or cargo, a gearshift speeds forward, reverse and neutral; a seat belt, an accelerator pedal and control knobs to raise, lower and tilt the lifting fork. There may also be a control knob to move the fork’s elevation to the right or the left. In addition, you can have headlights, reverse, a mirror, a reverse alarm lights and other safety devices. Many models require hand brake is activated, the lever is placed in the neutral position, the belt is fastened and seat is pushed to start. Some models the motor will automatically stop if the safety harness is unfastened and/or the operator leaves the seat. These security measures ensure that the vehicle cannot move without care.


Once you have read the manual and complete pre-operative inspection it is time to assemble your forklift. Use the three contact points to climb and get your forklift to prevent falls. Adjust the seat so that it is at a comfortable distance from the steering wheel. Make sure you buckle up your seat belt. Now make sure that the handbrake is fully activated, that your foot is on the brake pedal and shift lever is in neutral. Now you can start the engine. Once your boot hoists listen engine. It sounds softly as if it works normally? If so, it continues. Get the habit of always check load or fuel gauge each time that you start the engine. Now check the lever that raises and lowers the forks. Upload them soft and slowly and lower them to about a foot (30 cm) from the floor. This is the height to which it must be when driving. Try the tilt control knob. Make sure that all movements are smooth, if you could not have hydraulic problems. Now check out the speaker. With your foot still on the brake, release the parking brake pedal, push the shifter forward and leaves the forklift to move forward. Detente. Place the switch in reverse, turn on your seat and slowly goes back a few meters. If everything is OK, you are ready to begin the operation of your forklift.


The initial driving must be done in an open as a parking lot or an empty wine cellar area. Slowly, the driver must handle with care not to go faster than a walk to pass fast.Ticking, the conductor must be turning in his seat and back slowly. It is recommended that the forklift Horn is played back if there is an automatic alarm on the forklift. Lifting forks should be approximately one foot (30 cm) of soil to lead. The forks must be down so that, if someone is hit with forks, the lesion causes maximum a broken leg and not a blow to the spine or head. Be careful and watch all your around. The practice will improve your driving. The rear of the tail-lift is very heavy so you can quickly turn for the way in which lift trucks are built. The weight of the hoist may cause great damage to the personnel, materials and facilities. Care when driving is essential. You should not joke, and people on the sides of the tail-lift or in the forks must not be tolerated. It handles slowly. Tour and looks back to the back. Meet the forklift so you can judge distances. When to take very high loads to see above them, move back so you can see where you’re going. With heavy loads, climb back ramps, this will give you more control.Use your seat belt. If you fall off a deck or ramp and you are not using a seat belt, it can be fatal. Be careful and take your time. Practice, patience and follow safety rules will make you a good forklift operator.


Most loads will be moved in plastic pallets or wood. Lifting forks are adjustable. Practice lifting and moving empty pallets first. If you have to move objects in frames or in tight places, it is useful to have a rule of two men who help you see beyond the tail-lift masts.Practice driving indoors with an empty stage. Be careful when you place objects and learn to judge distances. Items can be placed very close can cause damage during placement. Keep in mind the limitations of weight of your forklift. Do not lift objects that exceed the weight limits in the operation manual. If you drive on docks, takes care of your kick distances so do not get out of the dock. Never drive towards a vehicle from a loading dock, unless the truck is coined, have the brake and have plates covering between the dock and the truck. When dudes driving slowly or stop and make it safer.


When you lift or turn down loads with the forklifts, forklift must be approached the truck, frame, or stack and then lift forks. The forklift should not move great distances or turning with a raised load. Movement with heavy loads may cause the forklift tipping causing injury or death. This can also damage the hoists, materials and facilities. The goal is the safe movement of materials without damage or injury.


When the operation is complete, the forklift must be parked on a flat surface and hard.Forks should be lowered to the ground and placed on the floor. This prevents someone is tripped and injuries caused by the front of the forks. The parking brake must always be activated with the engine off and key out of switch. The three contact points should be used to get the forklift.


Tips and warnings

  • Read the operation manual. Keep a record of the hours of operation so that oil changes and maintenance are carried out when required.
  • Do not use the seat belt can be fatal if the forklift overturns. Companions may be severely injured or dead, so do not let companions. The forklifts are for materials only.No person should be raised on the forks or on platforms. The loads must be lowered to a foot (30 cm) above the ground before move and rotate the forklift to avoid tipping.