Forklifts are commonly used in a variety of business to transport heavy loads over short distances. The controls for the fork are generally well-standardized and typically consist of three levers, although the specific operation will vary according to the model. The basic operation of a forklift may be classified into the following procedures:
Forklifts have several different power sources such as batteries, diesel, gasoline and propane. However, you’ll generally start all of these models by turning an ignition key. Ensure the hydraulic mechanisms and tires are working order.
The controls used to drive a forklift basically consist of an accelerator and brake pedal, along with an automatic transmission. When driving a forklift, bear in mind that the controls are counter-intuitive because you steer it with the rear wheels. The weight distribution of a forklift also makes less stable than a car.
Ensure your driving area is clear of obstacles. Lower the fork by pushing the first lever on the left forward. The fork will normally be fully lowered when you’re driving it without a load.
Position the forklift in front of your load and shift the forklift’s transmission into park. Slowly move your forklift forward to place the fork directly under the load. Lift the load only as much as needed to keep the forklift as stable as possible.
You may need to use the third lever to adjust the fork before picking up your load. The function of the third lever is not as well-standardized as the other two levers on a forklift. The third lever may change the distance between the tines of the fork, or it may shift the fork to the left and right of center.
Pull the first lever towards you to lift the load, and pull the second lever towards you to tilt the fork back. Tilting the forklift helps secure the load and prevents the forklift from falling forward, especially for heavy loads. You may be able to tilt the fork back by as much as 30 degrees, depending on the model of forklift.
Shift your forklift into reverse and move backwards to clear the loading area. Sound the horn and turn corners very carefully while driving a forklift, especially when you’re carrying a load.
Position the forklift in front of your destination and straighten the fork as needed by pushing the second level away from you. Move the load into position by driving the forklift forward and lower the fork by pushing first lever away from you.
You may also need to use the third lever to move the fork into the necessary position. Shift your forklift into reverse and move backwards to free your load from the forklift.