Once you receive your forklift operating license, it might feel like you’ve learned everything you need to know. However, formal training does not account for every nuance of the trade.
Each day on the job brings new learning experiences, and the more time you spend on a forklift, the better a driver you become. These are a few strategies for becoming a better forklift operator.
Have Your Equipment Ready To Go
The pre-shift inspection is one of the most important rituals of each day as a forklift operator. Not only is it required by law, but it makes your day easier knowing that you’re going to have a productive and comfortable experience while driving your forklift.
In addition, learning practical ways to improve forklift efficiency helps with safety and professional development. One factor to consider with equipment is the omnipresent fight against the elements.
Prepare for if it’ll be warm or cold. Whether you are in a warehouse or loading items outdoors, keep your footwear and a hard hat in mind.
Avoid Accidents With Proper Precautions
If driving a forklift was easy, then everyone would do it. It is a specialized skill that requires taking suitable precautions so accidents can be avoided.
Unfortunately, many accidents occur while entering or leaving the forklift’s cabin. Prevent such accidents by checking the step for grease, making sure your hands are empty before entering, and stretching your legs before a shift.
Ramps are where most driving accidents occur. Going on a ramp with an empty forklift makes any driver nervous, which is why you should practice before you hurt yourself.
Traversing a ramp requires moving forward when you’re going up the driving in reverse on the downslope. Therefore, always practice the basics on a ramp before driving on one with a full load, and make sure you never turn when on a ramp.
When you’re driving with a load, keep your forks as low to the ground as possible while maintaining the stability triangle. If your forks are too high while driving, you can tip over due to the weight and potentially injure a bystander.
Always Keep Your Eyes Open While Driving
Generally, forklift operators don’t receive much supervision on the job, which means the driver has a lot of responsibility. As a result, they’re the first to see a potential accident as it occurs.
Always be sure to check for obstacles on the floor and overhead to ensure nothing is in the way of where you need to go. Keeping the height of the forklift and the weight of the load in mind is one of the best strategies for becoming a better forklift operator.