Operating a Regular Counterbalance forklift
1 Before utilizing the machinery, carry out a pre-shift check. OSHA guidelines do state that pre-shift checklists need to be performed every day or every shift. Every different machine along with its attachments has its own checklist listing lights, emergency brakes, brakes, steering, horn, controls and safety features.
2 Start up the equipment and check controls. Primarily ensure your seatbelt is fixed firmly and the seat is firmly in place and adjusted for your comfort. Look underneath the equipment after you move it for any indications of leaks. The operation of every type of lift truck is different.
3 Don't forget differences in the basics of forklift operation as opposed to a standard vehicle. The rear end swing of the forklift occurs due to the fact that the truck steers utilizing its rear wheels. Forgetting this information is a main cause of injuries and accidents to workers. The almost 90-degree turn from the front wheels should be performed with great caution. These top-heavy equipment have a high center of gravity even without a load. When lifting or moving a load this top-heaviness is exacerbated.
4 Keep forks close to the floor when traveling. Use caution when approaching loads. Be sure the forks line up correctly with the pallet. Lift the load only as high as is necessary, tilting it back to help stabilize the machinery. Only drive backwards if the load is very bulky that it interferes with driver vision.
5 Check the wheels on trailers/trucks prior to unloading and loading. Do not travel on slopes, specially when carrying a load. The machinery could tip over on a slope. When driving on an incline is unavoidable, always drive up the incline and back down. The load should be kept on the uphill side of the truck.
6 The operator should be firmly in control at all times. The primary cause of operator injuries is tip-over. The operator should never try to jump out of the truck in the event of a tip-over. The safest method is to lean away from the direction of fall while holding the steering wheel and bracing your feet.