Having a good understanding of forklift controls is essential to a safe operation. They should be one of the very first things you learn in training. If you aren’t familiar with forklift controls, you probably won’t know how to operate a forklift safely.
Many compare operating a forklift to driving a car. However, learning how to drive a forklift and how to drive a car are two completely different things. That’s why OSHA requires operators to familiarize themselves with forklift controls. It’s a part of training. For more information on OSHA’s forklift training requirements, visit 1910.178(1).
Certain forklift controls are universal. However, there are always going to be variations across different forklift types. A basic understanding of forklift controls will help you overcome these differences.
Learn how to operate a forklift with this forklift controls guide! Then, find your next forklift with the help of Forklift Inventory.
Learning how to drive a forklift is different to driving a car, but there are still similarities. Pedals are one such similarity.
There are three main forklift pedal types. They are the accelerator, brake, and clutch.
These three pedals are standard, meaning most forklifts have them. There are other types of pedals that aren't standard. This is because not all forklifts require them to function. A notable example of this is the inching pedal which is on some, but not all, models.
Just like tractors and lawnmowers, forklifts also come with directional controls. Directional controls help operators move forward or backward.
There are three forklift directional controls: park, drive, and reverse. They have three positions: forward, neutral, and reverse.
The placement of directional controls varies from forklift to forklift. They could be mounted to a lift's steering column or operated by foot.
We've covered accelerator pedals above. There are two that act as directional controls. The first pedal, when pushed, moves the forklift forward. The other moves the forklift in reverse. The operator shifts his foot from pedal to pedal to move the forklift in the desired direction.
Lifting mechanisms play a key role in a forklift's functionality.
The lifting mechanisms both raise and lower forks to move loads. There are three basic control knobs. One allows you to lift the forks up or down as desired. The second tilts the forklift and its blades accordingly to secure a load. The third moves the load side to side. Some forklifts come with a fourth knob that controls fork width.
Make sure to look over these controls when learning how to operate a forklift. Also, check to see they work on your individual model. Otherwise, it'll be hazardous to operate.
Now that you know how to operate a forklift, it's time to find a forklift to operate.
That's where Forklift Inventory comes in.
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Forklifts can be very dangerous. One in every ten operators experiences a forklift accident, some of which are fatal. Prevent accidents by practicing OSHA forklift hand signals and operating with caution.
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Forklift Inventory has the largest online selection of forklifts, aerial lifts and construction forklifts. Compare new and used forklifts to get the lowest prices available.