How to Operate a Sit-Down Forklift Safely

April 02, 2021

An operator showing how to operate an orange sit-down forklift safely.

Sit-down forklifts are currently the most popular forklifts, thanks to their high productivity output and comfortable user experience. These forklifts have many more benefits, such as their low profiles, long-time use capacity, and the competitive speed they travel at. The simplicity of how to drive a sit-down forklift has even been compared to that of driving a car!

However, there are many concerns when it comes to how to operate a sit-down forklift safely. We'll provide you with best practices to maximize safety, but this guide should not be a replacement for specialist training and certification.

With that being said, let's dive into some brief guidelines for how to operate a sit-down forklift safely!

Before Operating Your Sit-Down Forklift

Whether you have certification on your class of products or not, always familiarize yourself with your forklift's individual design and features. Manufacturer guidelines vary, so assuming all forklifts are the same can be dangerous. Also be sure to thoroughly read the operator manual and bring any other questions you might have to your current supervisor.

Steps to Complete:

  1. When it comes to operating a forklift, you should conduct a pre-operational inspection every day of use. This walkthrough process should be simple and relatively quick. Never skip this step, as it is essential to operating your forklift safely.
  2. Make sure you're familiar with your forklift's features. Two key areas to test yourself with are where the controls are and the total capacity of the forklift.
  3. Always check to see if your fuel levels are ready to go! This will prevent you from taking a cursed walk to get another LP tank.
  4. Mount the forklift.
  5. Start the forklift!

While Operating Your Sit-Down Forklift

Operating a sit-down forklift has been compared to driving a car, but there are many differences to keep in mind. To handle rear-wheel steering, you'll need to turn slowly and leave sufficient space for rear-end swing. Always keep loads pointed when you negotiate a grade. Also make sure your equipment is parked in a stable place before lifting and lowering your forks.

Best Operating Practices:

  1. Make sure your seatbelt is always fastened.
  2. Don't play with the equipment.
  3. Sound your horn when you're first starting to move and before every intersection you go through.
  4. Yield to pedestrians every time.
  5. Be aware of your surroundings and never assume that your vehicle can be easily seen when operating a forklift.
Two warehouse workers reading a guide on how to drive a forklift.

After Operating Your Sit-Down Forklift

Implementing these best practices is crucial to maximize the safety and efficiency of your forklift. However, you will still need to complete thorough training on operating procedures before handling equipment in the workplace.

Another way to maximize safety and efficiency is to ensure you have the highest quality equipment available. That's where Forklift Inventory comes in.

Once you let us know what forklift type you want, we'll go through our inventory of new and used forklifts to provide you with free quotes in your area! Compare equipment from the largest inventory nationwide with Forklift Inventory today!

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