Everything you ever wanted to know about operating a forklift


A forklift is defined as a powerful tool capable of loading and lifting thousands of pounds. Although a forklift looks similar to a small truck, it differs by having two metal forks located on the front, which is used to lift the loads.

The operator drives the forklift forward until the metal forks (also known as the tines or blades) pushes under the load and lifts the cargo by operating the forks. These forks are usually made of heavy-duty steel, which allows carrying or lifting tons of loads over several feet into the air.

In some warehouses, forklifts do not include metal forks. Instead, they are designed with long metal poles that are used in lifting larger rolls.

Another variation of forklifts is trucks with clamp attachments. Referred to as clamp trucks, these kinds of forklifts allow the operators to open or close around the load. These variations of forklifts are often used for moving cartons or boxes.

Forklifts can be powered by propane, electricity or gasoline. Electric forklifts depend on batteries in order to operate. These kinds of forklifts are more recommended for warehouses since they don't discharge fumes like gas-powered forklift trucks.

On the other hand, propane and gasoline forklifts perform faster compared to electric forklifts. However, fuel tends to be expensive and gas forklifts are usually harder to maintain.

There are many kinds of forklifts and they are categorized based on load capacities. Usually, forklifts for warehouses can lift loads up to five tons. However, there have been new models that could lift up to 50 tons of loads.

Rough terrain forklifts, which have the highest lifting capacities among all forklifts, are commonly used outdoors because they are designed with heavy-duty tires that allow smooth driving even on uneven surfaces. These kinds of forklifts operate on gasoline, diesel or even natural gas.

Regardless of forklift being used, it is important that all forklift operators abide by the basic safety precautions when driving the forklift. Operators should ensure that they would not exceed the load capacity of the forklift at all times.

Driving the forklift truck is largely similar to driving cars in reverse. For this reason, the operator should be able to drive the forklift smoothly with its rear wheel steering. If possible, hire a professional forklift operator with license or make sure they are trained with the basic safety guidelines and forklift maintenance.

Forklifts have allowed one person to lift loads of a thousand pounds at once. These powerful equipments have completely revolutionized heavy-duty work. With proper safety operations, transporting and lifting loads is definitely a simple task.