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Best Forklift Tips and Tricks to be an Effective Forklift Operator

Updated: Sep 3, 2021

What makes an experienced forklift operator good? Unfortunately, a lift truck operator license does not guarantee that, and it takes some time in the saddle to give you some hands on experience. Operating a lift truck has its fair share of challenges and issues and the entire experience can get intimidating. Although your reflexes and intuitions will help you throughout the day, these tips and tricks to ensure safe operation of forklifts and can help you get started.

Below are some simple tips to follow to ensure safe operation of forklifts.

Proper Gear

Among the most important things while driving a forklift is to remain in a comfortable position. During summer, if the warehouse temperature is not controlled automatically, make sure to wear moisture-wicking clothes. During winter, it is important to wear clothes that keep you warm. It is also essential to wear proper fitting footwear or you could put the entire workspace at risk. Uncomfortable clothing has a direct impact on your reaction time and reflexes.

Be sure that your machine has a good seat. Most new units come standard with suspension seats. These help with operator fatigue quite a bit. When an operator is more comfortable they are more focused at the task at hand and therefore are more productive with less product damage! Statistics don’t lie!

Equipment Inspection

This, although does not require a special mention, it is the best way to prevent mishaps from happening in the warehouse. No excuse seems valid to skip this step as pre-shift inspection should remain a mandatory responsibility for any forklift operator. Among the biggest misconceptions concerning forklift, inspections are to assume that that operator before you has inspected the forklift after their shift. Instead of relying on others for forklift clearance, take control of the safety of your shift by doing a pre-inspection every time before you operate it.

Clear Obstacles

It is easy to spot hindrances on the ground level while you drive the forklift. However, it's the obstacles above your head that need attention. Make sure you are aware of the height of your forklift and any loose tangled wires hanging low, broken frames, or protruding rods, etc. that could dangerous and unsafe. Also, be wary of the load to be carried, keep it low and secure. If possible, look out for the overhead obstacles and clear them before proceeding.

Limit the distractions

By the time you are a licensed forklift operator, you are on your own with no one to supervise you. This implies you are solely responsible the entire time you operate the forklift. Being a forklift operator without a supervisor could increase the chances of being unfocused, more distracted, and end up talking to others more. Therefore, this freedom should not be taken lightly and one must act responsibly while handling a forklift.

Eat Right

Although food has nothing to do with forklift operations, healthy food does. Gorging on junk food all the time would have your mind clouded and disturbed. A good diet would keep you in shape and your mind alert and working. You will have more energy to work and your immunity will remain strong.

Don’t Get Too Comfortable

It is important for the operator to be comfortable but excess of everything is bad and rightly so, getting too confident and comfortable would lead to accidents. Most accidents happen right while you enter or exit because you are either too confident about the situation or too excited to not notice the obstacles around you. Either way, it is important to stay vigilant.

The above tips will help you improve your skills and make you an efficient and experienced forklift operator. This domain depends on skillful forklift operators and there is no such thing as enough experience in this case as you learn something new every day.

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