How to properly operate a forklift/heftruck

Driving the forklift/heftruck is not the easiest task. It might seem that is only sitting behind the wheel, pressing a few buttons and you’re done! Meanwhile, the rules of moving a forklift are a bit more complex than you might think.
Special care and skillful use will make your work more effective and bring you more pleasure. So how to properly prepare for using a forklift/heftruck? First of all, you need to make sure that you meet the following criteria that will allow you to become an operator, namely:

How to properly operate a sideloader? – see how it should look like step by step:

  • you are over 18 years old;
  • there are no medical contraindications that may make you difficult to drive;
  • you have undergone appropriate training and are licensed as an operator.
  1. In the first instance, the operator’s role is to read the operating instructions for the device. It contains all the necessary information and parameters of the forklift truck.
    • Before you start working, it is necessary to carry out a daily inspection of the technical condition of the vehicle. In this case, you should pay attention to the most important aspects, such as:
      • visible external damage or lack of equipment;
      • the efficiency of the control panel;
      • operation of the gas and brake pedals;
      • efficiency of lighting and warning signals;
      • fluid level (engine oil, coolant, etc.)
      • battery level;
    • It is compulsory to fasten your seat belts.
    • Insert the key into the ignition switch, start the vehicle and pay attention to the display. If no warning lights appear, you can start working safely.
    • Raise the forks to the transport height (approx. 25 cm above the ground)
    • Always pay attention to the proper distribution of the load on the forks.
      Adjust the weight of the load to the value of the maximum capacity, never exceed the permissible values. The stability of the forklift truck depends largely on the operator, and the center of gravity of the transported goods should be in the center of the pallet.
    • Never carry passengers and passenger platforms / baskets- they are prohibited.
    • Turn the mast towards the hill when driving on a slope. Carrying out unloading and loading on slopes is strictly prohibited.
    • Never leave the vehicle with the engine running. If you have to leave the forklift, turn off the vehicle.
    • After finishing work, park the forklift in the designated place and remove the key from the ignition and put it in the right place.
    • What is the best way to safely lift loads with a front forklift – heftruck?
    • Transporting heavy loads requires high precision. In operating a forklift, not only skill and experience counts, but also concentration and attention to detail. After reaching the place of loading, you should perform the following steps:
    • Stop the vehicle at a safe distance from the loading site and straighten the mast.
    • Adjust the fork spread to the width of the load, raise it to the indicated height and slowly approach the load.
    • Carefully slide the forks under the load, trying to position them as far as possible for safe, stable lifting and transport.
    • Raise the forks to a safe moving height and tilt the mast toward you to resist the load on your counterweight.

    If you manage to do all of the above correctly without any obstacles, you are ready to transport and place the cargo in the indicated place.

    How to properly unload the front forklift?
    After reaching the place of unloading, you must proceed to the unloading activities one by one, namely:

    • Stop the vehicle at a safe distance from the unloading area and straighten the mast.
    • Raise the load to the indicated height and slowly approach the load.
    • Start unloading the goods.
    • When finished, place the forks back to the transport height.

    Both loading and unloading are the main elements of the forklift operator’s work, but not the only ones. Thanks to the installation of additional equipment, such as: plows, clamps, tilting waste containers, spikes, the device can become multifunctional, depending on the situation and need.
    In summary, being an operator is not only a certificate entitling you to work, but also exercises, practice and long hours spent on gaining experience. You can get all this necessary information by taking part in the training offered by Bonapi!

    Do not hesitate, sign up today!;)

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