Before operating a forklift, you need to know how to maintain the machine. In addition, as you go and your workers go through training, it’s essential to know how a forklift machine works. Here’s a brief guide to operating a stand-up forklift.
The Differences Between a Stand-Up and Sit-Down Forklift
As workers transition through different forklift certifications, there’s a chance they’re more familiar with operating sit-down forklifts. However, even though both types have similar principles regarding handling, they have different controls.
For starters, many sit-down forklifts have a system similar to a car—a steering wheel and pedals. A stand-up forklift uses a wheel to steer and has and a joystick to control the direction of the forklift. Aside from those key differences, another is size. A stand-up forklift appears smaller and makes sharper turns. Additionally, they have better visibility when traveling backward.
How To Operate a Stand-Up Forklift
As we said previously, both forklifts differ in some ways, such as size, the operation types, and how different they are when backing up. There are four key steps to learn and know before using a stand-up forklift.
Inspect the Lift
Like other forklifts, you need to start with a maintenance check. Every time a forklift driver uses a stand-up forklift, they need to do an inspection.
Some things to check before starting include:
- Check wheels
- Check the fluid levels
- Check charge levels
- Check the forks and mast
- Ensure safety lights are working
Securing the Load
Before engaging the load check to see that the load is secured. The fork width needs to equally support the load and the length should extend at least 2/3 of the length of the pallet. To help keep the load stable, tilt the forks back slightly.
As you lift the load, don’t extend the mass to its full height, carry the load within a few inches of the ground. Carrying the load too high will cause the lift truck to become unstable and can tip the forklift. If you don’t have a load, be sure you don’t have the forks tilted excessively down, this could cause safety issues when traveling.
Operating a Stand-Up Forklift
First, turn the key. Wait for the system check. Then, as you tilt the control handle forward, the machine moves. The movement happens fast, so ensure you push gradually to unsafe travel speeds.
Remember, the steering is very different on a stand up forklift than a sit-down forklift. So you need to focus on steering correctly to avoid mistakes.
Why You Need Training
After learning how to operate a stand-up forklift, now it’s time to learn more about this type and the class it comes from. For more additional ways to build your current knowledge, purchase a forklift training kit for you and your workers.
First Quality Forklift Training provides many ways for employees to learn their way around the stand-up forklift and the many other forklift types. Contact us here for more information on our forklift certification kits.