Six forklift truck mistakes and how to avoid them

The forklift industry is a fascinating place to work and there is always an abundance of new information to take in. However, ensuring that you know all of the required knowledge can be a bit difficult to maintain. So here are the nine key things to remember when operating a forklift truck.

Know your capacity

Load capacity is one aspect of working within the logistics industry that is way too undervalued by machine operators. Carrying a load that is too heavy for your machine can cause it to become unstable - which is when accidents happen.

Not knowing your surroundings

It’s fine if you have been working in the same warehouse or facility for several decades. However, if you are new to the workplace or regularly travel around from place to place - then it’s best to familiarise yourself with your surroundings before you start. Even F1 drivers survey the track on foot before they practice in order to understand how it works. So if it’s good enough for them, then it should be good enough for you!

Not communicating effectively

There is a marked difference between shouting and communicating effectively. Not being clear or using non-workplace related language can make a dangerous situation much, much worse. By simply shouting you could startle rather than warn the person you are trying to avoid. Make sure that you are clear and concise about everything that you are doing while you operate a forklift truck.

Poorly maintained machinery

If you don’t look after your machine, then it can’t look after you. You need to make sure that everything is working properly before you use it. After a hard day's work you aren’t the only one that needs a bit of tender loving care. Check that your machine is working properly in order to prevent any nasty maintenance bills.

Also, it is important to ensure that everything is functioning to the best of your machine’s capabilities before you start using it.

Going too fast

In our view, hurtling about the warehouse is simply a waste of time. You can’t get anywhere fast in a warehouse so it’s just simply better to actively be aware of where you are travelling and also of your surroundings. Speeding with a forklift is one sure fire way to cause accidents and damage to yourself and others around you.

Bad parking

This is something that all of us are sometimes guilty of. However, it is incredibly annoying (to say the least) and causes problems for people other than yourself. If you do insist on parking recklessly then please ensure that you park in a way that enables other people to get in and out. Also, warehouses are cramped by nature so it’s best to make use of all possible space when parking your forklift. Otherwise, there won’t be enough room for everyone else.

We hope that you take note of these golden rules for next time you are working in the warehouse. For more information about forklift truck safety and maintenance then please get in touch.

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