Tips For Safe driving of forklifts

It must be known that forklifts are vehicles that are used for the purpose of transporting and lifting different types of materials.

It is an essential element, especially in storage and in loading and unloading tasks. That is, it is not just any vehicle. Likewise, not everyone is trained to handle it.

This equipment avoids the risk of overexertion derived from manual handling of loads, but its handling entails other types of associated risks and the adoption of preventive measures to minimize them.

The Main Rules of Behavior that all drivers must comply with are:

  1. The driver must carry out the checks that are applicable to the type of truck assigned: Steering system, condition and tire pressure, brakes, fuel, oil, water, students, etc.
  2. The operator must respect all the protections and safety devices of the trucks: protective roof, safety belt, handbrake, emergency stop, light signaling, acoustic warning, etc.
  3. Check if there is any breakdown or deficiency, because if so, the equipment cannot be used.
  4. The operator must not carry out any repairs or adjustments on the truck on his own if he is not specially authorized.
  5. Only authorized and trained drivers may operate the truck.
  6. A good forklift driver must know his equipment and be familiar with its features, parts and how it works.
  7. The lifting capacity and center of gravity of the truck must be known.
  8. The worker must be informed of the characteristics of the trucks to be used. Recklessness must be avoided at all times.
  9. The worker must use personal protection equipment appropriate to the risks in the workplace: safety shoes, reflective vest, protective gloves against mechanical risk during manual handling of loads, hearing protectors, depending on the level of workplace noise, etc.
  10. Jewelry and loose hair are not recommended. It is recommended to wear tight-fitting clothing, especially if there is something that could be caught in the moving parts of the truck

The driver must:

– Always fasten your seat belt while driving.

– You must drive respecting the recommended speed limits: Outdoors – 20km/h and Indoors – 10km/h

– All traffic code signs and those existing within the facility must be respected.

– Always look in the direction of the marking, whether driving forwards or backwards.

– Pay close attention to the wheels. Do not continue driving in the event of a puncture.

– Before the end of the working day, you must make sure that: All the levers are in neutral, The engine is stopped, The brake is applied, The ignition key is removed, The fork arms are resting on the ground, If the truck is It is on a slope, in addition, it will be left very well covered.

– The driver must NOT:

– Lean out of the structure of the truck and must not put your head between the crossbars of the mast.

– Start and pause abruptly.

Drive quickly. The load can slide, tip over and injure both third parties and ourselves.

– Overtaking moving vehicles in situations of reduced visibility.

– Use reverse gear as a brake, or change the direction of the vehicle in motion.

– Go up slopes that exceed 10% slope.

– Introduce the truck in an elevator or forklift without having been authorized.

– Placing a load or parking the truck in front of fire fighting equipment, evacuation exit or electrical cabinets.

– Special attention should be paid to:

– When driving through corridors: Reduce speed and warn with an acoustic signal in those places with poor visibility and in the proximity of areas frequented by pedestrians.

– When turning or going around: Reduce driving speed and watch the load, especially if it is very bulky or unstable.

– When driving on uneven terrain: Drive slowly to protect the load from possible falls or damage.

– When driving behind another forklift: Keep a safe distance between your forklift and other industrial vehicles (equivalent to the distance of 3 forklifts). For Used Forklift Purchase click here


The operator responsible for driving the truck will be responsible for its condition. Although I share it with other colleagues from other shifts.

The worker must personally take care of the machinery through a daily inspection, the importance of which is vital to avoid the negative consequences derived if it is not carried out.

Therefore, the care and maintenance of the forklifts is one more obligation of the forklift operators, and must be supervised by a supervisor.

By Cary Grant

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