If you want to get the most from your forklift and be as productive as possible, you need to take care of your vehicle, and you need to make sure you have good driving skills. Here are some tips on how to do these things.
1. Keep forklifts well maintained
First, you should have the forklift inspected each year to make sure everything is working properly. Make sure the tires are inflated to the recommended pressure. Under-inflated tires reduce fuel efficiency and wear more rapidly.
You need to make sure all of the moving parts of the vehicle are well lubricated. Most of the moving parts on a forklift are greased to prevent wear from friction. So, you need to make sure all of the parts are greased regularly. You also need to keep an eye on the ball bearings in the vehicle and replace worn bearings.
Make sure you check the fluid levels regularly – transmission fluid, hydraulic fluid, coolants and motor oil should all be checked daily if you use the forklift every day.
If the power source for the forklift is a battery, make sure it is always fully charged. If the forklift runs on gasoline, make sure the tank is full when you start using it.
Pay attention of the gauges and indicator lights on the forklift. These devices will show you if something on the forklift is malfunctioning.
All of these practices will ensure the predictability of the forklift – ease of operation and doing exactly what the driver expects, which in turn will increase productivity
2. Make sure drivers are properly trained
Never allow anyone who is not properly trained to operate a forklift. By law, all forklift operators are required to be certified. To receive certification, a person must undergo classroom training as well as actual practice in driving the vehicle. Then, their performance in the workplace needs to be evaluated.
3. Use safe and efficient driving practices
Always drive the forklift at a safe speed. Turn corners slowly to avoid tipping the vehicle. If you are changing direction, always do it gradually and slowly. Avoid bumps, slippery surfaces or ground that is uneven.
Always check the loads before moving them to make sure they are stable. Make sure the loads are stacked across both of the forks. Loads should be tilted back when driving the forklift to make sure the vehicle is as stable as possible.
You should have clear visibility when racking loads and driving the forklift, as well as a good stable seating position. Never use the forks as levers to raise a heavy load, and do not push loads with the ends of the forks. Know the weight limit of a forklift and be sure that you never exceed that capacity.