Before you purchase a forklift, you should be aware of its classifications. Depending on the type of forklift, the task it is used for, and the environment it is used in, forklift safety regulations may differ. The operator of a powered industrial truck is ultimately responsible for the vehicle’s safety, so it is vital to follow these standards when operating a forklift. Listed below are some of the things to keep in mind when selecting a forklift.

Classifications of forklifts

There are several classifications of forklifts, but you might be wondering which one suits your specific needs. The answer depends on the type of operation and operating environment. If your facility has narrow aisles and needs a small, lightweight truck, you should opt for Class II trucks. OSHA has checklists for different types of forklifts, including sit-downs and stand-ups. You may also want to consider the type of truck you use, such as a side-loader, or a high-lift straddle.

The design of forklifts allows impressive weight capacities, but the most important factor is how you use them. In order to maximize your efficiency and safety, you should consider the capacity, lift center, stability, fuel type, and terrain of your job site before choosing a forklift. Here are some tips to help you select the right forklift:


A forklift’s components include its mast, forks, and attachments. The mast is the part that moves and rotates. Fork attachments are mounted on the carriage, which moves up and down on the mast rails. Various types of attachments are available, including side shifters, which allow users to shift the forks without repositioning the truck. Other attachments include rotators, which allow for easy dumping of a load when used in conjunction with barrel clamps. Another common forklift attachment is the man basket, which is a platform with railings for safe access. It is also attached to the carriage with a chain or strap.

The mast of a forklift is an essential component for moving a heavy load. Its height is essential for maneuvering the lift, but it’s important to note that attachments and extra weight will reduce the forklift’s load capacity. A forklift’s load capacity is calculated by computing the load capacity using the stock fork carriage, so the actual load rating may be lower. As a result, a forklift’s load capacity may be significantly reduced when the operator is operating the machine.


Forklifts have a range of controls that control how they move. They usually have an accelerator pedal, brake pedal, and inching pedal. A clutch can be installed to shift the forklift into higher forward gears. Inching pedals allow the operator to control the speed in tight areas, such as a narrow aisle. Forklifts also have a parking brake. When not in use, the operator should set the parking brake and block the wheels if the truck is being parked on an incline.

A forklift can be dangerous, so it’s important to understand its controls. During a routine inspection, drivers should make sure the machine is working properly. In addition to the braking system, drivers should make sure that the tires are in good condition. During daily maintenance, drivers should pay attention to the brakes and hydraulic fluids on their forklifts. They should also check for snags on the moving parts of the forklift.

Safety standards

Forklifts should meet certain safety standards. The operator must complete a thorough safety check before every shift. Test the brakes and lights, and do not use the forklift if any of them are not working. Also, powered industrial lift trucks produced after 1992 must have restraint systems and enclosures. Failure to follow these regulations can result in stiff penalties. If you’re a forklift operator, follow these safety standards and keep your employees and customers safe.

When driving a forklift, always keep pedestrians in mind. Always keep the forklift a few inches away from a pedestrian. Also, keep the forks low so that you have good forward vision. Make sure to use a spotter to assist you when turning or reversing. Lastly, you must be aware of the height of the load and of any shelving above it. In addition, you should always keep a safe distance from pedestrians, and always check the height of the load with the forklift’s backrest.


The history of the forklift begins in 1909 when the first steel powered lift truck was developed. This type of lifting vehicle was used to move loads horizontally and vertically. By the end of the decade, forklifts had become an important part of warehousing and shipping operations. As the industrial revolution began, forklifts gained popularity and soon became ubiquitous. By the end of the decade, they were being used heavily on the other side of the Atlantic, especially in the manufacturing industry.

The forklift has a long history and has undergone many changes over the years. While the modern forklift has many benefits, its early versions were much different from the ones we know today. For instance, the first lift truck was used by rail workers in Altoona, Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Railroad Company developed the truck for more efficient luggage transport, and it was later adopted by the Clark Company. By the 1950s, the Clark Company developed a machine for lifting and moving materials in a warehouse.