Before operating a forklift, you should familiarize yourself with its controls. Test the horn, brakes, and parking brake. After that, move the forklift forward a few feet, and climb out to check for any leaks. Fluids on the floor can be a slipping hazard. Lastly, make sure you have all of the safety equipment necessary for forklift operation. Read on to learn how to use a forklift.

Classifications of forklifts

There are two main categories of forklifts, both of which are used for different types of work. Internal combustion and pneumatic forklifts are powered by gasoline or electricity and are usually equipped with cushion tires for better traction. They can be used both indoors and outdoors and are ideal for use in areas where there is no need for a high clearance. In addition, some models are counterbalanced to avoid tipping over.

Electric Motor Hand Trucks, also called hand trucks, are ideal for lifting loads just a few inches off the ground. They are great for unloading delivery trucks, small warehouses, and short distance movement of pallets. They can be either walk-behind or mounted on a truck. They weigh 2,000 to 8,000 pounds. Class III walkie-riders are electric-motor powered, and have a solid-tire design. Class IV reach trucks are designed for work on smooth and hard surfaces.

Functions of forklifts

Forklifts have various functions. They can be used to lift goods, carry heavy materials and perform other industrial functions. Forklifts have rear wheels and are capable of turning in tight corners. The steering mechanism on these machines is different from that of a wheeled vehicle. Therefore, the force required to steer the forklift is considerably less. These forklifts are also able to maneuver around tight corners without crashing into other objects.

Forklifts can be equipped with many types of sensors. One type is the proximity sensor. These sensors detect objects within a few centimeters and a few meters of the machine. Using these sensors, the operator is alerted without any useless alarms. Another type is the ultrasonic sensor. This type beeps when an object is detected and measures the distance between it and the forklift. It is usually used in warehouses.


Forklifts have controls that function almost identically to those found on a normal car. The accelerator and brake pedals are located on the left side of the vehicle. The forklift’s clutch pedal assists in increasing its speed and is similar to a car’s brake pedal. In addition to the controls for lifting and steering, a forklift has a number of other features that allow the driver to adjust its performance.

Forklifts have a steering system and steering wheels that let the operator steer the forklift from side to side. A steering wheel may also contain a knob that turns the wheels faster or slower. Other controls for a forklift include a lift and tilt lever. The latter allows the operator to adjust the angle of the forks with the ground, while a side shift lever controls the horizontal movement of the carriage.

Safety equipment required to operate a forklift

Before operating a forklift, operators should first perform a full inspection of the equipment. Operators should also check the brakes and lights, and if either fails, should not operate the equipment. Also, powered industrial lift trucks are required to have a restraint system or enclosure. Operators should also avoid turning the forklift on inclines or grades. To avoid tipping, they should keep their forks pointed up, as they might need to reverse the machine.

The operator’s protective equipment includes a hard hat and eye protection. Hard hats protect operators from falling objects and even unconsciousness, while eye protection is also essential. In addition, forklift operators should wear reflective vests and other workwear to help them remain visible while operating the forklift. Finally, safety boots and reflective vests are essential. Forklift operators should be aware of the potential hazards around them and wear the proper PPE.