What Not to Do When Driving a Forklift: Top Driving Mistakes

Is your business overwhelmed by a scourge of forklift driving accidents? Make no mistake: while operating a forklift requires skill, precision, and attention, there are practices that can be utilized to slash the likelihood of easily avoidable errors. The fact remains that even the most knowledgeable forklift operators commit foolish errors and mistakes. Some of these mistakes include being unaware of how much space your load is taking up, not looking behind you before reversing, not observing surroundings, and taking on too much weight . Here is the scoop on these four easily avoidable forklift mistakes made everyday in the field:

1. Poor Space Awareness – Even expert drivers take for granted how large or small their load might actually be compared to their perception. It is imperative to get a second pair of eyes on board to accurately gauge space awareness. In the event a load is taking up too much room, another set of eyes can alert the driver who can sometimes be unaware of the parameters of size.

2. Reckless Driving and Operation – Failing to look behind you before reversing is a dangerous practice. Unfortunately, it is a common error committed by many forklift operators. It is absolutely essential to look behind as you reverse be that there is a risk of an employee who is not paying attention to the forklift barreling down in their direction. A big part of driving is perceiving risks to both yourself and the environment around you. Thus it is essential to look behind you as reverse. Additionally, using excessive speed or taking sharp turns are two other practices that can result in disaster. Thus it is important to operate these machines with the utmost care and safety.

3. Not Observing Surroundings – Unfortunately this is another common occurrence. Being unobservant of your surroundings is ever more prevalent in the modern age of hand-held technologies which distract many on a regular basis. In the material handling business, the emergence of this narrative is no different. As a result, many accidents are created by virtue of operators failing to observe their surroundings. While using any forklift, it is necessary to keep your head on a swivel and be on the constant lookout for any prospective perils and other people. The quicker the trouble is identified and communicated to the rest of the team, the less likely an injury or accident is bound to occur.

4. Taking on Too Much Weight – According to AFTT, adding too much weight to any forklift can procure a cornucopia of dangers. From malfunction of the lift trucks themselves to poor balance in operation, overloading can be certain to put staff and personnel in harm’s way. Thus, it is essential for any forklift operator to be aware of the rating for their vehicle and to err on the side of caution when picking up a load. Opting to package materials several hundred pounds below the forklift’s weight consumption rating will only assure safe handling and maneuvering.

About Tom Reddon

Tom has been involved in the forklift industry since 1986. He loves doing research, blogging, and speaking about forklifts. You can contact Tom on his Twitter or Google+ profiles.

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