Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Types & Fundamentals: Parts->Controls

Before operating a forklift, read and study the operator's manual discussion on controls. Locate each control and understand how to use each one.
  • Forward/Reverse Directional Controls
    The directional control allows the operator to move the forklift forwards or backwards. Directional controls can be column mounted (mounted on the steering column) or foot operated (controlled by shifting the accelerator pedal side to side).

  • Hydraulic Lift Controls
    Forklifts have hydraulic lift controls to raise and lower the forks and to tilt the forks. Visually inspect the hydraulic controls before each use and test that they are working properly. See Load Handling [covered later in our series] for more information on lifting loads.
     
  • Pedals
    Forklifts have accelerator and brake pedals that operate similarly to these pedals in other vehicles. Some forklifts also have a clutch, which allows shifting into higher forward gears.

    The inching pedal gives the operator more control of the forklift in tight places. See Steering, Turning and Changing Direction [covered later in our series] for more information on using inch pedals.

  • Parking Brake
    Forklifts are equipped with a parking brake. Be sure to set the parking brake when leaving a forklift and block the wheels if the forklift is parked on an incline. See Parking [covered later in our series] for more information on parking a forklift.

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