How Operating a Forklift Differs from Driving a Car

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The Big Build: How to Use Heavy Construction Equipment

My name is Jerry, and I run a small construction company in Perth. My team normally completes relatively small jobs such as plastering walls, repairing electrical systems and constructing patios. However, one day a big client got in touch to say they wanted me to help them construct a large apartment building. I have never taken on such a big job before, but I thought it was a good chance to grow my business and gain some new skills. A friend who has completed large scale jobs before advised me on how I should hire the people and heavy construction equipment needed for the job. I learnt a lot from him, and my company has since completed several more big construction jobs. I have decided to start this blog to advise others how to hire and maintain heavy equipment.

How Operating a Forklift Differs from Driving a Car

16 January 2017
 Categories: , Blog

Some people may not take the step of enrolling to undergo forklift operator training simply because they think that operating a forklift is no different from driving a car. However, the truth is that operating a forklift is different from driving a car. This article discusses some of the major differences between those two activities. Use this information to enroll for forklift training in case you have been operating that lift vehicle without formal training.

The Age Requirement

Many jurisdictions have a different minimum age that someone must have attained in order to qualify to undergo training as a forklift operator. For instance, some areas accept only people who are at least 18-years old to train as forklift operators. Those areas may allow younger people to get a car driver's licence. This age difference shows that operating a forklift requires greater maturity than driving a car.

Contact with the Ground

Cars are supported on the ground by four tyres. This gives them greater stability while one is driving. Forklifts rest on three points of suspension from the ground. This makes forklifts to be less stable than cars. Consequently, hitting a pothole can cause the forklift to tip over. Such stability issues make it necessary for one to undergo thorough training before he or she can operate such a machine safely.

The Operating Environment

Forklifts are usually operated in challenging environments, such as crowded warehouses. All forklift operators need to have acquired proper skills in order to avoid causing accidents as they work in such a challenging environment. Besides, different forklifts are powered by different means, such as fossil fuel or electricity. Someone without the requisite training may find it hard to know what special precautions he or she needs to keep in mind when operating those different forklifts.

Pre-Use Inspections

It is usually mandatory for an operator to conduct a pre-use inspection of a forklift before using it. Such inspections are geared at identifying any defects, such as missing safety devices (defective horns, for example), that may compromise the health and safety of those within the work zone. You can only be effective at conducting those inspections if you have undergone forklift operator training.

As you can see, knowing how to drive a car isn't enough to make you capable of operating a forklift. You should enroll at a certified training facility so that you are prepared for a career as a forklift operator. In that way, you will reduce the likelihood of harming yourself or others when you are operating that equipment. For more information, contact companies like All Onsite Training and Assessment.