Forklift operators typically work under intense pressure and often have one of the most difficult jobs in the warehouse. Beyond getting the certification(s) required to be a forklift operator, there are many other skills to have or develop for better forklift operation.
Lucas Liftruck's Tips for Operation:
- Communication skills- A forklift operator is usually working in an environment with significant foot traffic and because they are carrying load which makes it difficult to see, it is important for them communicate effectively to alert people around them. If they are unable to navigate the area solely, they might need to appoint a spotter to ensure that they can drive through safely.
- Attention to detail- Great forklift operators must be attentive to their surroundings not only for their safety but the safety of everyone involved. It is important to be alert when operating the equipment and avoid operating it if tired or distracted. Attentiveness is also useful to help an operator spot any faults with the machine.
- Patience- it takes patience to operate a forklift correctly. They are steered with rear wheels and it needs to be loaded correctly so that the weight is evenly distributed. If a driver is in a hurry to complete their task, they could endanger themselves and others. But with patience, they are more likely to execute the task with proper care and focus.
- Ensure you secure your load: it is very important to properly load the forklift and check for balance and stability. Doing this will prevent any part of the load from tipping over and causing an accident. Where necessary also, use bindings to secure the load before you begin driving.
- Able to work under pressure: Forklift operation can is often a high pressure job. Yet, it requires focus and attention in order to maintain a safe working environment. An operator must train themselves to be able to handle pressure while still working meticulously.