Tips you need to know to drive forklift safely?

Last Updated: January 20, 2021By Tags:

Forklift Safety

Modern movement of the forklift forklifts have a large number of elements designed to prevent accidents and maximize the safety of the operator who drives them. And precisely because of how easy and intuitive it is to drive, you may be wondering why these vehicles are equipped with so many security systems. The answer is simple, with models that start from 1,500 kg in weight to almost 40 tons, imagine the inertia they can have when hitting an obstacle at 20-30 km / h. This is why it is so important to avoid accidents, and the safety systems take care of it. We are going to review each one, grouping them by their protection role.

Operator Detection:

The moment in which the machine operator leaves it is critical and we must be sure that the vehicle does not continue to run or move:

Automatic Locking:


if the driver leaves his seat without applying the parking brake, the vehicle travel and mast lift functions will stop. An alarm will also sound.

Shift to Neutral

The transmission automatically shifts to the neutral position when the operator leaves the seat with the engine running and the steering lever forward or reverse.

Neutral position to start: If the direction switch is in the forward or reverse position when the operator turns on the power, the start-up will be automatically interrupted.

Forklift Movement:

In the operation of raising / lowering or tilting the mast, any unwanted movement of the forklift vehicle can be critical, therefore the following systems are provided:

Decrease in travel Speed:

when the mast is raised above the primary stage, an alarm sounds if it is tilted more than 2 degrees and an automatic leveling system returns it to the vertical position using an angle sensor incline.

Lowering and tilting lock: prevents the mast from lowering and tilting if the operator leaves the machine.
Speed ​​control

The speed of the truck, especially if it is fully loaded or on slopes, can be another source of accidents, and is controlled with various systems:

Curve speed control:

automatically reduces the speed of travel when cornering, reducing the risk of accidents or damage due to the load tipping. Maximum speed limiter: allows you to adapt the maximum speed of the vehicle to the conditions of its environment (slower indoors). Anti-reverse: prevents the vehicle from rolling back when stopping on a slope. Emergency switch: The operator can press the emergency switch on the steering wheel quickly to cut off the power to the vehicle.

Vehicle Visibility:

It is important both that the driver has excellent visibility, and that the truck is perceived by the surrounding personnel. To do this, the vehicle is equipped with a series of elements that enhance its visibility and detection:

High Visibility Design

The mast and guard cage are designed to provide optimal forward and upward visibility. Panoramic Rear View Mirror or Rear Camera: Provides the operator with a clear view of the rear work area, enhancing work safely and efficiently. Flashing beacon: its flash alerts you to the presence of the truck.

Reverse Horn:  When traveling backwards, it emits an intermittent sound.

Other Systems: In this category appear a Series of elements that also contribute to reinforcing safety and avoiding accidents:

Driver Identification: A PIN code or special magnetic key prevents an unauthorized operator in the operation of the machine from gaining access to it and may cause an accident due to inexperience.

Seat Belt Alert –  A warning light or alarm that reminds the operator to fasten the seat belt.

Passive Systems: Once the accident has occurred, they allow to minimize, as far as possible, injuries to the driver of the vehicle:

Seat Belt:  Prevents the operator from being thrown out of the cab of the truck.
Safety cage: steel structure that creates a safety zone around the operator to prevent crushing.