People who are going through forklift licence training need to learn habits which will keep them safe during every phase of forklift operation. This article discusses some of the things that one should do after mounting a forklift.
You should never do anything with a forklift unless you are properly seated. Fasten the seat belt as soon as you get into the operator's seat. This step is important because you can never predict when an accident will occur and cause you to fall out of the seat. Adjust the seat if it is adjustable and only do other things once the belt is fastened.
Check the Parking Brake
Check the parking brake and confirm that it is engaged before you do anything else. The parking brake prevents the forklift from moving forwards or backwards accidentally (even if you haven't started the engine). This step is especially important if the forklift wasn't parked on a level surface. Your weight alone can cause the lift vehicle to shift and start moving.
Examine the Controls and Levers
It is also important for you to check each of the levers and controls in the forklift. These include the lever that controls the direction in which the forklift moves and the levers that activate the different attachments on the forklift. All those controls and levers should be showing that they are 'neutral'. Check all the safety locks and engage them if they weren't engaged when you mounted the forklift.
Locate the Throttle Control
The throttle control serves as the accelerator of the forklift. It is a pedal, just like what you would find in an ordinary car. It shouldn't be in a position which could cause the forklift to move once the engine is started. Different forklift types may have different ways in which this pedal is operated, so your pre-start routine should be tailored towards ensuring that the accelerator is where it should be to prevent any movement of the forklift.
Look at the Gauges
Start the engine and observe the various gauges, such as the fuel gauge, and confirm that they are all working. These gauges and indicators are important because they are the first thing to alert you in case something is wrong. You should avoid operating a forklift which has a gauge/indicator which has malfunctioned.
Make sure that you implement all the recommendations given to you by the forklift operator trainers. It is better to start your career with the right operator habits instead of trying to change the wrong habits later on.