If you are interested in logistics and efficiency in your construction business, you may want to consider a forklift. Forklifts are a crucial part of the industry for reducing workload.

However, to get the most out of your machine, you need to use it the right way. Read on to discover 5 pro tips for operating a forklift.

1. Keep Payloads Low

You may not know if your business needs a forklift until you understand what they are capable of. Depending on the model, a lift can handle anywhere from 3,000 to 35,000 pounds, like those available on www.vistaequipment.com.

However, no matter how heavy your payload, it’s a good practice to keep it low to the ground. Keeping the weight down provides a low center of gravity.

Only lift the equipment off the ground when it has reached its destination. This will help maintain balance for better control.

2. Keep Your Head on a Swivel

One of the best forklift tips is the reminder to look around. Keeping your head on a swivel will limit potential incidents.

It’s critical to be aware of forklift obstacles. Bay doors, shelving, signage, wires, and any number of other things can get in the way. Look where you are and where you are going before using the forklift.

3. Avoid Distractions

There are almost 35,000 serious forklift injuries each year. Many of these accidents are caused by distractions.

As this is the case, you need to stay focused when operating a lift. The main goal is to move the payload in a safe and efficient manner. Everything else can wait.

Don’t get distracted by coworkers, use the horn to make everyone aware of your presence, and don’t take your mind off the controls.

Attentive forklift operations will limit workplace injuries.

4. Operate with Safety Equipment

Safety gear plays an important role in proper forklift operations. This might sound strange, but a forklift is considered heavy machinery. Heavy machinery requires safety precautions.

As such, pro operators will use protective gear like work shoes, hard hats, and high visibility clothing.  Forklifts even have a seatbelt for operator safety. Be sure to wear yours.

You may even consider using cones or bollards to section off your workstation. This practice will keep your colleagues safely out of the danger zone.

5. Practice Makes Perfect

You probably weren’t a great driver when you first learned how to use a car. The same is true for using a forklift.

At first, it can be scary lifting and moving around thousand-pound payloads. Spending time on the forklift will dramatically improve your skill and confidence.

There are many nuances with forklift operations that require practice. Driving up ramps, loading trucks, and stacking pallets are only a few of the skills that need honing.

Put the time in and, before long, the forklift will feel like second nature.

Operate a Forklift Like a Pro

A forklift can make operations easier at your business, but only if you use it correctly. Keep this guide in mind during use. These tips will have you operating a forklift like a pro.

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