Forklift Training

Alabama Homebuilders Self
Insurers Fund
Lift Truck Operator Training Program
Presented by the AHBSIF Loss Control Department
Course Outline
Lift Truck Basics
Fuels and Batteries
Emergency Situations
Fundamentals of Operation
Driving Test
I. Introduction
This presentation will provide participants
with the following:
– The importance of lift truck safety
– Component, weight, stability, and speed
characteristics of lift trucks
– Safe handling of fuels and batteries
– Daily maintenance and safety check
II. Lift Truck Basics
Section 1 - Awareness
Recognition of emphasized
• This message is used when special information,
instructions, or identification is required relating to
procedures, equipment, tools, pressures,
capacities, and other special data.
• This message is used when special precautions
should be taken to ensure a correct action or to
avoid damage to, or malfunction of, the truck or a
• This message is for proper precautions which, if
not followed, can result in personal injury.
• This message is used when a hazard exists
which can result in injury or death if proper
precautions are not taken.
• This message is used when an extreme hazard
exists which will result in death or serious injury if
proper precautions are not taken immediately.
Benefits of Operator Training
 Improved safety for the operator and others
 The operator learns how to perform a pre-shift inspection
– Reduce down time and maintenance costs
– Increase productivity
– Improve safety
 The equipment is better cared for
– Employees understand the value of the equipment and how to
use it efficiently
 Operator training and progress is documented
 OSHA requirements are fulfilled
Forklift Types
Narrow Aisle
Electric Standup
Forklift Types
Powered Pallet Truck
Sit Down Rider
(Pneumatic Tire)
• Section 2 – Components and Stability
Components of a Lift Truck
Overhead Guard
Restraint System
Lift Cylinder
Fuel Tank
Tilt Cylinder
Steer Axle and
Drive Axle and
Data Plate
• The data plate must be
in legible condition
• A data plate provides
the following
– Maximum lift height
– Attachment capacities
– Maximum weight
Lift Truck Weight
• Listed capacities are not good indicators of the
machines total weight
• A lift truck can weigh two to three times as much
as the lifted capacity
• A lift truck usually weighs twice its capacity
2:1 ratio
Estimated lbs
Truck Weight
8,000 lbs
4,000 lbs
175 lbs
12,175 lbs
Load Center
 The load center rating of a fork truck is the
maximum distance from the face of the forks to
the center of gravity of a capacity load.
 The data plate will have this information.
 Standard forks measure 24” at the load center.
 For every inch beyond the rated load center that
the load is placed, approximately 100 lbs. of
capacity is lost.
Load Center
Even though a forklift has four wheels, it is
only supported at three points.
The steering axle of most four-wheel lift
trucks is attached by means of a pivot
point in the center of the axle.
Center of Gravity
 The black spot in the triangle below represents the
Center of Gravity.
 The Center of Gravity (CG) shifts according to the
movements of the truck.
 If the CG moves outside the triangle the truck will
Center of Gravity
 Figure 1 shows
the CG shift when
the truck is loaded
and braking.
 Figure 2 shows
the CG shift when
the truck is
uneven or turning
with excessive
Lift Height
Center of Gravity
 As the CG gets
higher, the
stability of the lift
truck gets
 Loads must be
kept as low as
possible at all
• Section 3 – Safety Equipment
Common Safety Devices
 Roll Over Protection System (ROPS)
– Designed to minimize complete overturn
– Employees should never jump from a machine during overturn
– Integral Components include:
• Overhead Protection
• Seatbelt
• Protective cage
 Pedestrian Warning Devices
– Lights
• Headlights, Brake Lights
• Amber Strobes
– Horn and Back-Up Alarm
 Operator’s Manual
– Includes safe operating procedures and capacities
III. Fuels and Batteries
Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG)
Burns cleaner than gas engines.
Produces a poisonous gas that is not
easily detectable, must be operated in well
ventilated areas.
LPG is heavier than air and will seek low
lying areas.
LPG is extremely flammable, must avoid
all sources of ignition
Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG)
It acts like a liquid. It can soak into
It is compressed under high pressure in
the tank.
LPG in liquid state has a temperature of
44° below zero. Can cause frostbite on
contact with skin.
Chemicals are added to give the gas an
odor which helps identify leaks.
LPG Tank Handling & Storage
 A specified area should be designated for the
storage and changing of LPG tanks.
 Tanks should always be stored in their upright
position with all gauges and valves at the top
whether empty or full.
 When trucks are parked overnight or for extended
periods, the service valve of the tank must be
 Never park a truck near a source of heat.
 Always wear proper safety equipment when
handling tanks (safety glasses, heavy rubber
LPG Tank Removal
 Wear proper personal protective equipment.
 Do not smoke.
 Purge the fuel line by closing the tank’s service
valve and waiting for the engine to run out of
fuel. (Controls in neutral, forks down, brake on,
ignition off.)
 Once the service valve is closed, unscrew the
line connection and move the hose out of the
 Carefully remove the tank from the mounting
LPG Tank Installation
 Select a replacement tank in good service
 Do not roll or drag the new tank to the machine.
Use a cart or other suitable equipment.
 Position the tank in the mounting bracket by
aligning the collar hole over the mounting
bracket pin. (this is important for fuel
consumption and safety)
 Check all rubber seals in the tank and fuel line
LPG Tank Installation
Reconnect the fuel line connection until
Slowly turn on the service valve to full and
slightly backseat.
Make sure both tank clamps are adjusted
properly and hold the tank firmly.
If no leaks are detected, start the truck and
check for normal operation.
Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)
The same natural gas that powers hot
water heaters and furnaces.
CNG is different than LPG in that it
remains a gas even under high pressure.
CNG is lighter than air and dissipates
rapidly when released.
CNG tanks are usually permanently
mounted to the lift truck.
Gasoline and Diesel
 The difference between these two fuels is their
ignition temperatures.
 Gasoline
– Extremely flammable
– Colorless
– Distinctive odor
 Diesel
– Has higher ignition point than gas
– Colorless
– Slight odor, harder to detect than gas
Gas and Diesel Refueling
Most lift trucks filler caps are equipped
with a venting device and a fuel screen.
The screen serves as a fire retardant
device by keeping fire out of the fuel tank.
Check when refueling to make sure the
screen is in place.
Gas and Diesel Refueling
Safe refueling checklist:
– Refuel in designated areas with good
– Smoking and open flames are prohibited
– Shut off the truck, lower the forks, put the
truck in neutral, and set the parking brake
before beginning
– Don’t overfill the tank
– Clean up any spills
– Use only clean, properly marked fuel cans
A lead-acid battery is a portable power
source for supplying direct current
The most common voltages include 12,
24, 36, and 48 volts.
Discharging a battery below 80% of its
total capacity can result in shortened
battery and truck component life.
Battery Hazards
 Sulfuric Acid – Small amounts can cause severe
contact burns to the skin.
 Gasses – Batteries produce hydrogen and
oxygen mixture continuously. Keep all ignition
sources away.
 Electricity – Batteries are capable of producing
very high discharge rates. Avoid direct shorting
 Battery Weight – Use care when handling,
charging, and using batteries in the truck.
Battery Chargers
 Two types:
– Single Phase charger has two wires and a ground
with one transformer and two fuses.
– Three Phase charger has three wires and a ground in
the power supply cable. It has three transformers and
three fuses.
 Always correctly match the charger to the
voltage and amp hour ratings of the battery.
 Also check the input voltage and cycle. Input
voltage is most commonly 220, 440, or 480, with
US Standard 60 cycles.
Battery Charging
 Battery recharging requires a special service
area in accordance with OSHA section (g)(1).
The area must be:
Well ventilated
Truck off, set parking brake
Jewelry is prohibited
Personal protective equipment should include safety
glasses, head protection, aprons, and gloves
– All battery cables should be disconnected before
charger hook-up
– Handling must be done according to manufacturers
Battery Charging
– Vent caps must be left on during charging.
– If the battery is charged while still in the truck, the
compartment must be left open.
– The charger should be turned off before it is
connected to the battery then turned on to begin the
charging cycle.
– Color coded connectors help prevent connecting a
battery of the wrong voltage to the wrong charger or
– Chargers should be properly set to avoid over or
under charging.
– The charger should be turned off before
disconnecting from the battery.
IV. Emergency Situations
Are you prepared?
Does the facility have an evacuation
Are emergency contact numbers readily
Do any of your employees/co-workers
have CPR or First Aid training?
Does the facility have a first aid kit?
Handling an Emergency
The three C’s, Check, Call, Care help us
remember what to do in an emergency situation.
 Check – check the area for your own safety first,
then the victim's
 Call – for help, 911 or whom ever is in the
immediate area that can provide assistance
 Care - administer care to the victim, this may be
first aid or at least stabilization
Fire Prevention - Extinguishers
Ordinary Combustibles
Includes materials such as
wood and paper
Flammable Liquids
Includes fuels, grease,
other liquids
Electrical Fires
Contains non-conductive
smothering agent
How to Use a Fire Extinguisher
Pull -- Pull the pin at the top of the
extinguisher that keeps the handle from being
Aim -- Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire
Squeeze -- Maintain a distance of eight to
ten feet away from the fire and squeeze the
handle. Discharge will only occur if the
handle is being squeezed.
Sweep -- Sweep the nozzle back and forth at
the base of the fire until it appears to be out.
V. Fundamentals of Operation
Safe Truck Operation
 Trained Operators Only
– OSHA requires that only trained operators be allowed
to operate fork trucks
 Stunt Driving and Horseplay is Strictly Prohibited
– Fork trucks are heavy and powerful machines that
demand an operators attention and respect
 Read and Understand Operator Instructions
– You must read and understand the operators manual
for each truck you operate
 Faulty Equipment and Maintenance
– If at any time the fork truck is in need of repair or
defective in any way, it must be taken out of service
and fixed
Operating Around Personnel
 Operators should not rely on pedestrian warning
devices and mirrors.
 Know the terrain and visibility of your workplace.
 Sound your horn at intersections and blind
 If your view is blocked because of the load,
travel backwards. If you must move forward,
make sure that people are out of the way and
move the lift truck slowly.
Operating Around Personnel
Never attempt to move a load that requires
someone to steady or position the
Restack the load and/or
Secure the load to a pallet.
Never drive the fork truck up to someone
in front of a fixed object. Avoid potential
“caught between” exposures.
Upright and Fork Safety
Never allow anyone to walk under raised
upright whether loaded or empty.
Never allow anyone to stand on the forks
or climb the upright assembly.
Never allow anyone to reach or to step in
the areas of the mast, carriage, forks, or
Never allow anyone to ride on the truck.
Leaving or Parking the Truck
OSHA considers a fork truck unattended if the
operator is 25 feet away or out of sight of the
truck. Use the following tips when leaving the
truck or parking it for long periods:
 Bring the machine to a complete stop.
 Turn off the engine, for LPG trucks, shut off the
service valve and let the engine run out of fuel.
 Lower all attachments completely. Put the forks
on the floor.
 Place all controls in neutral.
Leaving or Parking the Truck
 Apply the parking brake.
 Never park on a grade or around traffic.
 Never leave the truck parked on a dock ramp,
dock leveler, or in a trailer.
 Never park the truck where it blocks emergency
or fire-fighting equipment or emergency travel
 Chock the wheels if needed.
 Turn off power supply and remove the keys if
Personnel Elevators
Lift trucks are not designed to lift people.
There are machines designed for this
– Scissor lifts
– Order Pickers (platform lift)
– Elevated work platforms
OSHA does allow the practice under
specific conditions (ASME B56.1).
Personnel Elevators
Must be designed by a professional
Must be designed to work with a specific
Occupants must wear a harness and
Operators must man controls at all times
Lift Truck Tip Over
In case of a tip-over, use the following
– Wear your seatbelt.
– Never attempt to leap from the truck.
– Grip the wheel firmly with both hands.
– Brace your feet firmly against the floor boards.
Handling Loads
Always balance and secure the load.
Never pick loads that are too heavy.
Be aware of your clearances at all times.
Check for overhead obstructions or power
Center the load. Forks must be at least
2/3 the length of the load.
Handling Loads
Handling Loads
When picking up a load, place the forks
under the load as far as possible.
Tilt the mast back slightly for stabilization.
Keep the load low. The forks should never
be more than 6 to 8 inches from the
 Square the truck to the
rack/bin and come to a
complete stop
 Elevate the load to the proper
height and Inch the truck in
 Tilt the load forward for
 Lower the forks to take
pressure off the pallet.
 Back the truck up till the forks
clear and lower them before
 Use the same procedure in
reverse when picking up a load
from a stack.
 Understand the traffic
laws of your environment
 Familiarize yourself with
the work area.
- Visibility
- Travel surface
 Maintain at least a three
truck length distance
between yourself and any
truck ahead.
 Always yield the right-ofway to any emergency
 Grades, Ramps, and
– Travel must be straight up
and straight down. Never
turn on ramps, slopes, or
– With a load, travel up or
down with the load pointing
– Without a load, travel up or
down with the forks
pointing downgrade.
– The load should be tilted
back and raised only as
high as necessary to clear
the surface.
 Dock Operations
– Before entering a tractor trailer make certain the
wheels are chocked.
– Check the trailer jacks. Make sure they are fully
lowered and secured.
– Inspect the floor of the trailer prior to driving on it.
– Check the dock boards between the trailer and the
dock. Always travel slowly over dock boards.
– Stay away from the edge of the dock.
– Use lights to improve visibility while working in
Hands-On Section
• Pre-operation Inspection
• Familiarization with operating controls and
• Driving exercises
– Figure 8 Test
– Reverse Mobility
– Lifting and Carrying
Pre-Operational Checklist
Forks, Backrest, Carriage
Leaks under Fork Lift
Mast, Chain, Hydraulic
Seat and Seat belts
Tires, Axles
Horn and/or Backup alarm
Overhead Guard/ROPS
Lights, Bodywork
Fuel Tank & Connections
Gauges and Instruments
Fuel Level
Hydraulic Controls & Lift
Engine Oil Level
All Brakes
Radiator Water Level
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