Before operating a forklift, read and study the operator's manual discussion on
controls. Locate each control and understand how to use each one.
Figure 1. Operator depressing inching
The directional control allows the operator to move the forklift
forwards or backwards. Directional controls can be column mounted
(mounted on the steering column) or foot operated (controlled by shifting
the accelerator pedal side to side).
Hydraulic Lift Controls
Forklifts have hydraulic lift controls to raise and lower the forks and to tilt
the forks. Visually inspect the hydraulic controls before each use and test that
they are working properly.
Handling for more information on lifting loads.
Forklifts have accelerator and brake pedals that operate similarly to these
pedals in other vehicles. Some forklifts also have a clutch, which allows
shifting into higher forward gears.
The inching pedal gives the operator more control of the forklift in tight
places. See Steering, Turning and Changing Direction for more information on using inch pedals.
Forklifts are equipped with a parking brake. Be sure to set the parking brake
when leaving a forklift and block the wheels if the forklift is parked on an
for more information on parking a forklift.