forklift controlsForklift controls vary depending on the type of truck. A certain type of forklift can have different operational controls from others. This is why before operating a forklift, it is important to familiarize yourself with the owner's manual where you can read the location of the controls and understand how each control works.

Hydraulic Lift Knobs – Forklift has three basic controls knobs. One that lifts the forks up or down, the second one tilts the forks/blades down or up to secure the load, and the third to move the load side to side.

Some types of forklifts have a knob that controls the width of the fork.

Forklift Directional Controls – This basically works just like the transmission of a car. If you want to park the car, you put it in “P” or park, if you want to drive the car, you put it in “D” or drive, and you want to reverse, you switch the transmission lever to “R.” But forklift directional control has only three positions, forward, neutral and reverse. Forklift directional controls can be steering column mounted or foot operated.

You Can Also Watch This Video:

Watching something is the best way to learn the skill, so here’s a Youtube video that explains how the hydraulic lift knobs and directional controls work.

Now, that you’ve finished watching the tutorial video on how to use the forklift control levers/knobs, here are the other controls you must familiarize with:

Accelerator Pedal – This gives a boost in speed and acceleration. It is self-explanatory.

Brake Pedal – Again, it is self-explanatory.

Clutch Pedal – Some type of forklifts are equipped with a clutch pedal that gives the operator more driving acceleration by shifting from gear to gear. Such forklifts equipped with clutch are those used outdoors and with an internal combustion engine.

Inching Pedal – The inching pedal is usually operated by the left foot. Its purpose is to make a very slow and little movement for maneuver with full engine power for lifting. Inching pedal is used commonly to maneuver forklift in tight spaces or corridors.

Parking Brake – Forklift is equipped with such brake and it works similarly with your car. It holds the forklift firmly when not in use. When parking in an inclined floor surface, engage the parking brake and block the wheel to make it more secure.

In another type of truck, such as the hydrostatic forklift, acceleration is done by pushing the pedal down and the more the pedal is depressed, the faster the forklift moves; to put the machine to a halt/stop, the operator releases the accelerator pedal. There is no brake control in a hydrostatic truck.

In other types of hydrostatic forklifts, there are two accelerator pedals that act like directional controls. The first pedal when pushed moves the forklift forwards, and the other one moves the truck in reverse. The operator shifts his foot from pedal to pedal to drive the forklift in the desired direction.

After Learning the Forklift Controls, Are You Ready Taking Forklift Training?

I assume that you are planning to take forklift training that’s why you are learning the forklift controls. If that’s the case, then we can you help find the forklift training school where you can take the training from and get certified in no time. You will also know the step by step process for enrolling in forklift training. Likewise, we have answers to your most commonly asked questions about forklift training, just the read topics or browse through the blog section.

At this website, we’ve prepared tutorials and list of training schools specific to the location where you are to make everything convenient for you. Just browse the location at the left hand of the screen (if you are in a desktop computer) or in the lower portion of the screen (if you are in mobile).

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To Wrap This Up

You can ask your coworkers or someone who is trained to operate a forklift to show you these forklifts controls. You can sit beside him as he teaches you where are the controls are in the forklift and its individual function.

After understanding each control and its individual function, you can do practice driving the forklift in an open area where there no people or something you can bump into.

The best way to learn driving forklift is to it in actual with someone who can teach you. Sit in a forklift, get a good sense how the forklift controls work. After that, you are on your way driving solo.


Image Attribution: By U.S. National Guard photo by Lt. Col. James Freehart/Released ( [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


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