Fork lift trucks are extremely useful for many types of businesses. However, the fact that staff members are required to pass an examination test to operate the truck reflects the inherent instability of the truck. Accidents with forklift trucks, when they happen, tend to be serious. If you are learning how to operate a forklift truck, this article may be of help, as it examines what to do to avoid tipping the truck over.

Find the Center of Gravity

One of the most important things to understand is the forklift truck's center of gravity. If you drive a forklift truck with the load raised, it moves the center of gravity of the truck. This can cause the truck to tip over. When moving loads, always lower the forks, and adjust the angle of the forks inward. This provides some stability for the truck.

Turn in the Correct Places

Another reason that forklift trucks tip is inappropriate turning. Generally, a truck has to be turned several times during just one job. Sometimes, the lack of space can make it tempting to turn the truck, for example, on a ramp. Other times, when working on uneven surfaces, turning the truck too sharply can cause it to tip over.

Never turn on a ramp, and always wait until the truck is back on even ground before turning it.

Rear Steering

Forklift truck generally have rear-wheeled steering. If you attempt to make sharp turns with the forks raised—even with no load—the truck can easily tip over, due to the rear wheeled steering. If you are working outside, always keep an eye on the rear wheels, and where they are going. If you hit a soft patch of ground, or a curb, with the rear wheels, this can destabilise the truck and cause it to tip.

Overhead Clearance

When working, it can sometimes be easy to forget to check the your overhead clearance. Many of the areas that require the use of a forklift truck have pipes and overhead cables. If you forget to check and plan your route, you can hit an overhead pipe or cable and this, in most cases, will cause the truck to tip.

Adjust for the Counterweight

Sometimes, the forklift truck may be moved from one area to another, meaning that the truck is operating at full speed from one area to the next. Remember that when you are slowing down, the weight of the truck is at the back, where the counterweight is housed. Ensure that you slow down well ahead of time, as sharp stops can cause the truck to tip.

Most people get used to operating a forklift truck with a little time and experience. Consult companies like Liftequipt for more information or assistance.