The forklift is the backbone of the shipping and material-handling industry. As a result, it’s unquestionably one of the most utilized pieces of heavy equipment. Because the forklift is such a critical piece of industrial equipment, many employers prefer to hire individuals who have completed the necessary forklift training programs.
If you’re planning on enrolling in a forklift training course and want to set yourself up for success, then start by familiarizing yourself with the following facts about forklifts:
- Variety of Machines – While you may already have an image in mind when you see the word “forklift,” there is in fact a great number of different machines that are used for various industrial applications. The most familiar type of forklift is the sit-down model used in warehouse and distribution centers, but there are also narrow aisle trucks, operator-up units, aerial work platforms, and more.
- “Green” Forklifts – In recent years, there has been a significant increase in the number of electric forklifts being manufactured and sold around the world. Besides the environmental impact, companies are converting to electric forklifts to save money on propane and maintenance costs.
- Load Capacities – Each forklift will have a different load capacity depending on the unit and the specific attachments being used on that particular machine. In general, a standard sit-down forklift will have a load capacity between 4,000 and 5,000 pounds, but some heavier equipment can have load capacities in excess of 20,000 pounds.
- Operator Requirements – OSHA requires that all forklift operators be certified before they may use a forklift in an industrial setting. Fortunately, certification lasts for three years. Forklift training includes classroom certification and hands-on evaluations.
If you live in the Philadelphia area and want to learn how to safely operate a forklift, then contact Smith & Solomon Driver Training today. Our forklift training program focuses on the theory of OSHA-compliant lift truck operation, capacity and stability, steering and maneuvering, loading, unloading, and more. For more information about our forklift training program, or dial (800) 622-0355.