Tips & TricksTools & Equipment

How to maneuver a forklift truck?


Forklifts are operating vehicles equipped with two wheels and driven by an electric, gas or diesel engine, which are used to lift goods and move them inside the warehouses. They also serve as machinery for unloading and loading goods from other means of transport. Maneuvering a forklift truck requires special skill. In this guide we want to show you how to maneuver a forklift, respecting the safety measures and putting in place a form of training that, in a short time, will allow you to master the vehicle effectively.


  • Forklift
  • Vehicle manual
  • Protective vest
  • Work shoes

Check the particular operation of the steering:

First of all, some basic rules of forklift operation must be learned, which make them very different from other machinery, as well as from common cars. Forklifts steer by leveraging only the rear wheels, have an unbalanced weight distribution and have controls that contrast with what seems intuitive. That’s why you really need special training before trying your hand at driving these special machines. If you want to drive forklifts, you will always need a special license and a long and continuous training. However, in about a month, it will be possible to master the vehicle with some effectiveness.

Start the Engine:

So how to maneuver a forklift truck? You will need to start the engine using the key first. Then operate the ignition button. First of all, you will have to try to carry out the simplest maneuvers. You will have to act on the levers or knobs (depending on the type of trolley) which will be used to control and move the forks, both up and down. Also try making the car turn and control its speed as you move.

Learn how to lift a load:

Start and then leave again, pressing on the appropriate accelerator. Apply the brake to stop the vehicle and study its reaction times. Remember to practice in an open area with no particular obstacles. As a first training, you may want to lift light pallets or sandbags. In this case, use the special fork lifting and lowering knobs. After completing the training, always remember to park the machine with the forks on the ground. Avoid driving the forklift when it rains particularly heavily or in an area where there is a large number of people.

Advantages of the retractable landing gear:

Although the castle and forks are similar to those of counterbalanced trolleys, to deposit or pick up the pallets in / from the shelving, the machine must be positioned by centering it in front of the load unit and the mast moved outwards, facilitating maneuvers. There are trolleys that can lift the load over 10m by using maneuvering aids for higher levels.

Trucks are equipped with lower beams that house the front wheels. The 800 x 1,200 mm pallets, taken from the 800 mm side, are inserted between the two beams, without losing height on the shelves.

Distances and spaces for maneuver:

When the pallets are wider and are moved from the long side, it is good to place them on the wheels. When handling takes place in these ways, it is necessary to design wider aisles, which make it possible not to lose capacity on the shelves. Another possibility is represented by an increase in the margins between the top of the pallet on the ground and the first rail of the shelving (to avoid hitting it). The consequence of this choice is the loss of a part of the height in the location. For short time Usage Get it on rental

Double depth retractable landing gear:

There are also machines on the market that can work on double-sided shelving. In addition to having a mobile column, these models feature telescopic forks, making it possible to access the second pallet in depth. With double-deep reach trucks, a significant increase in storage capacity can be achieved.

However, they have two drawbacks:

Their use can lead to a loss of accessibility.
They are machines limited in terms of movable load and lifting height.


Never forget:

  • When you park the forklift, always remember to do it with the forks completely on the ground


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