Why a Forklift Truck Is Not like a Car When It Comes to Operation

16 March 2020
 Categories: Automotive, Blog


There is a great demand for forklift truck operators around the country, especially in a warehouse environment. After all, more people choose to buy their goods online these days, and this means that their purchase will often begin in the warehouse rather than in a town centre shop. If you have been thinking about a change of career to take advantage of this trend, then you'll certainly want to train and apply for a forklift driver job. However, you need to think carefully about the practicality and make sure that you understand what is involved. Why is a forklift truck a very different proposition to a small car, for example?

Not like a Car

Some people think that a forklift truck may be simple to drive because it is so small and easy to manoeuvre. They may have seen one in operation and believe that they can do the same, but it's important to understand the key differences first.

How It Works

To begin with, a forklift truck will steer from the back and not the front. Certainly, the front wheels may move but this will be in response to the command from the back, and they will simply pivot according to the direction of travel. All of this can make it quite difficult to manoeuvre a forklift truck and especially in a confined environment. If the vehicle is driven as if it were a small car or truck, then it will almost certainly hit the inside or outside of a typical corner, and this may cause damage or injuries as a consequence.

Managing the Rear

Remember, the rear of the forklift truck is specially designed to counterbalance the weight that may be held on the mast at front. This means that the rear is much heavier, and can swing like a pendulum when it is in operation. Consequently, a driver must be familiar with what is behind him or her before attempting any specific manoeuvre. They must allow for the size of the rear end and the potential arc of movement when they begin that manoeuvre.

Turning Corners

They must also keep close to the inside track if they need to make a tight turn to the right. They should begin the manoeuvre quite early, and this will allow the rear of the truck to swing out and be in the correct position for the turn without causing any problems or issues. The opposite technique will be applicable in the event of a tight left-hand turn.


Remember, there is a lot more to this than meets the eye. Make sure that you get the right training in place before you apply for your forklift licence and you will be ready for the challenge.

For more information, reach out to forklift licence company.