Forklift practical test forms part of OSHA compliant training course. In fact it is the crucial part of the course. The responsibility of the forklift trainer is to give not only formal education but more importantly the practical test. It is where trainees will demonstrate their own skills by following sets of instructions.
The successful forklift practical test must address these important factors of the actual workplace.
- Hazards associated with driving of IC and electric-powered forklift trucks.
- Dangers involved operating different type of trucks (counterbalance, rough terrain, order picker, and many others)
- Workplace conditions that can contribute to the accident risk, hazard and peril of the workers. Such conditions are road condition, other machines in the workplace, behavior of forklift operators, pedestrian in the workplace, operations in tight areas, etc.
10 Points You Need to Observe When Taking Forklift Practical Test
Apply General Safety
Wearing of seat belt, observe speed limit at the workplace, do not forget your clearances over head, observe ramps and other road obstruction, do not lean head sideward always keep yourself within the running line.
You need to show to the trainer that you are accustomed to using forklift controls. In most cases, it is the direction lever, hoist and tilt lever, the accelerator, the brake, the itching pedal (for internal combustion truck), and the parking brake. At this stage of the training, trainer teaches students about these basic controls. Students can learn about steering, traveling and steering when learning forklift controls.
Signaling When Turning
The student will be observed to use the signal lights when turning. This is to instruct the student that even though no vehicles are around, you still need to give signal when turning.
Slowing Down At Intersection
The trainer will observe you if you can evaluate the intersection, blind corners and pedestrian traffic during driving test. You are to follow safe practices, speed limits, traffic signs, and sounding the horn when passing the intersection.
Keeping Clear View
Keeping an eye to the direction where you are heading, giving way to pedestrian, becoming aware of rear end swing and driving within traffic aisles will be good positive factors the trainer will assess during forklift practical test.
There are instances that trainees may forget to check the weight of the load. This is important and the trainer will give you good grade for checking the weight first.
At the initial step of loading, you need to move forward slowly and cautiously, when you are sure that the forks are correctly in place, slowly lift the load to elevate it from the ground/rack for about 4 inches. Tilt the forklift mass to secure the load. Balance the load to prevent tilting.
Maneuvering and Traveling with Load
When load is secured, lift the load at correct height. Keep a clear vision behind, making sure there are no obstructions, slowly back up, and steer the forklift to the direction of destination. When destination is reached, carefully lower it down, and put the forklift at complete stop. Move backward until forks are free.
Stops the machine and ensure that floor is not inclined, lower the loads at designated height to position it for stacking. Prevent bumping other objects. Check your hind before slowly backing.
Placing of Loads in Proper Places
Aside from loading and moving of loads safely, you are also tasked to place them at their proper places. The trainer will give you instruction to place several loads at designated areas. You will also be observed if you stack the loads efficiently and precisely.
When parking, you need to lower the forks on the ground, make sure the forks touch the ground. Deactivate the forklift controls. Activate the brake. Turn off the power steering. Switch off the forklift. Apply the 3-point contact.
Lesson to Learn
You may keep in mind others factors depending on the type of forklift course you are taking. Forklift practical test differs from machine to machine, the above-mentioned point are general norms.
For more information about forklift training test, you can make inquiry to OSHA and for more legislation about workers’ welfare and safety, you can contact US DOL.