When Driving A Forklift The Forks Should Be At What HeightIt is a good practice to put the fork arms just below the front axle of the forklift and it should be as close to the ground as possible.

When the forks are too low, it could scrape the floor surface. It is also dangerous when you reach an incline or slope, that is why when traveling in slope, drive the forklift in reverse. In a typical warehouse setup with an even floor surface, the forks should be above the ground at a height of 5 to 10 centimeter. This height is the same as it needs to go through a wooden pallet. In outdoor and in a rough surface, the forks should be a bit higher to prevent from the forks from digging in the ground. The height of the forks should be enough to clear the terrain, too high is a safety issue because you can hit someone on his head or lower torso.

When Can Carrying a Load, It is Good Practice To:

  • When traveling with a load, always make sure to tilt the mast of the forklift backward so that the load will firmly place against the backrest to make it more secure during transport. By doing this, you move the center of gravity towards to rear of the forklift making it more secure when traveling.

  • Distribute the weight of the load properly. If the load is off-center, it can cause the forklift to flip over. Place the heaviest load near the truck’s front wheels. Never overload, see the forklift’s load capacity in the data plate.

  • Travel in reverse if the load that you are carrying blocks the front view. Don’t look at just the mirror when reversing, rotate your head and look to the path where the forklift will be going.

  • Be attentive and know the height of the mast and overhead guard when traveling, especially when you are entering or exiting warehouse entrances.

  • Never overload, check the maximum load capacity of the truck that you are using. Overloading causes tip over and tip-overs are frequent occurrence in the workplace and it is among the leading cause of deaths and severe injury to the operator.

  • Observe the maximum traveling speed in the workplace. The permissible speed is 8 miles/hour in a typical environment but in a workplace where there is too much foot traffic and pedestrian, the minimum speed is 3 miles/hour. You can consult your safety supervisor what’s the minimum traveling speed limit in your work area.

  • I put it the last, but it should be the first, never operate a forklift is you are not trained to do so. You must certified driving the forklift



Importance of Proper Fork Height

The proper height of the forks on a forklift is a crucial factor in ensuring safe and efficient operations. Maintaining the correct fork height helps to prevent accidents, increase productivity, and reduce damage to the load and the forklift.

One of the main reasons for proper fork height is safety. When the forks are set too high, it can cause the forklift to tip over, putting the operator and anyone nearby at risk. On the other hand, setting the forks too low can result in damage to the load or the forklift, as well as reducing the stability of the machine. Proper fork height helps to prevent these types of accidents, making operations safer for everyone involved.

In addition to safety, proper fork height is also important for efficiency. When the forks are set to the correct height, the operator can easily pick up and transport loads without having to adjust the height frequently. This saves time and increases productivity, helping to improve overall efficiency in the workplace.

Another benefit of proper fork height is damage prevention. Setting the forks to the correct height helps to prevent damage to the load and the forklift. For example, if the forks are set too high, the load may slide off, causing damage to both the load and the forklift. On the other hand, if the forks are set too low, they may hit the ground, causing damage to the forks and other components of the forklift.


Recommended Height the Forks When Operating the Vehicle

The recommended height for the forks on a forklift depends on a number of factors, including the type of load being transported and the height of the racking or storage system. In general, it is recommended to keep the forks as low as possible while still allowing for clearance between the load and the ground. This helps to improve stability and reduce the risk of tipping.

The recommended height also depends on the type of forklift being used. For example, a reach truck may have a different recommended height than a standard counterbalance forklift. It is important to consult the manufacturer's specifications and guidelines to determine the correct height for your specific forklift.

In some cases, the recommended height may be indicated by the load itself. For example, pallets often have markings or notches that indicate the ideal height for the forks. In these cases, the operator should follow the guidelines indicated on the load to ensure proper and safe transport.

The recommended height for the forks on a forklift will vary depending on the specific circumstances, but operators should always strive to maintain a safe and stable height that allows for efficient and damage-free transport of loads.


Safety Considerations

 When it comes to the height of the forks on a forklift, safety should always be the top consideration. Some of the key safety considerations to keep in mind include:

  • Stability: Maintaining the correct fork height can help to improve stability and reduce the risk of tipping. When the forks are too high, the center of gravity of the load can shift, making the forklift less stable.

  • Visibility: The operator should always have a clear line of sight to the load and the surrounding area. If the forks are too high, the operator may be unable to see what is in front of them, which can increase the risk of accidents.

  • Clearance: The forks should be high enough to clear any obstacles in the path of the forklift, such as pipes, ductwork, or other equipment. However, they should not be so high that they are likely to hit overhead obstacles.

  • Load damage: Keeping the forks at the correct height can help to prevent damage to the load, such as crushing or deformation. This can help to reduce the risk of product damage and improve productivity.

By considering these safety considerations, forklift operators can help to ensure that they are using the forklift safely and efficiently, while reducing the risk of accidents and damage to the load.


When driving a forklift the forks should be at the required height enough to clear the terrain and not too high that it can hit someone or something.

Knowing the path of travel can also give you an insight how high should the forks be.

Also perform good safety practices when picking up load, unloading and traveling.

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