Some of the most popular forklift training courses in the industry include the following types of forklift: Bendi, Telescopic, Reach and Counterbalance.
There are courses being offered for both beginners and one-two day refreshers for each of these types of forklift. Most of them have an overhead guard made of metal that encloses the cab where the operator is seated or standing while driving the machine.
With advancing technology, most forklifts are also now automatic and suppliers are shifting towards more electrical-based power sources for these industrial machines.
The Bendi forklift is used for pallet storing work. This means short turning radiuses due to narrow aisles (of approximately 1.5 meters). Since stacking is what this type of forklift is made for, it can carry loads straight from racks without needing to handle the pallets twice.
Telescopic forklifts are mainly used for agriculture and building categories of the industry. Telehandlers would be more appropriate to use rather than forklifts; these are machines equipped with a crane and an attachment at the end of the crane with either a cab for a driver, or a fork. With every load, a chart should be checked to evaluate the weight which is being considered to be moved with the telehandler. Front outriggers can be swapped out for other attachments to reach farther, or to load cargo better.
Reach forklifts are known for the mast that stabilizes the entire machine. The mast is a vertical piece that holds the cab and driver on one side, and the fork and lift on the other side, balancing out the equipment and loads. The fork is perpendicular to the mast and extends passed the front of the machine with a scissor mechanism. The forklift is more compact than a Bendi, since reach forklifts are designed for the operator to be standing while driving. Reach forklifts can be driven through aisles spanning up to seven feet, whereas Bendi forklifts normally pass through aisles that are up to eleven feet wide. Storage is saved by about five feet with the difference of these two forklifts.
Counterbalance forklifts can transport the heavier loads. The back of the machine has a dense weight that literally counterbalances the load that’s picked up and placed in front. These forklifts also have tilt cylinders that are hydraulic and attach to the lift’s mast and frame. The mast pivots back and forth depending on how the operator is loading the cargo.
Today, almost all courses require the full examination and understanding of the machine they are testing for, including all of the tasks that come with the operator’s daily job, and the basic health and safety measures. There are more in-depth courses for first aid and what to do when hazardous materials accidentally spilling into the workspace, but those courses are required by certain different employers or can be taken as additional education. More learning never hurts, and knowledge can always be useful in any surprise future event.