Things to Bear in Mind for Rough Terrain Forklift Operation

Taking forklift licence training classes is a great way to access interesting jobs you wouldn't otherwise be able to apply for. But to really stand out from the crowd, it's a good idea to specialise even further. With extra, specific training, you can go for jobs with less competition and stand a chance against people with more experience than you.

One forklift specialisation that's seriously worth considering is training to become a rough terrain driver. It's more challenging than driving an ordinary forklift on flat ground, and as such, you'll be more sought after and maybe even be able to demand higher pay. Here are some things you need to know about rough terrain forklift driving to give you a better idea of what to expect.

Some accidents are more common

Working on flat ground, your truck is pretty likely to stay upright unless you're really unfortunate. With uneven terrain, however, there's a much greater risk of tipping or rolling. It's extremely important to go slowly, pay attention to the ground around you, and be able to react quickly if something unexpected happens.

Working outside has its own challenges

You may have already worked outside as a normal forklift driver, but by its very nature, most uneven terrain work happens in outdoor areas. This brings with it a range of potential problems that you're unlikely to find inside. For one, without artificial lighting, visibility can vary significantly. It's even more important to be on the lookout for hazards and other drivers and to wear high-visibility clothing to keep yourself and your coworkers safe.

More preparation is needed

When you're working on rough terrain, it's a good idea to spend some time looking over the area before you start the job. Preparing well and making sure that you know the terrain goes a long way towards preventing accidents, particularly if there are ditches, dips and low-level obstacles that you might not see while you're driving. Planning the route you'll take during the task you're carrying out helps ensure you can complete it safely.

It's more important to be careful with loads

When you're working indoors, you might occasionally overload your truck slightly without consequences. While you shouldn't do this in any situation, it's even more important to take care with the load when you're working on rough terrain. It doesn't take much to overbalance a forklift when the ground is uneven, and when the load isn't properly counterbalanced, you're considerably more likely to have an accident and tip the truck.