TO INCH OR NOT TO INCH - THAT IS THE QUESTION
Training regulations have been instituted in many countries throughout the world in an attempt to reduce the carnage caused by forklifts.
While reviewing a history of accidents in my area, I noticed many of those accidents happened to experienced operators and, in several cases, forklift repair personnel.
This odd fact has been reinforced on Hunter Industries courses with experienced operators. Hunter has trained more than 10,000 operators and not one knew how to use forklift foot controls properly. Not one knew how to properly operate a 5000lb capacity Yale sit-down counterbalance internal combustion (SDCB IC) forklift with single speed automatic transmission versus a 5000lb capacity Komatsu SDCB IC with single speed automatic transmission. What is the difference? Anyone can make a forklift work but can they do it properly? Do they understand the relevance of its design?
How many trainers know how these pedals work? Most private operator training manuals do not even cover the subject, and those that do sometimes explain it incorrectly. It is odd that so many operators are certified to drive a forklift but have not been instructed in proper use of the basic foot controls. That is one reason for so many accidents, a lack of simple, fundamental knowledge.
A typical, North American market Yale forklift has two pedals and a typical Komatsu has three. Both are quality forklifts, well known in the industry. Why would the pedals differ? Does the left pedal on both forklifts do the same job?
Forkliftaction.com News will send a Hunter Industries ballpoint pen to everyone* who e-mails firstname.lastname@example.org
and properly describes, in 50 words or less, proper use of the two pedal systems. The competition is not open to Hunter graduates. *(Forkliftaction.com News reserves the right to limit number of pens mailed.)
Next month's article will announce the winners, and include an explanation and description of proper use of the SDCB IC pedals and the "dead man brake" on a reach truck.Wayne Chornohus is a forklift consultant with Hunter Industries Ltd. He brings more than 20 years' experience in the forklift and training industries to the Forkliftaction.com community.