Sit Down Forklift – There are a variety of forklifts in existence, designed for a variety of tasks. From sit down forklifts to stand-up forklifts, it’s easy to question which one to become certified in. However, in all honesty, the more types of forklifts you are trained and certified in, the more marketable you will be in the forklift industry and the greater opportunities you will find in your forklift career.
Sit Down ForkliftThat said, what’s the most common type of forklift students train and obtain their forklift certification in first? Well, it’s the counterbalance sit down forklift, as they are versatile, comfortable, entail a safer design, create a more marketable certification, and are more straightforward to operate.

In fact, counterbalance sit down forklifts – which are actually the type of forklifts most people instinctively imagine when thinking of a forklift – are the most commonly used forklift in the industry.

These are the type of forklifts where the forks protrude from the front with no legs or arms sticking out, allowing the forklift operator to drive to the exact location of the load/racking. They’re great for heavy loads, don’t require a reach facility, and are useful in tighter spaces.

Its name is derived from it design, as a large counterweight is placed in the back to off-set the load you are moving with its frontal forks. In other words, the counterbalance forklift lives up to its name, as its heavy weight in the rear counterbalances the heavy weight of your load in the front. Such forklifts can be powered by gas, electric, or diesel.

Furthermore, given its sit down as opposed to stand up design, the sit down forklift is definitely much more comfortable for operators, particularly if you are required to spend long stretches of time on a forklift. In addition to comfort, when compared to the stand up forklift, the sit down forklift is considered the more productive and efficient piece of equipment – as it can move in faster speeds and have quicker lift and lower speeds as well. Moreover, the sit down forklift is safer, especially if you are operating it over slippery surfaces.

Generally speaking, operating the sit down forklift is kind of like driving a car – but with added safety concerns. You first should take a visual inspection of the forklift to make sure it’s ready for operation, then take your seat, fasten your seat belt, put the transmission in neutral, turn the ignition key, and make sure your forks are leveled off and close to the ground. Next, push the clutch (if it’s manual) and put the transmission in forward. Finally push the gas in and steer similar to a car.

That said, be mindful that the forklift’s rear wheels and not the front are turning. Also be cautious of the fact that forklifts are extremely top-heavy and uneven surfaces, heavy speeds, and sharp turns are risks waiting to happen.

Interested in learning how to drive a counterbalanced sit down forklift (or even another type)? American Forklift Training Centers, INC. (recognized by Los Angeles County for our unmatched contribution, expert forklift training, certification, and job assistance) is Southern California’s sought after, hands-on forklift training school. To  learn more, please contact us today at: (323) 620-7000 |AmericanForkliftTraining@aol.com.

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