How to Operate a Stand-Up Forklift

19 Aug 2019

stand-up forklift in warehouse

As the name suggest, when operating a stand-up forklift, you are standing while using your hands and feet to control it. Stand-up forklifts can be great in areas where you need to save space and improve efficiency, as they allow the operator to get on and off quickly. Operating a stand-up forklift is completely different to operating a regular sit-down forklift, so you will need to orient yourself to ensure your own and your co-workers’ safety. If you have never used a stand-up forklift, here are some tips to help you out. However, remember that you need a certification to drive a stand-up forklift, so if you don’t have this, you will need to do some training.

Advantages of Using a Stand-Up Forklift

When choosing between a sit-down forklift vs a stand-up forklift you need to consider what is best for your environment and material handling needs. There are several advantages to driving a stand-up forklift.

  • Stand-up forklifts save more space which makes them ideal for tighter warehouses where there is less room to move.
  • It makes it easier for operators to quickly get on and off the forklift, making them more convenient and increasing the efficiency.
  • Standing-up while working helps to increase the operator’s attentivity, productivity and increases alertness.
  • Allows for better visibility and reduces neck strain.

stand-up forklifts

How to Drive a Stand-Up Forklift

  1. To start the forklift, turn the key and make sure that the forks are retracted.
  2. When moving, the forks should be pointed slightly upwards. You should never drive with the forks extended.
  3. Stand-up forklifts use a control handle for steering, instead of the traditional steering wheel. To move, tilt the control handle in the direction you need to go while keeping your foot on the power pedal.
  4. When reversing ensure you beep your horn to warn anyone behind you and look around to make sure the coast is clear.
  5. Then slowly pull the control handle towards you while pressing the accelerator pedal to start moving backwards.
  6. To pick up a load, position the forklift in front of the rack where the load is.
  7. To stop the forklift, remove your foot from the accelerator pedal and put the control handle back into the original position.
  8. Level the forks and lift them to the height of the pallet. Slowly move forward then extend the forks by pressing the button near the control handle. When the forks are firmly in place, slowly raise the load and retract the forks.
  9. Make sure to keep the load two inches away from the ground when moving.

How to Safely Operate a Stand-Up Forklift

  1. Get certified! Remember that learning how to drive a forklift isn’t just about reading step-by-step instructions. You will need to get proper stand-up forklift training and certification.
  2. When using a forklift for the first-time practice in an area where there is nothing you can damage.
  3. Only handle loads within the forklift capacity.
  4. Never drive with the forks lowered as this can risk injuring those around you.
  5. Always check the area around you and look out for obstacles.

If you need help picking a forklift or are looking for forklift hire in Perth, get in contact and we can help!


5 Oxford Court
Maida Vale
Western Australia 6057


Mobile 0419 954 303
Fax +61 8 9454 2696

Facebook Twitter Linkedin Google Plus