Can forklifts carry passengers?

Forklifts are known for being able to pick things up and transport them to various places within a facility. While they are great for moving lots of different things, they certainly aren’t designed for everything. When it comes to moving people, for example, a forklift should only be carrying the operator. Forklifts are not designed to carry passengers at all, and if someone should try to do this it will put everyone in serious danger.

Why Passengers are a Bad Idea

While it is not at all advisable, people have attempted to use forklifts to carry passengers pretty much since this type of vehicle was invented. Sadly, there have been thousands of injuries and many fatalities because of this type of action. Looking at the various ways that people attempt to use forklifts to carry passengers will show why this should never be done:

  • On the Forks – Having someone sit or stand on the forks of a forklift is extremely dangerous. It is difficult for anyone to be able to maintain balance, even if they are holding on tightly. If the passenger falls off, they could be run over and killed.
  • Objects on the Forks – Placing a pallet or other object on the forks and then having a passenger sit or stand on those is not much better. While it may give greater balance, it is still very easy to fall off. In addition, having people on this area will cause the forklift to be unbalanced, which could lead to a tip.
  • Sitting ‘Side Saddle’ – Sitting on the side of the forklift operator’s chair with legs sticking out is very dangerous. The passenger could not only fall out, but they could also have their legs hit something while in motion, which can cause a serious injury.
  • On the Back of the Forklift – Holding on to the back of the forklift is also quite dangerous. The person could fall off quite easily, and it will also upset the center of gravity for the forklift itself, which could cause a tip.
  • Sharing the Operators Seat – The operator’s seat in a forklift is designed to hold one person. If a passenger is attempting to share the spot, they may accidently hit one of the control mechanisms, which puts everyone in danger.

No matter what approach is taken, bringing passengers on a forklift is not a good idea. At the very least it will be a distraction to the operator, and in most other cases, it will introduce many hazards that could result in injuries or fatalities.


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