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Summary: An American film prepared by the Clarke Equipment Company, manufacturers of fork lift trucks, illustrating that a fork lift truck may be driven safely if the driver uses common-sense and is aware of the limitations imposed by differing loads.
Description: Film opens with a boy riding a bicycle with hands waving in the air as he speeds past laughing, looking at his mother, and crashes head on with a car. “Look no teeth”, says the commentator. The boy grows up physically if not mentally, obtains a job as a fork lift truck, crashing this time into a train of pallets, scattering the load everywhere. His supervisor despairs. The commentator observes that “anybody who drives a car can drive a fork lift truck, but only a screwball does it the way a cowboy does.” Such tactics do not achieve anything, they seem to get away with it but upset and injure many workers. Training on the job is not practical for safety reasons but is carried out with a series of specially constructed obstacle courses. The film concentrates on good driving techniques and makes frequent analogies to car controls. Fork lift truck front wheels do not turn, only the back wheels turn to enhance manoeuvrability, and is the major difference from a car.
Specialised attachments in lieu of the two front forks are available for loads not placed on pallets. A steady, variable speed is essential and is provided by the Dynatorc drive control which has no gearbox, just a single lever control for a precise variable speed. Safety is simply a mental attitude and it starts with maintenance. The fork lift truck is maintained – as throughout the Army – by engineers in the Service Section, but it is the duty of the driver to conduct a daily check up, oil, grease, etc. reporting any defects to the Duty NCO before starting work. The commentator lists a series of rules supplemented with film clips of accidents resulting from a failure to adhere to them: look where you are going, forwards or backwards; avoid sudden stops; park on the level with lowered forks; never descend a ramp with the load in front; tilt load backwards before moving to shift centre of gravity towards centre of fork lift; no passengers; speeding round corners causes loads to fall off. Another film clip features a box car lorry backed up to a platform, loading with a fork lift truck stacking pallets inside. The lorry moves forward a few feet as the fork lift driver, unaware of this movement, reverses out of the lorry falling into the gap thus created and is killed.
The film closes as our “cowboy”, looking at a pretty girl this time, crashes yet again with another vehicle. The message “only fools break safety rules – safety saves, it may save you” appears in large print on the screen, followed by
“Look to Clarke for better materials, handling methods and machines”.