How eco-driving positively impacts forklift operations

Picture of Olivier Drouin

Olivier Drouin

5 minutes to read

operator training

Warehouses and production sites are busy places, with lots of goods and forklifts moving around. With our operator training courses we aim to raise awareness about driving safely in these environments and how to operate a forklift efficiently to reduce the risk of incidents. We make it our mission to highlight the many benefits of eco-driving during our sessions. Let’s go deeper into this.


What is eco-driving? 

Operator training by Toyota Material HandlingEco-driving, also referred to as smart driving, is a term used to describe efficient energy use of a vehicle. It’s a simple but efficient way of reducing energy consumption by adhering to a set of driving practices and techniques. This concept can be applied by any driver under all working conditions. 


During our driver training courses, we raise awareness amongst operators about the fact that a more responsible driving style doesn’t only offer benefits in terms of safety and productivity, but also cost savings and sustainability.



How it can benefit your operation?

Eco-driving is a mindset, something we teach to operators, managers and supervisors in our classes. Adapting the driving style can bring several benefits to your business:

  • Less energy consumption
  • Less CO2 emissison
  • Less accidents and damage
  • Less stressed operators
  • A more efficient operation


Eco-driving tips

Many of our tips are self-evident and you may already have applied some when driving your car or another vehicle. Here are just a few:

  • Keep a constant speed: drive smoothly, accelerate gently and always look in the direction of travel to anticipate potential problems and avoid sudden braking.
  • Keep a safe distance: leave 3 truck lengths between vehicles and keep an eye on traffic conditions ahead to allow enough time for braking and accelerating. 
  • Brake smoothly: every time you use the brakes, you waste energy (electric forklifts are often equipped with a regenerative braking system). Try to use the vehicle’s motion energy as much as possible. When you have to slow down or stop, brake smoothly by releasing the accelerator in good time
  • Minimise use of heating and air conditioning: limiting the use of the air conditioning can help you save 10-15 % of energy.
  • No idling: switch off your engine if you have to wait longer than 30-60 seconds and don’t start the engine until you are ready to go. Prolonged idle time increases CO2 emissions and wastes fuel. 
  • Drive safely: even under time pressure, always prioritise safety. Be gentle with your forks, attachments and pallets. Protect the load, do not push pallets with the mast and apply safe driving rules.

 Toyota Traigo80 electric counterbalanced forklift truck


We encourage managers and supervisors to plan their operations in a leaner way to reduce time pressure, and to make sure their operators have a better overall understanding of their role and responsibilities, so they drive with more care and focus on safety - and that, in turn, also reduces energy consumption and emissions. 


Following our eco-driving tips you can improve workplace safety, provide greater comfort for drivers and reduce driving stress, lower operating costs and limit health risks. 



Popular posts