Not long ago, we needed a break from a late-night research project. Just for the heck of it, we went to YouTube, the online depository of amateur film clips. We searched for "forklift," expecting just a handful of results. After all, how many people would bother to film forklifts—or think that others would want to watch them?
Quite a few, it turns out. A cursory search turned up more than 100 videos. Some were posted by dealers and manufacturers trying to make a sale. But most were filmed by lifttruck drivers and their co-workers. Many show risky behavior that could—and probably should—cost the "cowboys" their jobs. Others preserve for posterity drivers' incompetence: Videos of toppling product abound, and one security-camera film shows a driver raising a walkie's mast as high as it will go and absentmindedly ripping a sprinkler pipe from the ceiling, with predictably soggy results.
Here are some of our favorites, a disproportionate number of which seem to originate in the United Kingdom and Australia.
"How to Break 2,000 Beer Bottles on the Job" (Did they laugh like that after the supervisor arrived?)
"Forklift Rising" (Eerily reminiscent of modern sculpture.)
"How Not to Unload a Forklift" (Is anyone paying attention here?)
"Synchronized Forklifts" (These guys have talent!)
"Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera vs. Yale Forklift" (Minimalist but somehow profound.)
"The Forklift Accident: A Stop-Action Movie" (Legos imitate life.)
"Funky Forklift Truck" (Lift truck as musical instrument.)