Looking for a job as a Forklift Truck Operator?
You do not need a licence to drive a forklift truck off road. However drivers licence and road insurance legislation applies when driving a forklift on the roads. The job usually involves transporting heavy goods around depots such as factories and warehouses and loading and unloading goods from vehicles. Also goods in the warehouse or yard may need re-arranging. Before lifting a load, the fork truck operator must be competent to make sure the truck is not overloaded and that the load is secure.
Forkilft trucks require daily maintenance checks and the driver should ensure that these are done. Lift truck operators may also help to load and unload trucks manually and perform other warehouse duties such as packing.
To work as a fork lift truck operator you should:
GETTING A FORK LIFT JOB
- have a responsible attitude be able to work safely, especially during busy periods be in good physical conditition to operate a truck be able to assess weights and judge distances
- be able to follow written instructions and keep records.
No formal educational qualifications are required, but basic maths and literacy are useful. Experience of work in a warehouse or stores environment may be an advantage.
To drive a forklift truck without supervision you must be at least 18. Forklift training can be undertaken before then, but operators must be supervised until they are 18. For this reason, many employers prefer applicants to be over 18. If a truck is used on public roads, road traffic legislation applies and you must hold a driving licence.
There are specific training courses in some areas for this type of work. You may have to satisfy certain conditions to be eligible. You can contact your local Learning and Skills Council, Jobcentre Plus or careers office for details.
FORK LIFT DRIVER TRAINING
The DVLA does not issue forklift licences. However, it is a legal requirement that employers provide adequate training so that employees can use the machinery safely.
The Health & Safety Commission has approved a number of organisations to monitor and accredit training providers who train and certify operators. They are: the Association of Industrial Truck Trainers (AITT); CITB-Construction Skills; Lantra National Training Organisation Ltd; National Plant Operators Registration Scheme Ltd; the Road Transport Industry Training Board (RTITB) Ltd; and the Independent Training Standards Scheme and Register (ITSSAR).
Forklift training usually lasts from three to five days either at a training centre or at an employer's premises. The training involves theory and practical exercises, and leads to a standard forklift driving test approved by the Health & Safety Commission. There are three elements to the test: a theoretical test, a pre-use check of the lift truck, and a practical test which includes laden and unladen manoeuvring, stacking and destacking within an aisle, and correct parking procedures.
Newly trained staff should work under supervision until fully competent.
Forklift truck operators also need to take refresher training and be re-assessed from time to time.