Do I Need To Train To Use A Forklift Truck?

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Yes, you do. Driving forklift trucks requires skilled operators. Otherwise, the risks involved in operating them with an unskilled driver escalate tremendously. While you do not need a driving licence to operate a forklift—unless you intend to drive them on public roads—employers will always want to employ certified forklift truck drivers.

Why? Employers must satisfy Health & Safety at their workplaces by ensuring staff undergo adequate training to do their job competently. In addition, high-risk environments— like construction sites and warehouses—require a forklift truck driver to undertake formal training that meets the current legislation.

The PUWER Approved Code of Practice states that forklift trucks must not be driven, even occasionally, by personnel who have yet to undertake basic training in their operation—also supported by the ACOP – Approved Code Of Practice. The ACOP outlines the primary legal aspects of operating a lift truck. Operating a forklift is complex. Therefore It is unwise and unsafe for an employer to let any untrained drivers anywhere near a machine.

What’s Needed To Operate A Forklift Truck

Good Level Of Competency

You need to be competent to operate a forklift, and that competency comes with training and experience.

In general, most employers would only hire someone over the age of 18 years to drive a forklift truck. So while you could take the training at 17 years, you will probably only get work once you turn 18. A driving licence is not essential but would be a plus if the job requires you to drive on a public road. Forklift licences are linked—like HGV licences—to the vehicle’s weight and the loads you will be moving, so every company may require a specific skill set that entails extra or refresher training for a forklift operative.

Good Health

A level of fitness is necessary to operate in most jobs. Meeting the requirement for Group 1 Driving Licence—a full UK Driving Licence—is sufficient for a forklift truck. Vision is important, as driving a forklift involves judging distances and spaces. If you require contacts or spectacles, these must be worn when operating the forklift.

Good Mental Attitude

Of course, this is a requirement for most jobs and professions, but especially vital in a job with risks. Think about yourself. You now know driving a forklift truck is not as straightforward as it looks. First, you need to concentrate and learn the required skills.

The working area of a forklift is particularly hazardous. So you need to be disciplined about your working practice. In addition, you must follow all the safety guidelines for your area during and after training and certification.

Be Part Of A Team

You are not a lone worker. When operating forklifts, you will work alongside an array of people like other forklift drivers, lorry drivers, loading teams, stock selectors and supervisors. These people rely on you to get your job done safely, so working together is necessary to complete a job successfully and on time.

If you want to be a forklift driver, make sure you undergo training at a recognised centre. Give us a call at CPN Training to find out more about forklift driving and what you need to receive a recognised, accredited certificate.


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