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3.5T Forklift

The Beginner’s Guide to Forklift Training


If you are interested in becoming a forklift driver, you will first of all need to go through a checklist of requirements, which includes enrolling yourself to a forklift course. It is a compulsory, legal UK requirement for forklift drivers to have a qualification if they are in possession of the machinery. Apart from this, you will not need any further academic qualifications, however, you will need several skills to be able to succeed in this industry …

You will need to be able to keep calm under pressure, be aware of your surroundings, operate in a safe and controlled manner and be able to work as part of a team.

Fork-lifting machinery is renowned for being hazardous equipment. Their purpose is to lift and transport heavy loads, with their power-operated platform forks that are attached to the front of the truck. This set of equipment can be lowered or raised and is manoeuvred to lift, carry and transport heavy loads from one place to another in a safe and efficient way. These important machines are often used on construction sites, warehouses and big development projects where they can make light work of transporting heavy loads.

Why Training is Important

Working with heavy machinery comes with a big responsibility and can often be a dangerous task as it requires a particular skill to be able to operate this machinery safely. Forklift training is a crucial step towards confidently and safely working and operating forklifts. Unfortunately, forklifts can cause fatal injuries and damage to the user, bystanders and property if not used properly. Statistics have shown that each year at least 1000 workers within the UK are seriously injured from using a forklift or have lost their lives due to lack of forklift training or care when using the machinery. Most have suffered life-changing injuries – this kind of injuries can not only devastate the lives of those who have been struck but the lives of friends, family and colleagues.

Forklift training is so important for you and your colleagues to avoid any potential accidents occurring and enables you to carry out your work in the most effective and accurate way. Due to the number of risks involved in operating this machinery, owners and directors of the company must provide full practical and theory training, with regular performance evaluations. Before using the equipment, checks must also be made to ensure the users and bystanders are safe before operation. These checks consist of inspecting the brakes, lights, tyres, fluid levels, loading parts and back up alarms. These components help raise awareness and guarantee safety.

Workers that are fully trained and qualified to use forklifts tend to get work done quicker and more efficiently, as the training has equipped them with the right knowledge and set of skills to be able to operate and understand limitations, overall having a positive effect on the performance of the worker. Statistics have shown that training has proved to lower stress levels on the worker, as they can fully comprehend the role and operation of the job once the forklifting training is complete.

What Does the Training Consist Of?

Firstly, you will need to meet the criteria before beginning the course. You must be able to provide and have the following:

Be at least 20 years old
Have passed an eye test in the past year
Undertaken training until the preferred level is obtained
Passed a knowledge test
Passed a practical test
Paid the appropriate fees

Once this criteria is met, you will then be issued with either ‘A Light Tractor and Mechanical Equipment Licence’ or ‘A Heavy Tractor and Mechanical Equipment Licence’ – you may only drive a forklift when you are under the supervision of an instructor who holds a valid licence for the type of machine you are operating.

The forklifting course covers every inch of operating the machinery that you will need to know. This consists of making sure you understand from a health and safety theory point, as well as the practical side, making sure you feel fully confident and understand how to load, operate and maintain the machinery dependent on the standard of the course you will be undergoing, the course should cover the basics of the following- an introduction to the Health and Safety Act to work, equipment check-list, pre-operational inspection, knowledge on maximum load capacity, familiarisation of controlling and operating, video presentations, handling loads onto the pallet and loading heavy equipment, safely loading at height, driving test and a theory test.

How Long Does the Course Take?

The standard beginner’s forklift training tends to take at least 5 days, for all of the relevant and important topics to be covered. The ideal ratio of trainees and instructors tends to be 3:1. This gives people more of a chance to learn, ask questions and have close attention on them to gain as much from the course as possible. However, joining a course with fewer students, the course can be completed a lot quicker; that’s why we would recommend joining a course with fewer students. You will receive more attention and have a better understanding of the course. It is crucial for you to have the best understanding you can and complete your forklift training successfully. Although you may think operating a machine like this could be simple, this shouldn’t be taken lightly, especially after now understanding the precautions and consequences when there is a lack of the correct training. This is why we believe it’s important for you to spend a little investment in choosing the right school and course to become fully certified in completing your forklift training course.


For more information on forklift training, or any other questions regarding the services we provide here at Charles Wilson Engineers Ltd, please fill out an online enquiry form, or give us a call on 01582 763 122 today.