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Understanding Forklift Training

If you want to enroll in a forklift training course, there are a few things you need to keep in mind so that you get into the right course. The following includes these various things:

Where Do You Want to Work?

Having an idea of where you want to work helps you know the kind of forklifts you might be operating, meaning you are placed in a better position to know which forklift to get training on. Different places that utilise forklifts include warehouses, construction sites, truck loading and offloading areas, manufacturing facilities and etc. Identify where you want to work, and you can then determine the forklift you might be expected to operate.

Do You Know the Different Types of Forklifts?

If you want to be a forklift operator, you have to know the different types of forklifts and how they differ from each other. You can come across:

  • Warehouse forklifts - These are the most common types of forklifts. They are used for loading and offloading pallets and transporting them to either the warehouse or delivery truck.
  • Side loader - These forklifts are mostly used for long loads like pipes and timber. They move along racks and don't turn, which is why they are suitable for long loads.
  • Rough terrain forklifts - These are used outdoors because they have wheels made for rough terrains.
  • Telehandler - These forklifts have a long arm and a boom. They are mostly used for construction work.
  • Pallet jacks - These are small forklifts that fit in tiny spaces and lift small loads. They don't have an operator cabin because of their size and, therefore, are operated when standing behind them. 
  • Counterbalance forklifts - These have a weight placed at the back to counter the weight of the load being lifted. They may also come with three wheels to help with manoeuvrability.
  • Industrial forklifts - These forklifts lift heavier loads to heights that a warehouse forklift can't. 

What Do You Learn During Forklift Training?

You may come across two training parts; one theory and the other practical. The theory part teaches you about the different parts of the forklift and what they do, safety measures you should take during forklift operation, including wearing personal protection gear, various inspection and maintenance requirements, etc. The practical part teaches you how to physically operate the forklift.

After training, you are expected to pass a theory and practical test before being permitted to operate a forklift for commercial or work purposes.