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Forklifts, loaders and light industrial machines

Forklift training: saving you money

If you think about it, to operate a forklift or other lifting equipment is more complicated than driving a car, yet most would pale at the thought of the operator of their forklift moving their car for them!


By law, lifting equipment operators have to have a certificate of training. They have to do a five day course initially, and thereafter they can be tested and renew their certificate at a maximum of every two years.

When they do the course, operators usually spend the first day learning how the machine works and why they have to do the checks properly. If you did not realise what the fan belt did, would you bother to check it regularly? By the time they have done this, they probably are more aware of the engine and how it works than most car drivers. This is usually the biggest saving any company can see directly – their machine maintenance bill.

Coupled with this is the practical training. Four days, is not a lot when you have never driven a forklift, and now have to operate in 4 directions – forward, backwards, up and down! The operator is generally also in a much tighter space than the average car driver. So much wear and tear can be avoided if the operator drives carefully and safely. This is another big cost saving for the employer.

Think, on the farm, how dust can affect the machines that are not cared for properly. How, during the season, you are in a real hurry to get trucks loaded and out to market. Surely you want this to happen smoothly. I use a fan belt as an example. Surely it is quicker to change a worn fan belt before it breaks, than to hold up a vehicle for loading while you go to town, get a fan belt (if there is one in stock) and then have to change it. Hopefully your engine has not seized because the operator, in a hurry, did not see his generator light come on on the dashboard! If the generator light is working that is!

We strongly recommend that all supervisors, and in fact anyone who has authority over the forklift operators, attends a forklift management seminar to ensure that they know what to expect of their operators and know how to keep them in line. If they do not do this, the money they spend on the training is really the equivalent of “buying a licence” which so many companies wish they could do!

Save money. Have your forklift operators and their managers trained by a reputable training company.

Source: Des Fell, Accredited Training.

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