If you’re thinking about starting a career as a forklift operator, you’ll need to pass your training. It’s not a legal requirement, but the vast majority of reputable warehouses won’t employ you without one. And, even if they do, they’ll probably make you go on a training course before you even sit behind the wheel of a forklift. But what does a forklift training course entail? Read on to find out everything you need to know.


Why is forklift training important?  

Forklifts are large, heavy pieces of machinery, whose purpose is to lift large, heavy loads. It may seem obvious, but if there’s an accident involving a forklift, it’s likely that large amounts of damage will be caused, at great financial cost to the company. Even worse, it’s also possible that someone will be seriously injured. Because of these risks, any warehouse manager worth their salt won’t let anyone operate a forklift without the relevant training. Think of it this way; you wouldn’t get behind the wheel of a car without having had any lessons. It’s the same principle with a forklift truck.


What does forklift training entail?

This depends entirely on how advanced your knowledge is prior to the course. The vast majority of forklift courses, however, focus either on novices, or experienced operators who need a refresh.

Novice courses will cover everything you need to know about operating a forklift, from practical operational skills, to health and safety, and everything in between. A course will typically begin with sessions on safety and regulations, aimed at getting learners up to speed with the legal, health & safety, and examination aspects of being a forklift operator.

You’ll also have to learn how to safely load a forklift; an overloaded forklift can be incredibly dangerous, so this is a key skill! You’ll then be asked to complete a theory test, which will test you on everything you’ve learned. Towards the latter part of the course, you’ll be taught how to operate a forklift, and assessed on this. Provided you passed both the theory and practical assessments, you’ll receive a certificate and become a fully certified forklift driver!

If you’re going in for a refresher, the course will be focused more around getting you up to speed on the latest regulations and legislation. They will also assess your practical skills and ensure that you’ve shaken off any rustiness by the time your course is finished.


How long is a forklift training course? 

Again, this depends on what kind of course you need. If you’re a complete beginner, you should expect to spend a working week of five days at the training centre; there’s a lot that you need to learn and take on board before you can be certified. However, some courses will condense all of the necessary learning into three days. Refresher courses and conversion courses – that teach you to operate a forklift if you’ve previously operated other heavy machinery – will take less time. It’s likely that one of these will take you just a day to complete. However, please keep in mind that the length of a course will differ based on the company offering it. Call your training provider to find out exactly how many days you’ll be expected to attend training.


How much does forklift training cost?

There isn’t a one size fits all cost for forklift training; the type of training you receive, and the provider you train with are factors that will affect the price. If you’re taking on beginners’ training, you should expect to pay upwards of £600 to get trained up from start to finish. If you’re just looking for a refresher, you’ll be looking at something closer to £100.

It’s worth keeping in mind that, if your employer has asked you to train as a forklift operator, they’ll likely foot the bill for you. Training can be costly, but with the support of an employer, it becomes a lot easier.


Where can I train? 

If you’re in London, Hiremech offer top quality training for forklift drivers, whether you’re brand new or just in need of a tune-up. Our HQ in Tottenham, North London is well-connected by public transport, so it’s easy for you or your employees to get to. Have a look at the services we offer, or give us a call on 020 8880 3322.

For people outside London, call us biased, but we think it’s well worth making the trip to the capital for our professional training. But if you can’t make the journey, get in touch with your local college or learning provider to find out how you can learn to operate a forklift.

Hiremech is the exclusive dealer for the Caterpillar range of forklift trucks in London. Offering forklift hire and sales, Hiremech is your one-stop-shop for your material handling needs in London.

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