Types of Forklifts

Forklifts are potentially dangerous pieces of equipment in the workplace environment. Every year, at least ten people are killed in forklift-related accidents. Hence, if you are considering working as a forklift driver, you should realise that it’s just like learning to drive a car. Proper training is essential, and a licence is required. 

A licence is a proof that you can operate a forklift safely and competently. It usually indicates what kind of forklift you can actually operate. Therefore, before you enrol for a forklift training course, you should understand what type of forklift licence you wish to have.  

In this article, we explore the different types of forklift licence and forklift training categories to assist you in choosing the best licence for your needs. 

Types of Forklift Licence 

There are two categories of forklift licences depending on the type of machine you want to operate: 

  • LF licence 
  • LO licence 

With an LF licence, you can operate any type of forklift apart from load-shifting order picking trucks. You must have an LO Licence if you want to operate a load-shifting order picker or an LO-classified vehicle. With an LO licence, you’re also allowed to operate a VNA (very narrow aisle) truck. 

The main reason why different licences are required is in how the machines are operated. A standard forklift has a steering wheel, and it’s operated from the driver’s seat. You don’t need to sit at an elevated position or attach yourself to a harness. 

When operating an LO vehicle, wearing a harness is essential as you’ll sometimes work from an elevated position.  

Forklift Skills Training Categories 

It is important to know the kind of training that you want before you embark on the mission of acquiring a forklift licence. There are four forklift skills training categories, as outlined below: 

  • Novice training – If you know nothing about how to operate a forklift, this is your ideal training course. This course normally takes four to five days, and it encompasses comprehensive theoretical and practical training. At the end of the day, you should be skilled and competent enough to operate a forklift comfortably. 
  • Semi-experienced Operator Training – If you know how to operate a forklift, but don’t possess any formal training, you should go for semi-experienced operator training so that you can learn the various aspects of forklift safety. It is also an ideal course if you want to renew a licence that expired a long time ago. 
  • Conversion Training – If you have prior knowledge on operating a forklift, but you want to improve your competency on a particular type of forklift whose operation you’re not quite familiar with, you should consider this training. It normally takes up to two days to complete. It’s a great course if you want to advance in your forklift operation job. 
  • Refresher Training Course – If you’ve trained on forklift operation before, but are not confident in your abilities, you can go for a refresher course to refresh your knowledge on various safety procedures and operational standards. Your employer may also recommend this course if you’ve been involved in an accident or they feel you’re not competent enough.  

In conclusion, it is advisable to have both LO and LF licences to stand a better chance of being employed as a forklift driver. You can get comprehensive forklift training and complete your forklift certification test at Nottinghamshire Driving School.