A guide to forklift operator training


Training forklift operators might not sound like the important task it truly is. This training is essential because an untrained forklift operator poses a safety threat to themselves and those around them. There is a lot to remember, so our experts at RT Equipment have put together essential topics and activities to cover while conducting a training course for forklift operators. 

Understanding the forklift’s mechanics

To begin training a prospective forklift operator, it is imperative to explain all the parts of the equipment clearly. This will help trainees understand the mechanics and physics of a forklift before they begin driving it. 

The authorisation process

Discuss the expectations associated with becoming an authorised forklift operator with trainees in advance, so they are well-prepared. The process is similar to that of attaining a driver’s license.

 Inspecting the forklift

Cover all the aspects of a pre-inspection. The surroundings, as well as external and internal conditions of the forklift’s parts, can determine whether or not the vehicle is being operated within safety standards. 

Handling a load

Ensuring that stability is maintained when loads are placed on the forklift is a critical skill. Failure to do this can result in overturn accidents, which can cause extensive or even fatal injuries. Focus on explaining and demonstrating the mechanics and physics of the vehicle. 

Operating the forklift

Include a step-by-step guide to operating a forklift in your course, along with a practical component. Test each operational activity practically in a safe environment. 

Safety considerations after operating the forklift

Explain post-operational safety practices, such as parking in a designated area, switching off the forklift and apply the parking brake 

Charging and/or fuelling the forklift

The processes of refuelling or charging a forklift are potential safety threats, so cover all relevant components such as safety gear, location and emergency measure. 

Testing trainees

Testing is a way to measure the extent to which operators-in-training have understood and retained information. This can be done in the form of short quizzes at the end of every topic you cover, case study examinations to check problem-solving and critical-thinking skills, and practical tests to ensure that trainees are actually able to operate a forklift. 

Certification of completion:

The training course you offer must be approved by the relevant authorities so that you can provide trainees with a credible and recognisable certificate. 

RT Equipment offers a vast range of certified and approved forklift training courses. If you need us to guide you through becoming an authorised forklift operator, call 0800 880 101 or send an email to sales@rtequipment.co.nz.

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  • Daniel C