How Forklift Operator Training Works
Before you can legally drive a forklift in the United States, you are required to undergo some forklift operator training. This training is monitored by the Occupational Safety and Hazard Administration to ensure that the workplace stays as safe as possible and that people who do not know how to safely operate a forklift do not drive them. It is the employer's responsibility to make sure that every employee who is required to drive a forklift has this training. You, therefore, can make yourself more employable by getting this certification before applying for a job.
The length of time that your forklift operator training takes is highly dependent on your trainer. Reputable training organizations will put you in a classroom to learn about safely operating a forklift, in addition to teaching you various operating techniques. Before you receive certification, you will have to pass a driving test. Since there are no uniform requirements for this training, you can complete it in as little as a day.
What You Will Learn
Your training will start by teaching you some theory. This coursework has been developed by the OSHA to reduce the occurrences of workplace accidents. Next, you will have to operate a counterbalanced truck, a hand truck, and an aisle picker. Learning how to use different equipment can make it easier for you to find a job down the line. Other skills that you will learn include operating the engine, instruments, and controls in a safe manner, steering the forklift, loading and unloading freight, stacking, and maneuvering. Each of these skills will keep you and your co-workers safe on the job, making it well worth the time that you put into learning them.
Finding a Job
It is important to remember that getting your forklift certification does not guarantee that you will get a job. It does, however, make you more attractive to prospective employers, especially in warehouses that need a staff member who can operate a forklift on hand at all times. As soon as you complete your training, add your certification to your resume and start handing them out around town. The sooner you complete your training, the more job opportunities you will have in the near future.
Graduated Feb. 2014, from the Lakewood, NJ campus. Went to Schneider, drove for a year and became a Training Engineer, did that for 3 months, then became an Instructor. Now, a year and 6 months later, I am the Southeast Regional Training Advisor, relocated to Charlotte, N.C.- Shawn Targett