Want to Drive a Forklift? Here’s How to Get Certified


For some, the idea of driving a forklift is enticing. After all, it can be fun to be at the helm of a large piece of machinery, and you can help companies manage a variety of operations, particularly in the areas of shipping and receiving.

Businesses don’t just want their forklift drivers to be certified; it’s often required by law. This ensures their employees are properly trained on the equipment, fully understand any safety concerns, and can operate the forklift based on OSHA standards.

If you want to drive a forklift, here’s what you need to know about getting certified.

Prepare in Advance

People who have never had a chance to operate a forklift can prepare for their training and certification in advance by taking advantage of free videos by the National Safety Council. These virtual reality experiences allow you to see what it’s like to be in the driver’s seat while the accompanying information highlights relevant points on operation and safety.

If you’ve never sat in a forklift before, these videos can be a great place to start. You’ll get an overview on the controls and experience the vantage point of the driver. In the full 3D experience, you can even virtually control the video, allowing you to make choices and interact with the forklift, giving you a solid baseline for your formal training.

Take Formal Training

When you want to learn how to operate a forklift, formal training is a must. Most OSHA-compliant programs focus on hands-on learning, teaching you how to safely move with and without loads, how to handle special situations, and a variety of other safety considerations.

In most cases, in-person training lasts one to two days, depending on the program.

Anyone who wants to drive a forklift can benefit from these experiences. The National Safety Council has trainers that can teach new operators at a variety of NSC training centers and even onsite at certain employers.

Getting Certified

After completing the training, you are typically ready for the certification test. In most cases, the exam has two parts: A written portion and a practical driving test.

Ultimately, the process is not unlike getting a regular driver’s license for the first time. You need to pass the written exam to prove you understand various points on operating the forklift and safety issues.

Once you pass, you take part in a practical driving test, giving you a chance to demonstrate you have the proper skills to drive a forklift properly. You’ll be presented with a series of tasks and simply need to complete them based on OSHA standards.

If you participate in formal training, the certification process is usually included at the end, so you don’t typically have to make separate arrangements to complete this critical step.

Ultimately, getting certified to operate a forklift can be an excellent move to help propel your career forward. If you’d like to know more, or want to find an open forklift job, the team at The Advance Group can help. Contact us to discuss your needs today and see how our services can benefit you.






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