Getting a forklift license can open up may career opportunities for you, as forklift operators are often needed in any warehouse and production setting, as well as retail stores, docks and airports and other such places. To operate a forklift, you do need a license and formal training, and not just having a friend or co-worker show you how a forklift works. If you're thinking about such training, note a few questions you might have about typical courses, and then discuss your options with a school representative as needed.
What is the difference between LF and LO licensing?
An LF license allows you to operate a true forklift, whereas an LO license only allows you to operate what is called a stock picker or order picker. A stock picker or order picker isn't driven by the operator, but is often set in front of tall shelves. The stock picker may move to the left or right along that line of shelves, and it will have a platform of sorts that is raised and lowered, so that you can easily pick stock off tall shelves. However, because it isn't driven from one area of the facility to another, it doesn't require as much training. To operate a true forklift that you drive and which is used to pick up pallets, you need LF training.
How long do courses last?
Most courses for forklift training will be structured for those who have some experience in operating a forklift, or who already have their LO licensing, and these course may last just a day. However, if you're unfamiliar with any such equipment, you may want to consider a course that's a bit longer and which is meant for those with no experience at all. This will ensure you have plenty of time to become familiar with how the equipment operates and are sure to understand all its safety features. Whatever the case, don't expect to spend weeks and weeks for this training, as information for operating a forklift can usually be covered in a very short time.
Do you need a special license for forklift training?
Most classes will have a certain age requirement, such as 18 and older, and will usually require that you speak English and have proper identification. However, you don't need a commercial driver's license, or even a standard driver's license, to legally operate a forklift. Ask each potential training facility their requirements for identification, but don't assume that lack of a driver's license or commercial vehicle license will stop you from getting a forklift license.
If you have more questions about obtaining a forklift licence, contact a company like All Onsite Training and Assessment.