The Essential Skills Needed for Forklift Truck Operation

Becoming a qualified forklift truck driver opens up a lot of new job opportunities, vastly increasing your chances of finding employment in an enjoyable field. Forklifts are widely used throughout the working world, from construction sites and airports to huge distribution centres, where they're used to move stock and equipment and pick orders for shipping.

Before you get started with your training, you should be aware of the skills needed to succeed as a forklift operator. That way, you can make sure you'll be a good fit, which in turn will ensure you enjoy the training and subsequent work.

Good eyesight

To work safely, you'll need to be able to clearly see what you're doing and identify hazards in time to avoid them. It's okay if you need glasses or contact lenses, but you must wear them while working, and keep your prescription up to date.

It's useful if you're good at judging distances at a glance, as this will go a long way towards preventing accidents.

Ability to handle a lot of information

Particularly when you're training, you'll be given a large amount of information, not just on the actual operation of a forklift truck, but also on health and safety regulations. While you won't be expected to memorise every word, you will need to retain the general principles.

Safety and responsibility

It should go without saying that you need to be a responsible person with a respect for safe working practices. When you're operating a forklift truck, your own safety and that of those working around you lies in your hands. You must be able to take this responsibility seriously.

Focus and alertness

A lapse in concentration can be disastrous while you're in charge of heavy equipment. You should be able to easily keep your focus, potentially for long periods of work. This will ensure you're able to spot any dangers in your vicinity.

Ability to understand and follow instructions

When you're working under a supervisor, they may give you specific directions before you begin a task. If you forget or ignore parts of these instructions, you may be endangering yourself or causing a hazard for others.

Excellent communication

Areas where forklift trucks operate are often busy, with lots of people using different types of equipment to carry out a range of tasks. To keep the working environment safe, everyone needs to communicate clearly with one another to keep each other up to date with the work going on.

To learn more about how to properly operate a forklift, contact services that provide EWP licences.