What to Ask When Signing Up for a Forklift Driving Class

22 March 2018
 Categories: Automotive, Blog

A forklift driver is obligated to have certain licensing before they can legally operate this equipment on the job, and getting that forklift license usually requires taking a class beforehand, instead of on-the-job training. If you've never signed up for a forklift operations class before, note a few questions to ask about the classes available, so you can decide which school and instructor is right for you.

Ask about student-to-teacher ratio

Driving a forklift will require hands-on training as well as bookwork, which is why it's good to ensure that class sizes aren't too big. You'll need personalized attention from the teacher to ensure you're handling the forklift properly and to ensure you have plenty of time in the driver's seat while the teacher is ready to assist you. If the class is too big, the time spent with each student may be shortened, or you may waste lots of time watching another student get personalized attention. Choose a manageable class size, or one with a small student-to-teach ratio, to ensure you get the instruction you need.

Ask about the equipment included in training

A standard forklift is not the only piece of equipment you might want to learn for use on the job; it can be good to know how to operate a pallet picker, a heavy-duty or rough terrain forklift, a narrow aisle forklift, a boom lift, and other such equipment as well. This can mean more job opportunities for you, and improved safety when operating any of these pieces.

Ask about the standard environment in which they train

It's good to train to use a forklift in an environment similar to the one in which you'll work. As an example, if you want to work on shipyards and loading docks, train in a class that is held outside, where barriers and obstructions will be different than those found in a small warehouse.

Ask if previous experience can be used toward your learning

Some classes will be shortened or abbreviated, meant for those who have some experience operating a forklift, but who need some technical details and other such information covered in order to get their license. Other classes will be longer and are meant for those with no experience operating a forklift of any type. If you've had some training or experience with any type of forklift, picker, or other such equipment, ask about this and if the trainer would recommend a shortened class for you to save both time and money.