How Do I Become a Forklift Driver?

Patrick Lynch
Patrick Lynch
Man with a drill
Man with a drill

To become a forklift driver, a high school degree is usually required along with a spotless driving record. The job of forklift driver involves safe handling of equipment as well as the ability to maintain inventory records. You should look for an entry-level warehouse position or seek an apprenticeship. You will be required to pass exams relating to health and safety, use of special equipment, and inventory entry as well as becoming qualified to perform equipment maintenance.

There is more to becoming a forklift driver than just stacking pallets. The job may also include the responsibility of checking a company’s inventory. In fact, a forklift driver can be an important link in the chain of distribution and must ensure that the production lines are kept open. Forklift drivers that neglect their duties can cause serious problems for an organization.

It is necessary to undergo training in order to become a forklift driver, and it is possible to become a forklift driver through an entry-level position in a store’s warehouse. Such employees are promoted and learn how to drive a forklift on the job. Employers looking for qualified drivers may require applicants to take part in apprenticeship programs.

Look for organizations such as the International Union of Operating Engineers. Once an application is accepted, this organization may pay for the applicant’s training. Those looking to become a forklift driver need to finish the apprenticeship in order to obtain paid employment.

There are also health and safety courses that you must be pass in order to become certified. Forklift drivers are expected to know the rules and regulations pertaining to their vocation, including the wearing of seatbelts and maintaining awareness of their surroundings when in the forklift. Certification is normally achieved after passing a final safety examination.

To become a forklift driver, you may be required take part in a program involving maintenance of the vehicle. Although lack of such a qualification does not prevent employment, possession of such a certificate greatly increases job prospects. Other qualifications available include equipment specific certifications relating to electric jack pellets and scan guns. A serious forklift driver will also become qualified in the inventory and logistics field.

When applying for a job, be prepared to undergo a background check. Employers will generally not hire a forklift driver who is lacking a clean driving record. Although a high school degree is not mandatory, applicants without this qualification have less of a chance of success.

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