How To Get A Forklift Certification: Tips To Prepare You
Like with many other industrial professions, forklift operators are required to undergo training to use this machinery to do their work. Once they complete the mandatory education, each operator is awarded a certificate that acts as their official forklift license. This then allows them to branch off and grow within their career. To keep moving forward in your field, learn how to get a forklift certification and embrace the possibilities.
Why Certification is Required
From carrying various materials throughout the facility to unloading and stocking them to be shipped, trained forklift operators are an essential part of every warehouse management team. These employees must have the ability to use heavy machinery safely and efficiently. An employee is not allowed to operate a forklift until they complete the necessary course and are issued their forklift operating certification.
Improper training can result in workplace accidents, such as harming other employees and damaging valuable inventory. Many of these accidents are brought about by user carelessness or inexperience. The training process, therefore, is meant to make employees fully aware of the potential dangers that come with operating a forklift and inform them about the differences between correct and incorrect use.
Additionally, it’s important to note that all forklift operators need to be certified despite what type of machine they use. Also, each class of forklift has a different function and has different education requirements for use. So, even if you’re already qualified to use one type of forklift, you may need to get a different certification to use a machine of a different class. This ensures your training is subject to the capabilities of the machine and you’re aware of any differences in operation.
Where You Can Get Certified
Fortunately, many options are available to help you get certified on your own time. If you don’t currently work for an industrial company, you can touch up your resume by applying for your forklift certification online or through a training school. With online training courses, you’ll get the classroom lecture and assessment experience from the comfort of your own home. These courses, however, don’t supply you with the hands-on training that you need for your license, so you’ll need to seek out additional recourses for that portion.
If you’re already employed and want to further your education and experience in your field, your employers will often provide you with the training you need. Whether they conduct the training themselves or hire a third party to put together the curriculum and testing schedule, you’ll have the most current information available to you. You can also receive your training on the same machines you’ll work on, which makes the transition smoother for all involved.
How the Process Works
No matter which certification process is available to you, it’s crucial you complete both phases of testing to become certified. This includes a written test followed by a driving and safety exam. This training regimen may also consist of an online portion if that’s how your employer arranges it. This means that you might participate in online lectures and assessments and complete the physical demonstrations and driving in person.
The first part of the program, the education, and test portion, usually doesn’t take more than an hour. Courses will cater to the specific type of forklift you will operate and will cover everything you need to know about the machine. Some of the topics cover how the lift works, how it’s supposed to be operated, how to safely drive it in different work scenarios, and overall tips for safety and efficiency. Once you finish with your studies, you can then take a written, or online exam that tests you on everything you just learned.
Once you pass your written exam and prove you know the material, you’ll have to show you can put that knowledge into action with the driver’s test. It’s during this part of the test where you’ll perform a series of tasks with the forklift. Some of these tasks include starting and stopping the machine, loading and unloading things, maneuvering in tight and open spaces, and lifting oddly-shaped items. You’ll need to perform each of these tasks as part of your daily job duties, so it’s important you can accomplish them safely and efficiently.
Keep in mind these courses could cost you anywhere between 50 and 200 dollars out-of-pocket. While courses include a monetary investment, you, more importantly, invest in a skill that could take you further in the company and industry. Depending on how your company runs these training sessions, they could put you through them at no charge. Because of differences in how management can conduct these courses, however, it’s best to check with your specific company to get an idea of their procedure.
When to Get Retrained
One of the most crucial parts to understanding how to get a forklift certification is knowing when you should get that license renewed. Just like a standard driver’s license, your forklift certification will expire after a certain time period. Once this happens, you won’t be able to operate a forklift until you get it renewed. Since safety regulations and procedures regularly change, the renewal process is a way for you to learn new standards and make the work environment a safer place in the long-run.
Like the original exam you took to get your certification, the renewal exam will consist of written and driving evaluations. You will refresh your understanding of the main operating procedures as well as update your knowledge on procedures that have changed in the past few years. After you prove you know this new material, you’ll then have to apply it in the field with an instructor as you did originally.
If you need help setting up a forklift training regimen for your employees, or purchasing more forklifts for your fleet, contact Toyota Material Handling Ohio. Our Toyota forklift dealerships across Ohio are the perfect places to get all the equipment and knowledge you need to run your business.