How Long Does Forklift Certification Last?

Navigating the requirements for operating a forklift can be confusing, especially when it comes to forklift licenses and certificate expirations. This guide will clarify common misconceptions to help you understand what runs out and when and how to renew it to stay on top of your forklift training requirements. 

Is a forklift license required to operate a forklift?

Contrary to a common misconception, there is no specific forklift license. Upon completing an accredited forklift operator training course, you receive a certificate of basic training. This certificate, not a license, is the legal document validating your training. Some courses may include an accompanying ID card, often mistaken for a license.

Do forklift certificates expire?

A prevalent question in the forklift operation domain concerns the validity period of forklift certificates. Contrary to popular belief, forklift operator training certificates do not have an expiry date. These certificates remain valid for a lifetime, offering operators enduring proof of their training.

However, it’s crucial to note that if an RTITB instructor conducted your training and you possess an RTITB certificate, the NORS registration, not the certificate itself, does expire.

What is a NORS registration?

The National Operator Registration Scheme (NORS) is a pivotal aspect of forklift training, especially for those certified by RTITB. It is not the certificate but, rather, the NORS registration that comes with an expiration date. This registration serves as a record of your training. You can renew your NORS registration with an accredited forklift operator training refresher course. However, renewing NORS registration is not mandatory, and your employer can let you operate a forklift after it expires.

How often should I take a forklift operator refresher course?

The necessity of a forklift operator refresher course depends on various factors, primarily the accrediting body and the expiration of your NORS registration. Refresher courses for ITSSAR and AITT certificates are not mandatory, as these certifications are valid indefinitely. However, if your training falls under the RTITB, a refresher course is required to renew your NORS registration. The decision to undergo a refresher course ultimately lies with your employer, who determines your eligibility to continue operating a forklift after registration expiration.

Although not mandatory, refresher courses are highly recommended, and your employer will likely require you to refresh your training. HSE recommends refresher courses every 3 years. A refresher is recommended to ensure up-to-date knowledge and operational competency if you use forklifts infrequently or take an extended period away from operating one.

How can I verify the accreditation of my forklift training?

Confirming the accreditation of your forklift training is crucial for ensuring its legitimacy. Each accrediting body provides a unique ID number for certifications. ITSSAR has a TOPS number, AITT has an ACORNS number, and RTITB has a NORS number. To validate your training, you must contact the accrediting bodies directly with your unique ID number. This step ensures that your training aligns with the necessary standards set by the accrediting body.

The importance of forklift training

Understanding the intricacies of forklift operation and the associated certifications is essential for both operators and employers. While there may not be a designated forklift license, the significance of accredited training and certification cannot be overstated.

Enquire About Forklift Training

For accredited forklift operator training delivered by experts, speak to HL Training. Our dedicated team are on hand to help you safely and effectively operate a range of forklift machines.

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Forklift Attachments and Their Uses

Forklifts are valuable to various industries, providing efficient material handling solutions. However, their versatility can be further enhanced with specialised attachments. This blog post explores an array of forklift attachments and delves into their unique applications, helping businesses make informed decisions to optimise their operations.

Forklift Fork Extensions

Fork extensions are simple yet effective attachments designed to extend the length of the forks. Their purpose is to handle longer loads that exceed the standard fork length. Fork extensions significantly enhance a forklift’s reach, making them ideal for transporting lengthy pipes or lumber.

Fork Positioner Forklift Attachment

The fork positioner attachment allows operators to effortlessly adjust the distance between the forks. This feature is particularly useful when varying pallet sizes need to be accommodated. Fork positioners enhance efficiency by eliminating the need for manual adjustments, reducing downtime, and improving overall productivity.

Forklift Fork Rotators

Fork rotators bring a new dimension to material handling by enabling the forks to rotate. This attachment is instrumental in applications requiring the turning or dumping loads, such as emptying containers or repositioning materials. Fork rotators add flexibility to forklift operations, especially in confined spaces.

Side Shifter Forklift

The side shifter attachment can move the forks sideways, enhancing precision during load placement. This feature proves invaluable when aligning the forklift with the pallet or adjusting the load within confined spaces. Make adjustments to pick up or place a load without repositioning the whole forklift. Side shifters contribute to improved accuracy, reducing the risk of damage to goods and equipment.

Paper Clamps for Forklifts

Paper clamp forklift attachments provide a gentle yet secure grip on rolls of paper, preventing damage to delicate paper products during transport. The design of paper clamps ensures a secure hold without compromising the paper’s integrity, making them essential for businesses involved in paper manufacturing or distribution.

Forklift Push-Pull Attachments

Push-pull attachments are designed for the streamlined handling of slip-sheeted loads. This attachment allows for the efficient pushing and pulling of palletless loads, optimising the forklift for tasks like loading and unloading goods on slip sheets. Industries involved in retail or logistics can significantly benefit from the versatility of push-pull forklift attachments.

Multiple-Pallet Handler

Efficiency is the key with multiple-pallet handler attachments. These attachments enable the simultaneous handling of multiple pallets, reducing the number of trips required to transport goods. Ideal for high-volume operations, multiple pallet handlers enhance productivity by allowing for the movement of several pallets at once.

Forklift Drum Handlers

Forklift drum handler attachments are indispensable for businesses dealing with steel drums. Whether lifting, transporting, or stacking drums, these attachments provide a secure and efficient solution. The forklift drum handler attachment can be secured around the waist or lip. Consider drum manipulators, tippers, and rotators for more comprehensive drum handling capabilities. Drum handlers are commonly employed in manufacturing and warehousing, ensuring the safe movement of drummed materials.

Telescopic Forklifts

Telescopic forks offer extended reach capabilities, allowing for handling loads at greater heights. This attachment is particularly beneficial in environments where vertical storage is essential. Telescopic forks provide a versatile solution for tasks such as stacking or retrieving materials from elevated racks.

Forklift Carpet Pole Attachments

Carpet pole forklift attachments are extended poles that can be placed through a centre core rolled up carpet or coiled material. In the retail and logistics sectors, carpet poles prove invaluable for handling rolls of carpet or other textile products. These attachments facilitate the safe and efficient transport of bulky and unwieldy materials, ensuring minimal damage during handling.

How to Lift a Car With a Forklift

The forklift car mover attachment is a specialised tool designed to handle vehicle transportation. Forklift car mover attachments use adjustable arms and secure clamps to grip the front tyres of the vehicle securely. By eliminating the need for manual pushing or towing, this attachment ensures a safer workplace and reduces physical strain on operators. Vehicle lifter attachments are used throughout the automotive industry.

Safety Considerations

Ensuring the safe use of forklift attachments is paramount. Proper operator training, understanding load capacities, and maintaining a balanced load distribution are crucial for preventing accidents and minimising the risk of equipment damage.

Tips for Choosing the Right Attachment

When selecting a forklift attachment, businesses should consider the specific requirements of their tasks, compatibility with their forklift models, and budget constraints. A thoughtful decision-making process ensures the chosen attachment aligns with the business’s operational needs.

How Forklift Attachment Can Help Your Business

Forklift attachments open up a world of possibilities for businesses seeking to enhance their material handling capabilities. The right attachment can significantly improve efficiency, reduce operational costs, and contribute to a safer work environment, from common attachments like fork extensions and side shifters to specialised tools such as paper clamps and telescopic forks. By understanding the diverse uses of forklift attachments, businesses can make informed choices that positively impact their bottom line.

Forklift Attachment FAQs

Do forklift attachments need to be certified?

Yes, forklift attachments must be professionally certified. They should be inspected every 6 months.

Can man baskets be used on a forklift?

Forklift trucks are primarily designed for lifting materials rather than people. When ‘man baskets’ or ‘cages’ are used on forklift trucks, they are categorised as ‘non-integrated’ platforms. This means the controls are not in the “basket”; the forklift operator retains control over the truck’s movement, including the attached cage.

Can any forklift attachment be used on every type of forklift?

Not all forklift attachments are universally compatible with every type of forklift. The compatibility depends on factors such as the forklift’s weight capacity, hydraulic capabilities, and design. It is crucial to ensure that the attachment chosen is suitable for the specific forklift model it will be used with. Always refer to the forklift and attachment manufacturer’s guidelines and consult with trained professionals to guarantee safe and effective usage.

Forklift Operator Training

Ready to elevate your forklift operations to new heights? At HL Training, we specialise in comprehensive forklift operator training, ensuring you and your team are equipped to handle not only the forklift itself but also a range of attachments with precision and safety. Enrol in our forklift training courses today and gain the expertise needed to operate forklift attachments such as fork extensions, fork positioners, paper clamps, and more.

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Are Forklifts Dangerous? Most Common Accidents Explained

In the bustling world of warehouses and engineering facilities, forklifts provide unparalleled efficiency, facilitating the movement of heavy loads. However, forklifts do not come without inherent risks that operators must manage to prevent accidents or injuries. Our comprehensive blog will shed light on the common incidents, from minor mishaps to severe accidents, that can occur when operating a forklift and how you can use a forklift safely to ensure your safety and the well-being of those around you.

How Many Forklift Accidents Occur Per Year?

Many drivers do not understand the dangers associated with driving a forklift; any incidents that occur put the driver and those surrounding the forklift at risk. 

Each year, there are numerous forklift-related accidents. In 2022/2023, there were 135 work-related fatalities, with 30% falling from a height and 15% being struck by a moving vehicle such as a forklift, according to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE)

Dangers of a Forklift

Weight Distribution

Forklifts can be unstable due to their uneven weight distribution. Due to this, forklifts can tip or fall over when they are overloaded or making sharp turns. On average, forklifts weigh 4080 kilograms, around 3x the weight of a standard car, so being hit by a moving forklift will cause severe injury and may even be fatal.

Unstable Load

In cases where a forklift is overloaded, or the weight is not evenly distributed, it becomes challenging to drive safely. The load is at a higher risk of falling off when picked up or out down, primarily when carried in a raised position. A heavy load falling can cause significant damage to the load and potentially injure a passer-by.

Stopping Distance

Forklifts have a longer stopping distance than most operators realise. A standard forklift will travel at least 51 feet before stopping if it moves at 9 mph. Due to this, an operator may be unable to stop in time to prevent a collision with a wall, an object, or a person. 

Restricted View

When a driver has an overloaded forklift in which their view is obstructed, it can be difficult to operate safely. The load can block their view, making it more difficult to avoid obstacles such as objects or people in their blind spots.

Common Forklift Accidents

Unfortunately, forklift incidents are common; below are the most frequent accidents:

Forklift Tipovers

A falling forklift is the most common accident with the highest fatality rate. Rollovers can be caused by numerous factors, notably turning sharp corners too quickly, carrying an uneven load, driving on uneven surfaces, exceeding your lift capacity, and making abrupt movements. Any of these will increase the chance of a forklift tipping over, harming the driver and surrounding individuals.

Colliding with a Pedestrian

One of the other common types of forklift accidents involves colliding with pedestrians. Unclear boundaries within a warehouse mean that pedestrians and operators may cross paths unexpectedly, resulting in an accident. Operator fatigue and carelessness increase the risk of pedestrian crashes, leading to injury or death.

Falling Loads

In 2022/2023, 20 deaths in the UK occurred when a pedestrian was struck by a falling load. Many forklift jobs require operators to lift and drive unstable loads. Operators must take all preventive measures, such as securing a load to the forks to prevent injuries and fatalities. Bent forks combined with uneven, loosely secured loads are more likely to result in a falling load.

Riding the Forks

It is advised never to stand on the forklift’s forks, especially in the elevated position. While using a forklift to reach heights is tempting, other equipment, such as MEWPs, provides a safe option for reaching heights. Incidents that occur when personnel ride the forks include head trauma, internal bleeding, and impalement.

Crushing of Pedestrians

Crushing hazards are also one of the top causes of forklift accidents and fatalities. In cases where an operator reverses without checking their surroundings properly or has not secured their load properly, pedestrians can be crushed between the forklift and a fixed object. If a pedestrian is pinned and cannot escape, they could face severe injuries with fatal results.

Measures to Prevent Forklift Incidents

According to the Occupational Health and Safety Association (OHSA), up to 70% of forklift incidents are preventable. Several measures can be put in place to minimise the number of forklift accidents in the workplace.

Operator Training

Forklift safety is critical; equipping operators with the knowledge and skills to handle and drive a forklift safely will reduce incidents. Whether you are a novice or have operated a forklift for years, courses are available to ensure that your operating skills are up to scratch. A forklift licence does not exist; however, employers will request that all operators are fully trained to operate a forklift safely.

Warehouse Zoning

Exclusion zones should be incorporated into any warehouse or facility where a forklift will be driven. These zones highlight where forklifts will operate, warning pedestrians to be alert while in this area or to keep away altogether. Barriers and cones should be used to define these zones.

Routine Maintenance Checks

Pre-shift operators should check their forklifts to ensure everything is working. Any issues should be immediately flagged, and necessary repairs should be carried out before using the forklift. Issues related to the forklift’s function can lead to an accident; services should be carried out every 6 months to prevent accidents. 

Secure Loads

Forklift loads should not exceed lift capacity; an unstable load is more likely to cause an injury to the operator or others around the forklift. Larger loads should be secured with ropes or bands to prevent them from slipping especially when turning corners. Loads should not restrict the operator’s view; an evenly distributed load maximises safety.

Driving Rests

Operators tend to carry out long shifts of 12 hours. To prevent accidents from fatigue, operators should take frequent breaks from driving the forklift to ensure that when operating one, they are in the best frame of mind to drive safely and prevent accidents.

Stick to Speed Limits

While indoors, forklifts should not be operated at more than 10 kph. Sticking to the maximum speed limit will ensure that when an operator moves a heavy load, it is less likely to move or fall off, especially when driving on uneven surfaces. Driving steadily and checking blind spots will enhance the safety of the operator and the pedestrians surrounding.

Forklift Dangers FAQs

How many forklift deaths occur per year?

On average, as reported in 2021, there were 27 deaths a year resulting from forklift incidents in the workplace. The most common nature of fatality was due to the overturning of a forklift. 

What should you do if the forklift starts to tip?

Protect yourself if your forklift starts tipping by staying in your seat and leaning away from the falling direction of the forklift. Hold onto the steering wheel for added stability, and refrain from trying to jump off, as you may injure yourself further.

What not to do on a forklift?

Do not overload your forks. Don’t travel at speed when making directional changes. Avoid driving on uneven surfaces, especially when wet or slippery. Never climb or ride on elevated forks.

Prevent Forklift Accidents with HL Training

At HL Training, we have years of experience dealing with forklifts and are incredibly aware of all the dangers associated with operating in and around a forklift. Our team can provide you with the essential tips and tricks so that you can effectively handle a forklift to minimise any accidents or injuries in the workplace. We offer both on-site and in-centre training for operators and instructors nationwide. Boost the forklift safety in your warehouse today and enrol in one of our training courses.

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How Much Can a Forklift Carry?

A forklift is indispensable for all warehouses and facilities where heavy loads must be transported between locations. Their efficiency is impressive; however, understanding their lift capacity is critical to ensure the operator’s and their surroundings’ safety. Whether you are a seasoned forklift operator or a complete novice, our comprehensive blog will detail the capabilities of your forklift and the safety aspects associated with your lift capacity.

How Does a Forklift Work?

Before determining your forklift’s capabilities, it is vital to understand how a forklift works. Essentially, the composition of a forklift means it acts similarly to a seesaw. If one side has more weight than the other, it can lead to tipping. These 3 main concepts define how forklifts are designed to prevent tip-overs:

  1. Centre of Gravity 
  • The centre of gravity is the imaginary point where an item’s weight is concentrated. The centre of gravity exists individually in the forklift and its load. In an unloaded forklift, the centre of gravity falls below the operator’s seat, whereas in the load, the centre of gravity is determined by the arrangement of items. When you place the load onto the forklift, the centre of gravity combines and shifts towards the front axle, aiming to prevent a tip-over.
  1. Load Centre
  • Unlike the centre of gravity, the load centre is a precise measurement. The load centre is the distance from the horizontal and vertical parts of the forks to the load’s centre of gravity. Most forklifts handle 48-inch long pallets; assuming the load is evenly distributed on a pallet, it will have a 24-inch load centre. The load centre will increase for forklifts that handle longer pallets, but it is crucial to remember that the lifting capacity decreases as the load centre increases.
  1. Load Moment 
  • Load moment is the amount of overturning force applied to a loaded forklift. The lifting capacity of a forklift decreases as the load centre increases because of an increase in load moment. Load moment can be calculated by multiplying the weight of the load by the load distance from the front axle. This calculation will inform an operator how much weight can be carried and at what distance from the centre of gravity to avoid a tip-over.

Maintaining Stability 

The most important part of the concept is that the centre of gravity must fall in the stability triangle. This imaginary triangle exists between the centre of the rear axle and both front axle wheels. Once the centre of gravity lines up with the front axle after the load is applied, the forklift has reached its stability limit; beyond this limit, the forklift is at risk of tipping over.

The stability triangle is not only a triangle but a pyramid that incorporates the points between the axles horizontally but also vertically towards the top of the forklift. This stability pyramid concept is relevant to when a load is being lifted. 

As a load is lifted, the combined centre of gravity moves towards the front axle and upwards. The centre of gravity cannot escape the confines of the pyramid, and therefore, operators will struggle to lift a heavy load at height compared to when the weight is closer to the ground. This emphasises the importance of carrying a load close to the ground to maintain the centre of gravity and ultimately reduce the danger of the forklift tipping over.

How Much Can a Forklift Lift?

Forklift lift capacity is determined by the type of forklift that you operate. Lift capacity is the measurement of how much weight a forklift can carry, ranging from 3000lb to 50000lb. A safe load capacity should be calculated to ensure a safe operation during a forklift lift, especially when you have an oversized load.

Calculating a Safe Load Capacity

Firstly, you should learn the standard load centre of your forklift. For example, if we assume that a forklift has a 24-inch load centre and a 3000lb capacity, but we need to handle a load with a load centre of 30 inches, a safe load capacity for this forklift would be less than 3000lb. OSHA states that “only loads within the rated capacity of a truck shall be handled”; it is therefore essential to never exceed the lifting capacity of your forklift.

To calculate the safe load capacity, take the standard load centre and divide it by the actual load centre, then multiply the figure by the rated capacity to retrieve the answer:

24 inches / 30 inches X 3000lb = 2400lb

The figure 2400lb is the approximate safe load capacity for a load centre of 30 inches.

5 Factors Influencing Forklift Lift Capacity

Several factors can affect how much a forklift can carry. An operator should familiarise themselves with everything that can influence the lift capacity of their forklift to prevent any accidents from occurring. 

Lifting Height

The height at which a forklift will carry its load affects its maximum lift capacity. Lift height decreases as load capacity and load centre increase. Higher loads tend to be less stable, so it is recommended that operators drive their forklifts with the load as close to the ground as possible.

Forklift Condition

A newer, regularly serviced, and maintained forklift will have an increased lift capacity compared to an older fork with worn tyres and forks. The amount of wear and tear depends on the weight of the loads handled. A forklift loses 20% of its lifting capacity with every 10% of erosion of the fork’s surface. Forks should be replaced when necessary to maintain the maximum load capacity level.


Adding any attachment to a forklift will reduce the lifting capacity as it adds weight, extending the load centre. The distance in which the attachment extends the load centre forward is called the effective thickness; in turn, this causes the load moment to increase, subsequently decreasing the lifting capacity.

Load Distribution

When considering a load with a 24-inch load centre, this is only applicable when a load is evenly distributed. The centre of gravity for an unevenly distributed load will either move forward or side-to-side. Due to this, the lifting capacity and stability of the load on the forklift decrease. In this case, operators should keep the load close to the ground during transportation.

Tyre Types

Tyre types, widths, and sizes can influence the lifting capacity of a forklift. Cushion tyres can sustain a higher lifting capacity longer than pneumatic tyres. Dual tyre configurations and tyres with wider treads will increase a forklift’s overall lifting capacity by boosting stability. Tyres should be changed once worn to reduce any lifting faults. 

Forklift Load FAQs

What would happen if you exceeded your forklift load capacity?

By overloading your forklift, you increase the risk of accidents and injuries. A forklift with an overly heavy load will likely tip over if the centre of gravity is off. Tip-overs are the leading cause of forklift casualties each year.

Do I need a licence to operate a forklift?

A forklift licence does not exist. However, operators must have a UK driving licence and a certificate showcasing they have received appropriate training to operate a forklift safely and effectively.

How do I find the standard lifting capacity of my forklift?

To calculate the lifting capacity if you have a higher load centre than standard, you can find the rated lifting capacity of your forklift on its data plate.

Expand Your Forklift Knowledge with HL Training

Learn the ins and outs of operating a forklift with our wide range of training courses. HL Training Services delivers accredited in-centre and onsite training nationwide for forklift operators and instructors. Our training courses equip you with the expertise to operate a forklift safely and effectively. We have extensive experience in providing forklift training. Whether you are a novice or an experienced forklift operator, our team can offer training to suit your needs. Contact our knowledgeable team to learn more about our services; we will gladly assist.

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The Ultimate Guide to Forklift Safety

Forklifts are an instrumental piece of machinery for your site. Operating a forklift demands precision and caution; safety protocols are, therefore, a top priority. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore essential safety measures and expert tips to equip novice and experienced forklift operators with the knowledge and skills they need to use a forklift safely. Whether you want to enhance your proficiency or establish a safer workplace, join us on this journey to prioritise forklift safety.

14-Step Guide to Forklift Safety

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) declares that, on average, forklift trucks are involved in a quarter of all UK workplace vehicle accidents. A lot of these accidents are avoidable, so minimise forklift accidents by following our ultimate guide to forklift safety:

  1. Forklift Training
  • First and foremost, forklift operators should be fully trained and qualified before driving a forklift. Although there is no such thing as a forklift license, operators must have been awarded a certificate for completing a forklift training course to be allowed by most employers to use a forklift. Forklift training is essential to ensure a forklift’s safe but effective use in the workplace.
  1. Pre-Operational Examination
  • At the start of your working day, you should take some time to carry out pre-operational safety checks on your forklift. If you discover any faults or maintenance issues with your forklift during the examination, you should cease using it and inform your supervisor as soon as possible.
  1. Weather Precautions
  • Understanding how to use a forklift in unfavourable weather conditions is critical. Forklifts can be used in the rain; however, the operator must take extra care to keep themselves and others safe. When driving a forklift in the rain, operators should wear appropriate waterproof clothing to help prevent slips, limit distractions, and ensure enough visibility before operating the forklift. 
  1. Load Capacity Considerations
  • Ensure that you are aware of the loading capacity of your forklift. Taking shortcuts by overloading your forklift to make fewer trips is a significant safety hazard. When loading your forklift, load it carefully and evenly so that your view is not obstructed while driving and the weight is within its approved capacity to prevent tipping. 
  1. Sensible Fork Height 
  • The general rule that forklift operators should follow is to always drive with their forks around 6 inches from the ground when travelling, specifically when carrying a load. This is to ensure that potential hazards on the ground are avoided and to provide stability whether or not there is a load on the forklift. Never raise or lower your forks while you are in motion.
  1. Drive at a Safe Speed
  • When driving a forklift, always ensure you are driving slowly and steadily, especially when carrying heavy loads. It is not wise to drive a forklift over its speed limit; the general rule is that it should not be operated indoors at more than 10 kph. Drive at a speed that gives you complete control over the vehicle to keep yourself and others around you safe. 
  1. Eliminate Fast Movements
  • Avoid turning sharp corners or moving at speed; sudden movements can throw the forklift off balance. When you combine a sharp turn with an inappropriately loaded forklift, you are more likely to cause the forklift to tip over. Driving carefully is very important to ensure your safety.
  1. Never Leave an Operating Forklift Unattended
  • Not only is it illegal in the UK to leave the keys in an unattended forklift, but it is a significant safety hazard as it risks the possibility of an unauthorised person operating the forklift and causing potential accidents or injuries.
  1. Wear your Seatbelt
  • If your forklift is equipped with a seatbelt, then as HSE rules, “Where restraining systems are fitted, they should be used.” Wearing your seatbelt is a responsibility you should take seriously. Although not wearing one will not cause an accident, it can significantly minimise the consequences if an accident does occur.
  1. Check your Surroundings
  • Keep in mind that there will be others on site or in the warehouse where you are operating a forklift. Always check your surroundings before you start operating the forklift. Don’t solely rely on your mirrors; look around and check your blind spot, especially before reversing.
  1. Ramp Safety
  • Be cautious when you are operating a forklift on a ramp. Always drive in a forward direction up a ramp and down a ramp in reverse. This ensures that your load will not tip off the forklift as it tends to be top-heavy. Before you reverse down, ensure that your surroundings are clear and you have complete visibility to prevent accidents from occurring.
  1. Pallet Quality
  • When loading your forklift, ensure you use high-quality pallets in good condition. Pallets should be evenly balanced; avoid using old or broken pallets, as this reduces the safety of the load. Use binding or rope to secure the pallets to the forklift for added security.
  1. Repairs and Maintenance
  • Operators should carry out regular maintenance checks on a forklift. These checks will ensure that the forklift is in good working order and can be used safely by operators. Failure to do so can result in sudden breakdowns of the forklift, which can lead to injury of the operator and pedestrians and damage to both the forklift and its load.
  1. Refuel and Park
  • When it is time to refuel, your forklift should only be refuelled at designated locations specifically for forklift refuelling. At the end of your shift, you should park the forklift in a safe and authorised space. Ensure the forks are fully lowered to the floor and the parking brake is on before removing the keys. Store the keys safely to prevent unauthorised personnel from retrieving them.

Forklift Operator FAQs

How often should forklift operators receive training?

Although there is no legal requirement, refresher training is recommended every 3-5 years to update your knowledge and refresh your forklift operating skills.

How many truck lengths should be kept between forklifts?

The ideal travelling distance between forklifts is approximately 3 truck lengths. If another vehicle or a pedestrian is within 3 truck lengths from the forklift, the operator must stop and wait for a safe distance before resuming operation.

What checks should I carry out on my forklift daily?

Firstly, operators should check fluid levels, such as oil and coolant. They should also ensure that their lights are working correctly and inspect whether their forks don’t have any cracks or bends in them. Carrying out these checks will maximise safety levels when operating a forklift.

Forklift Safety with HL Training

As a forklift operator, use our ultimate guide as your pocket handbook to ensure forklift safety. However, the above information only matters if you have received accredited forklift training. At HL Training, we can provide you and your team with the training courses necessary to operate a forklift safely and efficiently. Whether you are a novice or an experienced operator, our team can provide you with trusted training to boost your knowledge and skills when operating a forklift. We offer a range of training courses both in-centre and onsite across the UK. Contact our team; we are happy to help you find the right course.

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Can you Drive Forklifts on Public Roads?

Primarily, forklifts operate within closed areas such as warehouses and factories. However, sometimes, a forklift may need to travel on a public road to transport goods to another site or to unload at a loading dock. It is legal for forklifts to operate on a public road, provided they adhere to legislative guidelines. Our comprehensive blog will guide you through the rules and regulations when driving your forklift on a public highway.

Forklifts are road legal, granted specific requirements are followed:

  1. If you plan to operate your forklift on a public road, you must register the vehicle with the DVLA, ensuring it is taxed and insured. The Vehicle Excise and Registration Act (1994) declares that all motorised vehicles must be registered, taxed, insured, and have a valid licence plate to operate on public roads. If you are driving an electric-powered forklift, you must tax it under the electric vehicle tax.
  2. Drivers must be fully qualified to drive a forklift by completing a forklift operator training course and should possess a full UK driving licence. The minimum age to drive a forklift is 16, but there may be age restrictions depending on the weight of a forklift when fully loaded; a supervisor should check these regulations before assigning a driver to a forklift.
  3. To drive on a public road, operators must be sure that the road is fully lit and that the forklift has an amber beacon of light that flashes overhead when the vehicle’s speed does not exceed 25mph.
  4. For your forklift to conform to government legislation for public road use, you must have evidence of the age of the vehicle, vehicle type approval, and a valid test certificate. Failure to comply with government regulations will result in a fine.

Distance Regulations

Travelling Short Distances (Less than 1000 yards)

If you are travelling less than 1000 yards in your forklift in one go, your vehicle will be classed as a ‘work truck’; in this case, it is exempt from the Road Vehicles Regulations. However, your vehicle must still be insured and registered. For example, if you are using public roads to transport goods to another facility less than 1000 yards away, your vehicle will be classed as a ‘work truck.’ Even if your forklift travels less than 1000 yards, you must still have a full UK licence and accredited training.

Travelling Longer Distances (Over 1000 yards)

Forklifts that travel further than 1000 yards in one go will not be classed as a ‘work truck’ and will be required to comply with the Road Vehicle Regulations. The forklift will be taxed and licenced based on its weight. If the total weight of the vehicle exceeds 3500kg, then it will be classed as a HGV, anything less, and it will be classed as a light goods vehicle. 

How Do I Register My Forklift for Road Use?

Your forklift needs to be registered with the DVLA. Request a V55/5 form online, fill it out and post it back along with your vehicle documentation. Depending on the type of forklift you have will determine what documentation you are required to submit. In this case, it may be beneficial to contact the DVLA and find out exactly what documentation you need so that the process is not held up. The standard information you need to provide includes:

  • A copy of your driving licence
  • A certificate of insurance
  • A valid test certificate
  • A NOVA Form

Forklifts on Public Roads FAQs

Can I drive a forklift without training?

Most employers will require forklift operators to hold a qualification for forklift training. This certification is required to ensure that operators know how to operate a forklift safely and effectively. There are many courses available that only take a few days to complete depending on the level of training you require.

Does a forklift need to be insured?

A forklift must be insured if it is being operated on public roads and in public spaces. Even when operating a forklift on private property, you should consider taking out some form of insurance due to the possibility of an accident.

Can a banned driver drive a forklift?

If you are banned from driving, you will not be able to drive a forklift on public roads. In order to register your forklift for road use, you need to provide a copy of your UK driving licence.

Forklift Training for Public Roads

HL Training can provide operators with a range of training courses that will allow them to drive a forklift not only on their business premises but also on public roads. Forklift training is essential for anyone operating a forklift. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced operator, our courses can provide you with the skills and knowledge you need to safely and efficiently drive a forklift on a public road. We are a trusted provider of forklift training. Our team will gladly help with any enquiries you may have about the level of training you will need, so do not hesitate to contact us today.

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Introducing the Dante Customer Accounts System for 2024!


Take control of your bookings, courses, and training reports for delegates through our innovative customer account system, powered by

This exceptional service is available at a cost of £20+VAT per user per month, billed annually.

– used to view or manage current & past bookings

The below image displays a TEST booking, prices are NOT reflective of any courses available through HL Training online booking system.

COURSES – used to view all courses for delegates at your company

You can even Delegates icon to see candidates, and their current status e.g. Confirmed, Passed, Failed etc.

TRAINING REPORT – used to run a report for delegates training at your company

This shows the below screen. Items are NOT clickable – however you can search for candidates but first name, surname. You can also filter by start and end date of courses.

EDIT PROFILE – used to update your company details, such as address and invoice information

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