TRIBUTE to Jeff Longdon – HL Founder

It is with deep sorrow we have to announce that on Tuesday 10th November 2020, after a short hospital stay, Jeff Longdon (co-founder, brother to Vince Snr & uncle to Directors Vince Jnr and Jay) passed away in Bristol Royal Infirmary after a short illness with Covid-19. Jeff loved and was proud of HL Training and never stopped wearing his work shirts after retirement. Together, we will all make him proud of how we carry on with the company he played such a huge part in creating.

HL Training services was formed by the cofounders Jeff Longdon & his brother Vince Hueston snr, creating what became HL Training Services (HLTS) – Jeff being the “L” in Hueston and Longdon Training Services.

Jeff Longdon, the 'L' in HL Training Services.
Jeff with Vince Snr at Vince Jnrs wedding in 2013
Jeff with Great-Nephew Rico

Jeff & Vince came from a transport and warehouse background & had worked very closely together for many years.   Because of the road haulage links several of their drivers were casual drivers working on a casual day to day basis.  They often had HGV drivers standing by waiting for work which led to some regular sub-contract customers asking if they had any drivers available.  Jeff soon saw an opportunity and convinced Vince that opening a small employment agency was the way to go.  Being asked on a regular basis for forklift operators again Jeff saw an opportunity and book himself onto a forklift instructors’ course.  Before returning from his instructor course they started getting calls from hauliers such as BRS wanting forklift training & retraining of their operators.

The interest in our newly formed training service started to grow & soon after Vince Hueston snr also found himself booked onto an instructors course.  Very soon the training side of the business took off and overtook the transport & agency work and HL Training services was born in 1988. 

The early years were very lean & the partners struggled to survive but eventually HLTS became a viable business in its own right.   At the start the main training service offered was Counterbalance & Reach forklift trucks, but occasionally were asked to perform training on Telescopic & Rough Terrain machines and expanded their portfolio to cover this. 

In 2003, Jeff semi-retired due to ill-health, at this time Vince Hueston Jnr was a very competent operator on several pieces of plant & machinery and Jeff mentioned he would be an asset to HLTS due to his operational ability. Subsequently Vince Joined his Uncle Jeff & Father Vince as a very competent instructor, being brought in to help as Jeff was beginning to struggle due to health issues. At the time Jeff was still working as much as he could and took Vince Jnr under his wing.

“I can honestly say the majority of my operational skill set was developed by Jeff whilst Vince (snr) developed my instructional skill set.”

Vince Jnr, Nov 2020

The business grew and started to incorporate many new courses including instructor training, sadly Jeff’s health deteriorated and was forced into unwanted retirement.  Jeff never lost his love of HLTS,  to the day he died he was deeply saddened that his personal career in HLTS had come to an end.

Jeff’s passing has been extremely hard as he was a beloved family member, a mentor and a friend that will be so sorely missed. We have been so lucky and are so proud to have had Jeff in our lives, we never always saw eye to eye but there was always the respect and understanding of each other’s point of view and the ability to move forward.

Jeff was recently described as a “Force of life” & a “Force of Nature” which he certainly was.

Jeff & Vince snr were business partners but their extremely close bond as Brothers forged HL Training Services as it is today. 

Jeff will be deeply missed by all who knew him & will be remembered, missed & deeply loved by his family.

COVID 19 – Cleaning the FLT Prior to use, and how to deal with waste for the cleaning process during the current pandemic.

With training being key within the logistics and medical supplies industries, The British Industrial Truck Association (BITA) and have both given advice on Safe Cleaning Practices of Mechanical Handling Equipment (MHE) during the current pandemic we find ourselves in. 

We have gone through both sets of information, and have outlined below the KEY aspects relevent (this is not way takes away from the rest of the information provided, all of which can be found on the links provided at the bottom of each section.)

Remember, information provided by the equipment manufacturer takes precedence over any other advise given on this website, either BITA or website, or any other documents made available by either HL Training, BITA or

The British Industrial Truck Association (BITA)

The following advice is provided for materials handling equipment in regular use where there is no formal identification of contamination by the coronavirus.

Examples of surfaces that should be wiped clean

Before applying cleaning products always refer to the truck’s operator’s manual. 
• Steering Wheel
• Control Switches & Levers
• Touch sensitive display screens
• Grab handles
• Seat belts
• Dashboards & shared chassis areas
• Floor mats
• Access covers, e.g. battery change, fuel cap

Fork Lift Trucks; other surfaces
Unless a specific risk has been identified, special cleaning measures for surfaces which are not normally touched more frequently than every 72 hours are not required.

Any waste generated as a result of any cleaning process should be disposed of in contaminated waste, and should be sealed in a plastic bag, which is subsequently sealed in another plastic bag. 

This is to be stored away from normal waste. See details from Public Health England to the right, for more information on storage etc.

To read in full, click here.

Forklift Truck Reloading Pallet

We would like to thank both BITA and Public Health England for their advice on these matters, and would urge everyone operating MHE during these times to stick firmly to their advise – along with the additional advise of keeping social distancing in place whilst operating within your working environment.

Remember, where service critical training is required, we have instructors ready and available.

For a quote or more information on how we can deliver training in these testing times, email or call 0117 9525625 opt 1.

Public Health England (

Cleaning and disinfection

All surfaces that the symptomatic person has come into contact with must be cleaned and disinfected, including:

Use disposable cloths or paper roll and disposable mop heads, to clean all hard surfaces, floors, chairs, door handles and sanitary fittings, following one of the options below:

• use either a combined detergent disinfectant solution at a dilution of 1,000 parts per million available chlorine


• a household detergent followed by disinfection (1000 ppm Follow manufacturer’s instructions for dilution, application and contact times for all detergents and disinfectants


• if an alternative disinfectant is used within the organisation, this should be checked and ensure that it is effective against enveloped viruses

Avoid creating splashes and spray when cleaning.

Any cloths and mop heads used must be disposed of and should be put into waste bags as outlined below.


Waste from possible cases and cleaning of areas where possible cases have been (including disposable cloths and tissues):

1. Should be put in a plastic rubbish bag and tied when full.

2. The plastic bag should then be placed in a second bin bag and tied.

3. It should be put in a suitable and secure place and marked for storage until the individual’s test results are known.

Waste should be stored safely and kept away from children. You should not put your waste in communal waste areas until negative test results are known or the waste has been stored for at least 72 hours.

•  if the individual tests negative, this can be put in with the normal waste

•  if the individual tests positive, then store it for at least 72 hours and put in with the normal waste

If storage for at least 72 hours is not appropriate, arrange for collection as a Category B infectious waste either by your local waste collection authority if they currently collect your waste or otherwise by a specialist clinical waste contractor. They will supply you with orange clinical waste bags for you to place your bags into so the waste can be sent for appropriate treatment.

To read in full, click here.

COVID-19 Lift Truck Training : HL Training Statement

After a lengthy wait from our accrediting bodies, two worked together to get the answers required within the Lift Truck Training Industry. Adam Smith of AITT, and Nick Welch of RTITB put their heads together and managed to get a response from the HSE regarding advice for training within the current COVID-19 epidemic.

Firstly, we would like to thank them for their time and effort in getting this statement, and their own comments. Additionally, we would like to outline what has been discussed, and what the statement means for Lift Truck Training in the UK currently.

Please see the statement in FULL, by clicking here.

***IMPORTANT NOTE*** All below quoted elements are from the document linked above.

Existing Trained Staff

As training certificate do NOT have an expiry date, “it may be reasonable and practicable to extend
the validity of current certificates by up to 3 months.”

If you do so “they should be able to demonstrate that they are meeting their legal duty to monitor and supervise lift truck drivers to ensuire that they continue to operate safely.”

Training of new staff

It may be required within businesses where existing workers roles have changed, or new workers have been employed to keep up with demand “the duty remains to ensure that staff are trained and competent to operate any industrial lift
truck equipment, and this includes driver training and the employer must be able to demonstrate
that the driver is trained and competent.”

On that basis, as long as training providers which “activities are critical to supporting key workers” and activities are adjusted to “follow Public Health England’s advice regarding good hygiene practices and separation distances,
and if relevant accommodate any site-specific rules to manage the risk of COVID-19 infection” – then training can proceed

Below we have the comments from the two influencers in getting a response, along with Vince J Hueston one of our Directors. Taking the above into account, if you are within a key industry and have training requirements that HL Training Services can assist with, please contact us on 0117 9255625 or email

COVID-19 NEWS Forklift Training
Pallet Stacker Training

“Forklift operator training is required by law and employers have a legal obligation to ensure the safety of their staff. During this time, those who supply essential items such as food and medical resources are classed as critical workers, so it is extremely important that they receive appropriate training on the equipment they are required to use. “

Adam Smith, Managing Director of AITT

“Training for lift trucks must continue as it will help critical workers do their job safely and effectively.” 

“Ideally training should be on a one-to-one basis, in line with government instructions to limit gatherings to no more than two people. Instructors and trainees should also keep two metres apart and follow all Public Health England guidance.”

Nick Welch, Technical Director at RTITB

“We are committed to delivering training to Critical Workers following HSE and Public Health England guidelines

For any companies who fit the criteria outlined by the HSE, we are here to help and have Instructors available by accredited by either AITT, RTITB or ITSSAR”

Vince J Hueston, Director at HL Training Services

Pre Use / Pre Shift Checks

Do you undertake a pre use / pre shift check prior to operating Mechanical Handling Equipment (MHE)? Were pre use checked covered in your original training? How do you record pre use checks within your organisation? These are all questions we ask candidates who attend our centre for training. Its surprising how many are not aware this is a legal requirement.

Whilst being trained to operator MHE, whether its a Counterbalance Forklift, Reach Truck or a Pallet Truck, the requirement remains. Not only does the candidate need to carry out a pre-use check, they need to demonstrate a clear understanding of it. Being a visual and functional check, there are a lot of aspects required to complete a check – these are always in accordance with the Lift Truck manufactuers recommendations and/or the company procedures in place.

During the pre shift check, the candidate will be examined by a qualified instructor as to whether they meet the minimum standard required to carry out the check correctly and efficiently.

Below is an example of some elements that may be required to be checked on a Counterbalance or Reach Truck as per the ABA requirements;

  • Fork Arms/Attachments
  • Carriage Plate
  • Mast
  • Mast Rollers and Slides
  • Lift Chains
  • Lift Chain Pulleys
  • Rated Capacity Plate
  • Hydraulic Systems
  • Wheels
  • Tyres
  • Hydraulic Controls
  • Drive & Braking
  • Steering

There are plenty of other elements that require checking, however the above list are the elements that have been deemed safety critical.

If you are not sure as to what your companies procedures are for checking Forklift Trucks, be sure to find out prior to operating. Additionally, if you could benefit from implemented an approved daily check log book (contents follows approved ABA Guidelines) – we have developed a Daily Check Log Book, with Fault Criteria Reporting including so managers and supervisors are aware of going issues with forklifts within the organisation. This helps to know what needs trucks need repairing, who found the fault, and who it has been reported to.

If you would like a sample of our book, please email


Welcome to the family…

HL strive to improve our service to our customers in every aspect, and 2019 was no different. We have always improved our facilities, IT, and most importantly our trucks.

Since we have been in our Barton Hill address we have acquired some amazing trucks. See below our amazing acquisitions throughout our time in Barton Hill.

(In no particular order)

A3 Pedestrian Counterbalance. This was acquired from a customer, however we only had for a short while due to Wilmat themselves approaching us to purchase it.

A3 Pedestrian Counterbalance Forklift

A3 Pedestrian Counterbalance Forklift

A5 Pallet Stacker. Acquired from a different customer who were moving premises and changing how their warehouse works, making Stackers surplus to requirements. This is an amazing Jungheinrich truck as per below picture.

F1 VNA Operator Up.Acquired and fitted with a wire system, this truck has truly given HL something unique.

VNA Forklift Training @ our Barton Hill Centre

VNA Forklift Training @ our Barton Hill Centre

Lorry Loader.In 2018, we purchased an ex Travis Perkins lorry to replace our existing Lorry. We’ve always had a high demand for HIAB training, but everyone now prefer to use a truck with remote control. This was our 2018 investment. And so far, it’s worked out perfectly. We have candidate come from all over the UK just to be trained on remote control.

Lorry Loader, with Grab in use and remote control

Lorry Loader, with Grab

2019 was the turn of our D1 Reach Truck.We have had a very reliable Linde R16 Reach Truck which we’ve had for many years. It truly was part of the HL family. Unfortunately, the age of the truck came hand in hand with the issues that kept arising. We struck up an incredible deal with a local Forklift Truck provider, Solution MHE, and we’re excited to be able to utilise an incredible trade to upgrade our a Reach Truck to the Phenomenal Yale truck below.

New Yale Reach Truck, in Yale colours

New Yale Reach Truck, in Yale colours

Not only that, for the FIRST time ever, we have had the new truck painted in HL colours. See below.

New Yale Reach Truck, in HL Colours

New Yale Reach Truck, in HL Colours

If you need reach truck training, contact us today. Remember, we have a wide range of trucks, and even offer instructor training.

Welcome to the HL family, to our new Yale Truck.

A bright future for forklift training

December 2019

HL Training Services has opened new opportunities for workplace transport training in the South West following our recent accreditation by the Association of Industrial Truck Trainers.

We are accredited by industry bodies ITSSAR and RTITB, but we have made the major decision to gain a third accreditation, after noticing a lack of availability for AITT courses in the West Country.

“Anyone in the South West looking to attend AITT training courses would have to travel to the Midlands or further east,” said Shane Richardson, Director at HL Training Services. “But our new AITT Accreditation means we can provide courses from Bristol, and give people in the surrounding counties, or even those along the south coast, a more local option. We’re essentially creating a South West hub for AITT training that wasn’t there before. It’s a really exciting development.”

Two-thirds of HL Training Services’ instructors will receive AITT registration. In addition, we are aiming to have one Category 4 tutor accredited to AITT, who will be qualified to teach operators and instructors, a significant move that will allow HL Training Services to offer a greater number of courses.

“We ‘train the trainer’, so by ensuring that our instructors are taught to accredited standards, then in turn they will go on to teach forklift operators how to work safely in accordance with HSE guidelines,” said Shane.

“Our aim is to help produce the best instructors, which will benefit the industry in the future, and AITT will help us do that. One of the reasons we chose AITT was the outstanding level of guidance that the organisation provides to training providers and instructors. The team is very friendly and registering with AITT was simple and straightforward; we really enjoy working with them.

“What also stood out to us was the great work that AITT has been doing recently to spread the message about the importance of accredited training. AITT wants to make a difference, and so do we, so it made perfect sense to join. It’s a win-win really.”

Managing Director of AITT, Adam Smith, said: “It’s great to have HL Training Services onboard as this is big step in expanding our network in the South West region. Shane and his team are really committed to ensuring that forklift instructor and operator training is the best it can be, which is an ethos AITT shares.”

Shane believes that providing a greater availability of local options for forklift training will be key for encouraging people to choose accredited courses, as opposed to choosing less reliable non-accredited training.

“Using accredited providers is essential because it gives you proof that the training has been completed to a defined standard, whereas non-accredited training isn’t registered,” explained Shane.

“Accredited training includes an in-depth check and the paperwork is audited to prove that it has been done properly. It gives you peace of mind more than anything. Ideally everyone would choose it, but training organisations such as ours have to make it as easy as possible for people by providing local centres and instructors. The cost of registering to AITT is a nominal fee and it’s insignificant compared to the huge benefits accreditation brings.”

Adam added: “AITT welcomes training providers from any area of the country who are looking to make the easy switch to a supportive accrediting body. Our focus is always on providing the advice and resources that enable providers to deliver exceptional courses to the highest industry standards. I’ve no doubt that HL Training Services will do just that.”

For further information on training contact Shane Richardson on 0117 952 5625 or email

For more information on being AITT Accredited yourself, call Adam Smith of AITT on 01530 810867 or email:

HL Training Services receives AITT accreditation
(Tyrone Williams from AITT, left, and Shane Richardson of HL Training Services, right)