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A Guide to Different Forklift Trucks (And Forklift Training)

A Guide to Different Forklift Trucks (And Forklift Training) post image

Forklifts come in various shapes, sizes and heights, and can be used across a number of applications in industry. Whichever type of forklift you use, training is essential. While operating a forklift truck doesn’t require a driving licence, certified forklift training courses are still necessary to ensure the health and safety of employees.

Workers should also be reasonabilty fit (physically and mentally), be reliable and have a responsible attitude in the workplace, and be over the age of 16 years (or 18 years in ports). Training programmes will also vary based on the type of forklift they are required to use. Here is everything you need to know about the different forklift trucks and forklift courses available.

What are the different types of forklifts?

Forklifts are used in the construction, general manufacturing, shipping, and warehousing and distribution industries. Here are the different types you can use:

Counterbalance forklift trucks
The counterbalance forklift features two forks at the front, and has the ability to drive up close to a load. It can be used both indoors and outdoors, and training for this type of truck is relatively straightforward. It’s also the most common type of forklift.

Bendi / flexi forklifts
Designed to optimise aisle performance, the bendi forklift is an ergonomic option. It can store pallets in 1.6 metre aisles, at a height of 12.5 metres. Not only can it operate in narrower spaces, but it’s also much easier to use compared to reach trucks.

Man up / order picking
These trucks are used for high-level order picking and full pallet handling. They raise the operator along with the load so teams can pick at high elevations. For any forklift trucks with working platforms, it’s vital to consider Working at Height safety guidelines.

Reach forklift truck
A reach truck is often used in warehouses for narrow spaces. Two outer legs help to distribute the load, and the wheels are located beneath the operator to create a tighter turn radius. This truck goes up to 4.5 metres, and there are a number of aspects to consider when it comes to safety. But reach forklift courses are still relatively straightforward and can be completed by most competent workers.

Pedestrian truck
The pedestrian forklift or pedestrian stacker is operated on foot, and is ideal for small warehouses and storerooms. They are a very safe option for workers and are extremely easy to use, but training is still essential.

4-way combi lift
This truck offers multi-directional driving, ensuring ease for long and awkward loads. It provides the same benefits as counterbalanced forklifts and flexi forklifts, and can be a better option if you want to avoid multiple trucks on site. While training can be completed in the same time as other trucks, bear in mind that the 4-way steering may take more time to get used to.

NPORS forklift training

If you’re looking to train your staff in any of the above forklifts, NPORs forklift training can provide you with the right forklift course based on your needs. For all of the aforementioned forklift trucks, it is crucial that the operator is able to do the following:

  • Use the equipment safely and correctly
  • Assess the area and the equipment for risks (and take action to reduce these risks)
  • Understand what safety precautions to take

NPORs forklift training will include basic forklift training, specific job training relating to the requirements of each delegate’s role and industry, and familiarisation training. The final step of familiarisation is a critical part of becoming qualified, as it helps trainees take the knowledge and skills drawn from basic training, and learn to apply them in real-life working conditions.

At The Safety Maintenance Company, we offer NPORS forklift training and other plant training courses that are recognised by the HSE. To find out more about our forklift courses, take a look at the details here or get in touch with our team on 0113 257 0842 / info@thesmcl.co.uk.