How to become a forklift operator

Job description: What does a forklift operator do?

Forklift operators carry out their daily work with forklifts and other industrial trucks. A forklift operators tasks involve:

  • the transport of new and existing goods on the company premises;
  • the storage of the goods;
  • the stacking of the goods in the company’s storage area.

Other duties of forklift drivers are loading and unloading trucks and containers.

Based on loading documents and delivery notes, forklift drivers carry out quantity checks on the products delivered. Based on issued transport orders, forklift drivers take over the storage of the articles in the warehouse and remove products from the warehouse. They transport these loads with their floor conveyors and forklifts for further processing or sales to the company’s various areas. The ongoing examination of the existing inventory and participation in the annual inventories is also part of this profession’s activities.

Forklift drivers check incoming goods for damage and are responsible for applying safety regulations during storage to avoid damage, known as bearing breakage. Also, forklift drivers are accountable for compliance with safety regulations on the entire warehouse site. Forklift drivers are also liable for keeping the warehouse tidy and clean. Waste is separated from the forklift drivers and disposed of by current environmental guidelines. Stacking empty pallets is one of the forklift drivers’ daily tasks, booking incoming products, and labeling the articles.

Forklift drivers are used in various companies’ storage area, primarily in logistics companies and forwarding agents.

Forklift operator responsibilities and requirements

In most cases, the prerequisite for acting as a forklift driver is training as a warehouse management specialist or training or experience in a similar area. A valid driving license for industrial trucks is necessary for working as a forklift driver. A valid driver’s license for cars and a valid driver’s license for trucks are often expected.

The safe use of loading machines is one of the fundamentals of skills and qualifications that employers require of an applicant for a forklift driver’s job. Some companies also want their future forklift drivers to have experience in forklift radio. In addition to good PC skills, forklift drivers should also demonstrate SAP skills and excellent written and spoken English. Many employers state the willingness to work in shifts, to work on weekends, and to work overtime in seasonal work as a mandatory requirement.

Forklift drivers have an independent way of working and a high degree of personal liability. A forklift driver’s strengths include flexibility and organizational talent and diligence, reliability, and communication skills. A forklift driver should be skilled and have a high level of physical and mental resilience. A quick and good grasp of things and a willingness to learn are also advantageous for a forklift driver’s job. Various companies welcome experience in the storage area, the forklift truck area, and loading and unloading. However, it is not always a mandatory condition for maintaining the position as a forklift driver.