10 Tips on How to Become A Forklift Mechanic
When you are learning how to become a forklift mechanic the first step is often the hardest. Much like other vocations, it is important to know exactly what steps you need to take to get to where you want to be. We have put together our top ten tips to help guide you towards your chosen career path!
1. Make sure it’s right for you
The very first thing to consider before beginning your journey of becoming a forklift technician is to ensure that it is right for you. One thing that is for certain when learning how to become a forklift mechanic is that it is not a small commitment. It will require hard work and a lot of time. If you are more interested in becoming a forklift driver, consider checking out our ten tips on becoming a forklift driver.
An important thing to take into account is whether you have a passion for engineering. Often, mechanics have a strong passion for engineering and are passionate about finding out how things work. Forklifts are much like many other pieces of machinery, they require time and patience. If you are willing to put both of those things in then you will go far.
2. Ensure you have the relevant qualifications
To make sure that you are in the right line of work when becoming a forklift technician you must make sure that you have the relevant qualifications. The National Careers Service recommends that there are three ways of attaining a forklift mechanic job; one of the most popular usually being a college course.
College courses such as Level 2s in heavy vehicle maintenance and repair, plant and machinery maintenance, or mechanical engineering are all viable ways to start. To qualify for these courses you will often need to have attained two or more GCSEs between 9 and 3. There are also other methods, such as…
3. Look into apprenticeships
Apprenticeships are perhaps the most popular means of becoming a forklift mechanic. There are even courses specified to the world of lifting. Advanced apprenticeships such as ‘lift truck and powered access vehicle engineering’ will usually require five GCSEs graded between 9 and 4, often including English and maths.
Some simpler apprenticeships may not have a limit of how many GCSEs that you require, but they will need to be shown proof of maths and English. For a guide to apprenticeships, consider checking out gov.uk.
4. Consider further education
Some further education, such as an honours degree or equivalent, can help you to enter your journey of becoming a forklift technician directly. When applying for a job directly you may be considered further if you have proof of further education.
University courses are available to anyone at any time. Most universities have courses focused on engineering or mechanics and will have varying entry requirements. Should you wish to learn prior to starting the job, further education may be for you.
5. Gain forklift experience
A mistake that is commonly made when learning how to become a forklift technician is that those learning often have little to no experience operating the machinery they are working on.
We believe that physically working with machinery gives you a better understanding when it comes to fixing it. Finding a job where you would have to work closely with forklifts is a great way to get to know them better. To work with a forklift, you will first have to consider getting your forklift license.
6. Work with qualified professionals
Once you have ensured that you have the relevant qualifications and have begun working with forklifts you need to ensure that you are surrounded by qualified professionals.
A lot of knowledge is gained through learning from people that are more qualified than you. If you are in a workplace with someone that knows what they are talking about, you are sure to learn the ins and outs of how to become a forklift mechanic.
7. Don’t be afraid to take notes
Working around qualified professionals can often produce a lot of information you wish to remember in a short period of time. Similarly, working on an apprenticeship can sometimes be overwhelming. One of the best ways to keep a track of things you need to know is to keep notes.
Making sure that you have a notepad on you at most times is important as it allows you to quickly jot down things that may be important. Who knows, maybe in the future the answer to your questions will be on one of the pages of notes you write.
8. Work with all forklift brands and types
At Trucks Direct we are no strangers to the leading forklift brands. One thing to consider when learning how to become a forklift mechanic is to make sure you know that you will be working with all manner of brands. Similarly, there are many types of forklift that are all built differently. Electric forklifts will need to be handled differently to gas-powered, which in turn will be built in a different way to diesel forklifts, and so on.
With brands, the concept is much the same. For example, Caterpillar forklifts will be different from Hyster forklifts, and in turn, they will be different from Nissan forklifts. Familiarising yourself with a whole host of brands is a great way to get ahead. Once you have picked up on the nuances of different machines, you will be suited to handle whatever comes your way.
9. Work on different types of machinery
Forklifts should not be your be-all and end-all. One way to keep your mind fresh is to broaden your horizons and work on different kinds of machinery. A lot of equipment can have similar means of operating, so you can often apply different techniques across a range of products.
If you are looking to develop forklift engineering skills, why not consider working on similar machinery such as scissor lifts. Another way of broadening your working horizons is to work on the different types of forklifts. We stock a range of forklift types at Trucks Direct that would be beneficial to get to grips with. From three-wheelers to diesel machines, the more the merrier.
10. Put in the time
Overall, the most important tip we can give when learning how to become a forklift mechanic is to put in the time and effort. This is a general tip for almost everything in life. If you are dedicated to making this your next job, make sure you are ready to dedicate a lot of time to learning. There will be slip-ups, but that is just part of the journey.
If you would like to browse the different types of forklifts that we supply, check out our full range here. Alternatively, if you have any questions or would like to learn more about how to become a forklift mechanic, simply get in touch.