How To Obtain A Forklift Licence
Forklift operators are paramount to the success of warehousing, transportation and storage companies. Without them, business comes to a stop, productivity rapidly diminishes and overall bottom lines take a hit. Therefore, it is important to have fully qualified and trained forklift drivers in your business so that overall functionality is maintained. However, have you ever thought about whether you need a special forklift licence to prove you are a qualified forklift operator? If so, you have come to the right place. As such, this article will discuss:
- Are foreign forklift licences valid in the UK?
- Reasons for their invalidity
- What you can do as a foreign forklift operator
- Forklift licence training
- Forklift licence cost
Are Foreign Forklift Licences Valid In The UK?
Some of you reading this blog may be asking “Is my forklift licence still valid in the UK”. Whilst many foreign countries enforce a licensing system for forklift operators, the simple answer is no. Foreign licences are not valid in the UK and cannot simply be translated/applied to warehousing and transportation applications.
It’s important to note that although a foreign forklift licence is not valid in the UK, it is by no means assuming that we do not trust your license standards abroad. The reason for their invalidity is simply because we operate a system where you need documented training to legally drive a forklift – a very different procedure as opposed to the princess when obtaining a passport or a driver’s licence.
Why Are Foreign Forklift Licenses Invalid?
For those of you who perhaps have migrated to the UK, you may be thinking that you are at an unfair advantage and already at a roadblock when trying to secure a forklift operator job however, there are many reason as to why we have this system in place which can be detailed below:
Vehicles / Driving Standards
One reason why foreign forklift licences are invalid is solely due to the vehicles themselves. Many countries have similar forklifts to those commonly seen in the UK, but there are some countries that will differ in quality of vehicles. Furthermore, in some countries particularly across Europe, vehicle users drive on the right hand side of the road whereas if they come to the UK, this is flipped and can become confusing. As such, UK companies do not accept foreign forklift licenses as the worker may not be able to properly operate a forklift in the UK safely or efficiently.
Standard Of Training
The UK is notorious to having high standards when it comes to training for driving and operating all types of machinery including forklifts. These are in place to provide protection to both the operator and those in close proximity of the forklifts. Whereas other countries may have different priorities when it comes to forklift training and therefore these standards may be lowered perhaps due to insufficient resources.
The environment is also a major factor that can differ between countries. In the UK, forklifts are predominantly used in factories and warehouses and transportation practices whereas in other countries forklifts are applied in different areas such as on the road or airline applications obviously using a forklift in a closely packed and regulated warehouse is different to one elsewhere used primarily on the road or even for airline purposes.
What You Can Do As A Foreign Forklift Operator
If you hold a foreign forklift licence and are wishing to achieve a successful forklift operating career, the key thing to note is that training is always available. While an employer may not take you on immediately, applying for a credible UK forklift training course could make you a better candidate than those with the same level of experience.
Forklift Licence Training
There are a plethora of training courses available that can bring foreign licence holders up to standard when it comes to operating a forklift. To receive a current forklift licence or a RTITB (Road Transport Industry Training Board) recognised certificate, you will be required to attend a forklift training course.
A forklift training course covers, but is not limited to, the following areas:
- Lift truck controls
- The operators’ safety code
- Lift truck stability
- Starting/moving/stopping and steering the forklift truck
- Operation of hydraulic controls
- On/off ramp driving
- Vehicle loading and unloading
Having a previous knowledge and practical experience with any of the areas mentioned above will greatly enhance your chances of becoming a forklift operator and achieving an accredited licence / certificate.
Forklift Licence Cost
Finally, some of you reading this may be wondering what a forklift licence cost is. Thankfully, here at Trucks Direct we can disclose this information to you. The price you pay will be determined by the course you are looking to take which can range from £100 to £750 depending on course status and difficulty.
Generally, the cheapest training course is the ‘Refresher Training’ variant which is around £100-£125 and can last approximately 1 day. The most expensive training course is the ‘Novice’ variant which trains users with no operational skills from scratch over approximately 3-5 days. You can read more about the different types of forklift training courses on our website.