What’s Included in the Forklift Theory Test?
The Forklift Theory Test – What You Need to Know
Much like your driving license, you must take a forklift theory test before you can operate one.
A lot of people don’t know about this component of the test, so we wanted to give you everything you needed in one helpful guide. We’ll be covering the 20 and what you should expect, as well as some tips to help calm your nerves.
Forklift Theory Test Questions
1. Before operating a forklift in a work environment, who does the operator need to get written authorisation from?
Prior to operation, forklift operators need to have written permission from their employer. By not obtaining the correct permission, you could be terminated and or have your certificate voided.
When taking the forklift theory test, know that it’s the responsibility of the employer, to issue an authorisation to operate. Operators need one, regardless of how often they use a forklift.
2. What is meant by the term “load centre”?
A load centre is a measurement from the front face of the fork arms back to the centre of gravity of the load being carried by the forklift.
Knowing the load centre is essential for maintaining stability as it represents the forklift’s tipping point. If exceeded, it can result in injury and damage to the load and forklift truck. When answering forklift test questions, be aware that load centres change depending on what’s being lifted and how.
3. What is an approved code of practice?
This code is the practice of advising duty holders on complying with legislation. The approved code of practice ensures a safe working environment and knowledgeable forklift operators.
The Health and Safety Executive code is aimed at employers and people responsible for the safe operation of forklifts. This includes those in charge of worksites, the self-employed, managers and supervisors. It gives guidance on:
- Forklift features
- Safe use
- Protecting pedestrians
- Examinations of forklifts
4. Concerning lift trucks, what does it mean to “free lift”?
Free lift is the distance the forks can raise up before the mast starts to extend. Free lift is crucial to understand and study because it will prevent tipping and hazardous forklift accidents.
Forklifts with ‘limited free lift’ need more overhead space so the mast can raise higher than the load when lifting it. The forks in trucks with ‘full free lift’ can raise higher without the mast extending, so are better and safer to use in places that have restricted overhead space.
5. When transporting a palletised load, how much back tilt is required?
The back tilt must be sufficient to cater for the type of load as well as the ground conditions. When determining tilt and load capacity, you always need to account for the environment the machine operates on.
Only use enough back tilt to stabilise the load, otherwise, the forklift will become unbalanced. To avoid instability, never use the full range of tilt with the forks raised loaded or unloaded. The heaviest part of the load should be up against the carriage when the mast is tilted back.
6. A lift truck’s “rated capacity” applies when the mast is in what position?
When the lift truck is in the vertical position on a flat and level ground. The position means there is no slope or unevenness, and the surface the forklift is on does not have rocks or debris.
During the forklift training test, be aware that the rated capacity is the maximum theoretical load a forklift can safely lift. This is often different to its actual load capacity. Factors affecting rated capacity include increasing load length, uneven load distribution, adding attachments, different wheels, battery weight and fork type.
7. Who does Healthy and Safety legislation place responsibility on concerning safe working conditions?
Every single person on the working premises is responsible for safe operations. Everyone is held accountable for taking proper safety measures and operating machinery with caution.
When answering this theory test question, state the onus is on employers, but workers also have a duty to look after their own health and safety and that of others affected by their actions. Workers should always cooperate with employers and co-workers to help everyone meet their legal requirements.
8. Why should the forks/attachments face downhill when an unladen counterbalance is on an incline?
Facing downhill in this situation improves stability, traction, and adhesion. In the counterbalance theory test, state this applies whether the operator is driving the unloaded forklift up or down the incline, and whatever its gradient. The forks should be raised to the minimum amount to safely clear the ground. Low gear and slow speed should always be used on slopes.
9. Why is there an increased risk of the truck tipping forward when tilting a load forward at height?
The combined centre of gravity shifts forward, causing a tipping hazard that can lead to operator or bystander injury. The reach truck theory test highlights that these trucks are designed to safely reach much higher than counterbalance trucks as they have two, side-extending legs that spread load weight. If the centre of gravity in a counterbalance falls outside its triangle of stability, it is more likely to tip.
10. The job of enforcing the 1974 Health and Safety at work act is whose responsibility?
Health and Safety executives and local authorities are responsible for enforcing this act. Inspectors from the Health and Safety Executive and local authority have the right to enter a workplace and talk to employees and safety representatives. They investigate accidents and when complaints are made. They can take enforcement action, require an employer to manage risks properly and provide compliance advice and guidance.
11. What must you do when approaching an intersection on a forklift?
Slow down and sound your horn before proceeding through the intersection. Sounding the horn will warn pedestrians and other vehicles of the approaching forklift. If it’s loaded, the operator’s vision may be obscured. In this case, it’s even more important to sound the horn to avoid an accident or injury. Concave mirrors can help operators see around blind spots.
12. How do you proceed when forward visibility is obstructed or blocked?
Drive the forklift in reverse if you have visibility in that direction. Certified forklift operators should be able to operate the machine just as well in reverse as they can when moving forward. Give specific examples when answering forklift training questions. State the need to always look in the direction of travel, as obstructed visibility increases the risk of accidents, such as a collision, falling load, hitting pedestrians, or the forklift falling off the loading dock. Use spotters, rearview mirrors and headlights.
13. What is necessary before entering a railroad car or trailer on a forklift?
The trailer or railroad car is securely locked in place using wheel chocks. Forklifts are usually driven onto a railroad car or trailer over a dock board or bridge plate. If the trailer or car is not secured with wheel chocks, it may move forward. If this happens, the dock board can drop between the dock and the trailer as the forklift crosses.
14. What should your first concern be as a forklift operator?
A forklift operator’s first concern should be that the machine is in safe and proper operating condition. Inspect the forklift at the start of the day or shift, whichever is first, with the key off, and when running. Examine the tyres and oil, water, and hydraulic fluid levels. Check for water, oil, and radiator leaks. Ensure forks are undamaged. Test the brakes, lights, horn, and steering wheel.
15. What are three signs a forklift is not in safe working condition and must be retired?
- Leaks from the fuel system
- A spongy or squishy feeling brake pedal
- Exhaust fumes that make you feel sick
Other signs include faulty steering, the mast not raising or lowering properly and engine overheating. Poor traction could mean worn tyres. When answering this forklift theory test UK question, state that defects found during an inspection, or whilst in use, must be reported immediately and the forklift removed from service.
16. Is it easier to bring a forklift or an automobile to a complete stop, and why?
It is easier to bring an automobile to a complete stop because it weighs less than a forklift. Another reason is that forklifts have rear-wheel drive, which makes them less responsive than front-wheel steered cars. However, this difference allows the forklift operator to load more accurately, manoeuvre precisely in tight spaces, and have better load transfer and stability, as most of the weight is carried at the front.
17. When driving on ramps with a grade of 10 percent or more with a loaded forklift, in what direction should you carry the load?
In this situation, you need to carry the load uphill, even if that means driving in reverse. This will prevent the load from falling off. Adjust the tilt to suit the gradient. Raise the forks to the necessary height to clear the ground. Never turn on a slope as the forklift is likely to tip. Look in the direction of travel and keep a safe distance from the ramp edge.
18. When lifting a laden pallet, what should the forklift adjustment be set to?
The fork arms should be spread so the weight is distributed evenly on both forklift arms. To lift safely, have the pallet close to the front wheels and keep the mast upright before fully inserting the forks. They should be at least two-thirds the length of the load and fit easily into the pallet. Align and centre the forks evenly. Incorrectly spaced forks can cause damage.
19. Why should you give sharp and short blasts when using the forklift horn?
One continuous honk will not garner as much attention to let people know you are coming. The horn is a very important forklift safety feature and should be used when at the end of aisles, blind corners, and intersections. The operator must sound the horn when entering any unseen area or driving past places, such as a canteen or washroom, where there will be other workers.
20. What is the main purpose of the overhead guard?
To protect the forklift operator from falling boxes or other items that could cause injury. The overhead guard is like a cage, which the operator can look up through when placing and retrieving loads. Although an essential safety asset, it cannot protect against all impacts. Additional operator protection includes wearing a hard hat and keeping feet and hands within the forklift to avoid falling loads.
FAQs – Forklift Theory Test
How Many Questions Will There Be on the Forklift Theory Test?
You can expect 25 questions on the forklift theory test. 20 of these questions are multiple-choice and the remaining 5 will be written questions.
How Long Will the Forklift Theory Test Be?
Your forklift theory test will be one hour long.
What is the Pass Mark for the Forklift Theory Test?
The pass mark for the forklift theory test is 80%. Should you fail the test, it is easy to retake.
How to Pass Your Forklift Theory Test First Time
Taking any kind of test can be scary, so we’ve compiled some tips to help you nail the forklift theory test first time.
1. Revise Like It’s School
This may sound obvious, but if you don’t revise and take a careless attitude, you’re more likely to fail your forklift theory test. Much like the driving theory test, it’s a proper exam and requires a fair amount of studying.
There are plenty of free online resources to help support your study for the test, so make good use of them.
If you’re balancing a work and home life, this can be hard to squeeze in. Plan out your day so that you at least have an hour spare to prep for the test. You will thank yourself when you’re collecting your pass certificate.
2. Reaffirm and Breathe
By the day of the test, you should’ve studied and be all brushed up on your forklift facts. You’ve got every chance of passing this test, so remind yourself of that. Repeat it yourself in your mind and remember, you’ve got this.
Deep breathing, although cliche, is so important for calming nerves in any situation. Essentially, your breathing affects your body’s ability to think. If you’re stressed your mind will be clouded and you won’t perform at your best.
Good Luck With the Forklift Theory Test!
Now you’ve got everything you need to know about the forklift theory test. Good luck and remember, you’ve got this.