Gary Clair


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A career as a forklift driver is versatile and you can make a good living. Most forklift operator jobs are with various warehouses and sometimes businesses that require heavy lifting. You could also get a job at a forklift supply company that sells and rents forklifts. Forklift operating is a trade that does require a certification and a high school diploma (or equivalent) that can be simple to obtain. Here are our tips and steps to becoming a forklift driver.

Job description

Forklift drivers usually work in a warehouse setting and drive forklifts, move materials around warehouses, and unload and load trucks to send products to stores or other warehouses. Forklifts are also used on construction sites to move materials and shipyards to load shipping containers. Forklift driving can get repetitive and can be considered hazardous if the right protocols aren’t followed. It’s important for drivers to be aware of their surroundings and be cautious as you are working with heavy loads and machinery. Typically, forklift drivers work a normal full-time workday or until the day’s tasks are done which can extend over eight hours. Drivers must also take into account that they may need to be able to lift some things manually and some products, like food, may be stored in cold temperatures.

Apply for jobs

Search for jobs near you by looking at different companies with warehouses that may need forklift drivers. You should take into the account what shift works best for your schedule and if you’re looking for full-time or part-time work. Most forklift operator jobs just require a simple application, an interview, a background check, and a drug test. Most of the time a resume is not required and you must be at least 18 to be an operator.

Start online training

Some forklift operating jobs require different levels of certification. The basic training includes an online training and test administered by OSHA. You can sometimes wait until you accept a forklift driving job to get your certification as some employers will pay for the training. However, some employers do require previous experience in construction or forklift operation.

Hands-on exam

After the online training portion, you will take a hands-on exam. This can involve driving specific kinds of forklifts, practicing loads, and pointing out where specific controls are located. Some employers have different requirements for their hands on exams as not every employer uses the same types of machines. After you pass this exam, you will get a card that you must keep with you when you operate a forklift. If you do not complete training, there are heavy fines associated with workplace accidents as a result of not being certified.

Now that you have everything you need to be a forklift driver, start getting experience and you can eventually move up within the company or see where else you might fit in.

About the author: Jess is a guest contributor from Daily Equipment Company, a new and used forklift sales and rental company with locations in Texas, Mississippi and Louisianna.

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