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Don’t get us wrong, there aren’t groups of people out in the woods for days to get a picture of a forklift like there are for Bigfoot. But that doesn’t stop the people from creating myths and rumours about forklifts.
In today’s age, it can be difficult to tell which of these myths are true, and which are false. Besides, if HairyTrucker478 on Twitter claims that his brother’s bosses’ wife says it’s true, it must be true… right?
Luckily for you, we’re here to set the record straight. Here are 6 forklift truck myths, and the facts behind them.
Bottom line – there is no such thing as a forklift license. So, technically, this is false.
This is a myth as there is no such thing as a forklift license. This is based in truth, however. As not anybody can drive a forklift in a professional environment.
To drive a forklift professionally, you’ll need official certification. This shows that you’ve taken the appropriate courses and have proven to have the skills necessary in order to operate a forklift truck safely. This certification is often mistaken as a license. This is why we say that needing a forklift license is false. Because it is. You need a forklift certification instead…
Again, this comes down to how you word this.
Driving a forklift is, for the most part, straight forward. If you’re able to drive motorised vehicles such as cars and lorry’s, then you’re most likely able to drive a forklift. Your turning circle is drastically different when comparing a forklift and a lorry, for example. But, other than this, you’re probably able to drive a forklift with little to no issues.
However, this myth is that ‘operating a forklift is easy’, not driving. Because driving and operating are two completely different things.
Operating a forklift includes manoeuvring the vehicle whilst carrying heavy or fragile loads. It also includes the lifting and placing of heavy or fragile goods, whilst adhering to health and safety regulations, whilst also hitting deadlines. So, the idea that operating a forklift can be easy is flat out wrong. If anything, operating a forklift in a busy warehouse is one of the hardest jobs in the industry.
As soon as people see the word ‘training’, they automatically assume it’ll be expensive. But it’s not as expensive as you may think.
As a business, training your employees to be qualified forklift operators can be a smart move. Just one forklift operator can improve the productivity of your business immensely. So, imagine what 4 or 5 can do.
If you’re searching for a new job, a forklift qualification can be a great asset to your CV, allowing you to apply for a wider range of jobs. Some of which will pay more than those that do not require a forklift qualification.
Considering day rates for forklift training are around £80 to £90, with an average of 3-5 days needed, it’s a cheap price for the benefit it brings. Therefore, we consider this ‘myth’ to be true.
In many job positions, the experienced members of staff do not need as much supervision. With some needing none at all. However, even experienced forklift operators will require supervision from time to time.
“But why? If they’re qualified and experienced, they don’t need it!” I hear you saying. And please, allow me to explain why this ‘myth’ is true.
Experience and qualifications are needed in order to drastically reduce the risk of injury whilst operating a forklift. However, they don’t eliminate every risk. And this is what even experienced forklift operators will need supervision for.
For example, limited visibility is an issue every forklift operator will face, often on a regular basis. This is not something you can train for or have enough experience to never encounter. There are always going to be variables that will affect your performance. Variables that can be helped with the use of supervision.
Therefore, we consider this ‘myth’ to be true.
If we had a penny for every time we’d heard this myth, we’d have about £2.04.
Every style of forklift (gas, diesel, and electric) comes with both benefits and disadvantages. Each type is suited to a different environment, business, and use. So, to dismiss a specific style of forklift because they ‘are more hassle than regular ones’ is insane. Not to mention that we’re not sure what these people mean when they say ‘regular ones’.
As we’ve mentioned earlier, the driving part of using a forklift is considered the easiest part. As, in this sense, they’re simple vehicles. However, no business will use forklifts for human transport only. Therefore, operating the various features of the forklift can be considered part of ‘driving’ a forklift.
So, if we’re taking this statement literally, then yes, learning to drive a forklift is like learning to drive any other vehicle. However, seeing as a large part of using a forklift involves elements not found in driving the likes of a car or lorry, this myth is false. Kind of.