A Forklift Training and Refresher Program For New And Experienced Forklift Operators

Forklifts are an essential part of many industries, from manufacturing to construction. These machines make it possible to move heavy loads with ease, but they also present significant hazards that require proper training and certification. Whether you’re a new forklift operator or an experienced one, it’s essential to stay up-to-date with the latest training and certification requirements to ensure safe and efficient operations.

Types of Forklifts

There are several types of forklifts, each designed for specific tasks and environments. Some of the most common types include:

Counterbalance Forklifts: These forklifts are the most common type and are designed for lifting and moving loads on flat surfaces.

Reach Forklifts: These forklifts are designed for use in narrow aisles and can lift loads to greater heights than counterbalance forklifts.

Order Picker Forklifts: These forklifts are designed for use in warehouses and are used to pick and place items onto high shelves.

Pallet Jacks: These forklifts are used to move pallets around a warehouse or factory floor.

Certification Requirements

To operate a forklift, you must be properly certified. Certification requirements vary depending on the type of forklift and your location. Generally, you’ll need to complete a training program that covers topics such as safety, operation, and maintenance. You may also need to complete a written and practical exam to demonstrate your knowledge and skills.

Improving Your Skills

Even if you’re an experienced forklift operator, there are always ways to improve your skills. One way to do this is to participate in refresher training programs. These programs are designed to help you brush up on your skills and learn new techniques that can improve your efficiency and safety.

Another way to improve your skills is to practice regularly. This can include practising in different environments, such as on slopes or in tight spaces. You can also practice different types of loads to improve your handling skills.

In conclusion, operating a forklift requires proper training and certification. There are several types of forklifts, each designed for specific tasks and environments. To improve your skills, consider participating in refresher training programs and practising regularly. By doing so, you’ll be able to operate a forklift safely and efficiently, ensuring a productive and safe work environment.



When using forklifts within your operations, you must ensure your workers are all adequately trained. The Heath & Safety Executive’s figures show that 43 people are injured by forklifts each week, and there’s a fatality every 6 weeks on average. Proper training is key to making sure the best safety practices are being adhered to, safeguarding your forklift drivers and those around them from injury. 

At Safety 1st Forklift Training, we know how important correct forklift driver training is. That’s why we recently appointed a dedicated forklift Training Manager, Trevor. With his experience and expertise, Trevor is perfectly placed to visit your operations in person and deliver in-house training to your staff. Our forklift driver training courses are: 

• Suited to all levels, from first-time forklift users through to experienced drivers in need of top-up training.

• Tailored to your team’s specific learning requirements and budget.

• Carried out at your site for convenience, with the option to take the course at our forklift driver training centre.

We’ve spoken a lot about the many benefits of general forklift training, which you can read about a little more here. Today we’d like to focus specifically on in-house training, and the many fantastic benefits that using a dedicated in-house driver trainer has for your business.  


In-house training is the most convenient way to learn the fundamentals of forklift driving. It means that you and your team don’t have to travel somewhere new and unfamiliar; our dedicated driver trainer will come to you and carry out the training in-house.   


Your drivers are trained in the exact environment they will be carrying out their work in. That means that site-specific hazards are taken into account to ensure training is as helpful and relevant as possible, rather than the ‘one size fits all’ training you may get elsewhere. 


The great news if you’re concerned about downtime is that in-house training is actually faster than learning at a centre. Our beginner’s in-house training course takes between 2 and 3 days, whereas this could be between 3 and 5 days at a training centre.  


Cutting out time travelling between your place and work and a driver training centre means less disruption to your day-to-day operations. Driver training can be a somewhat large time commitment, but in-house training affords you some more flexibility and reduces the potential disruption to your operations. 


Making sure your workers have had the right forklift driver training means you’re maintaining compliance with the law. The HSE’s Approved Code of Practice for Rider Operated lift truck guidance (L117) states that all forklift training should be delivered by an accredited instructor. Casual training has a number of risks associated with it, which we spoke about in more detail in this article.  

Our dedicated Training Manager Trevor is a qualified instructor with experience providing in-house training throughout the industry. His expertise as a forklift driver trainer ensures candidates are up to date on correct training, legislation, and safety measures. Trevor delivers all manners of forklift training, from counterbalance and reach to Flexi, and can tailor training to meet your business’s requirements.  


sign with forklift traffic written on it

Perhaps you’ve used a forklift truck for offloading something at the side of the road or you’ve needed to nip across the street in order to pick up a load at the other side. No matter what the reason or how long you were on the road for, you must have the appropriate registration, tax or insurance in place to operate the forklift on a public road, otherwise you could be committing an offence.

So, we’ve put together a quick guide to help you get to grips with the current legislation and laws regarding the use of forklifts on public roads, so that you can avoid any issues or future fines.

What requirements are needed?

If you plan on operating a forklift truck on a public road, then you’ll need to adhere to certain  requirements:

  • The forklift must be registered with the DVLA.
  • It must be taxed and insured for road use.
  • Registration plates must be displayed on the forklift.

These are the rules that apply to all mechanically-propelled vehicles that are being used or kept on public roads,  in accordance with the Vehicle Excise and Registration Act 1994.

Of course, as the operator of the forklift, you must have:

  • A full UK driving license.
  • Passed a forklift operator course.

Keep in mind, certain age restrictions will apply to the operator of the forklift depending on the different weights of the truck when it’s fully laden. Be careful not to assign an operator to a forklift who is technically underage.

The forklift will also need to be fitted with appropriate lighting for use on a public road. For example, if the truck is going to be travelling at under 25 mph then it will need to have an amber beacon that lights up.

What if it’s only being used for a short distance?

It’s wrong to assume that you won’t require any of the above if you’re only travelling a short distance, or you’re simply crossing a road on a regular basis.

When travelling less than 1000 yards, it not be classed as a work truck and therefore will only require more standard licensing and registration, based on a few criteria, including:

  • The weight of the forklift.
  • How it is propelled.

If the total weight of the truck, which includes its load, exceeds 3500kg, then it will be classed as an HGV. If it comes at a weight under 3500kg, it will be classed as a light goods vehicle.

Also, you need to make sure that it complies with the Road Vehicles Regulations, which may require you to apply certain modifications to the truck. If you’re operating an electric-powered forklift then it will need to be taxed under the electric vehicle tax.

What’s required for longer distances?

If you’re going to be travelling less than 1000 yards in one go, your forklift will still need to be licensed and registered.

When it’s being used on public roads for travelling less than 1000 yards between work sites, working on roadworks, or delivering goods between private premises, then it will be classed as a work truck. It will also be excused from the Road Vehicles Regulations for any distance below 1000 yards.

How to register a forklift truck

To register your forklift with the DVLA, you need to ask for a V55/5 form online, which will then be sent to you via the post with an information pack. In order to complete the form, you’ll need proof of insurance, your test certificate, a copy of your driving license, a NOVA form and a number of other documents, which will be outlined on the form.

Keep in mind that what you need to do may change depending on the classification of your forklift, so it’s always best to check with the DVLA first before you start requesting and filling out any documentation.