Training
Module 2

Licence and Driver Safety

Training Module 2 – Licence and Driver Safety Overview

Exploring the various types of common forklift drivers and forklift operator licences as well as understanding the safety aspects when driving. We will cover basic checks for pre and post driving as well as exploring a list of the different types of licences required for the different types of forklifts.

Obtaining a Forklift Licence

There are various different licences required for different types of forklifts. Below we explore a few of the common licences required. In order to drive a forklift on a road, you are required you to have an “F” endorsement on your driver licence.

If you wish to obtain an F endorsement, you must hold a full licence (other than a motorcycle licence).

You will need to provide evidence that you have successfully completed an approved course that teaches specialist knowledge and skills relating to driving a forklift safely on a road.

Upon proof of successfully completing an approved course, you will also need to provide proof of your official ID book, proof of residence as well as fill out an application form.

Any forklift being used on a road needs to display the following:

  • Current Licence Disc
  • Registration plate
  • Current Warrant of Fitness
Understanding the Dimensions

Forklifts used on the road are bound by the same maximum dimensions as heavy rigid vehicles.

If a load extends out from the side of the forklift by 200mm or more, then an over-dimensional flag is required. There is a maximum of 2.5 metres or 1.25m from the longitudinal centre line of the vehicle.

The maximum height from the ground to the highest point of the load or vehicle is 4.25 metres.

Forklifts used on the road are bound by the same maximum dimensions as heavy rigid vehicles.

It is vital to always to check what the load centre of the product you are moving is. The load centre is calculated as half the load length (from fork face to fork tip). Most forklift capacities up to a 5 ton forklift are based on a 500mm load centre or a 1000mm load length. From a 5 ton forklift the load centre in generally based on a 600mm load centre or a 1200mm load length.

All warehouse equipment (reach trucks, stackers, power pallet trucks and order pickers) are based on a 600mm load centre.

NB: By extending the load centre of a product on a forklift, the forklift capacity will reduce. The longer the load centre, the less a forklift will be able to lift. This is known as deration and deration also occurs the higher you lift a product.

Therefore it is vital that one always calculates which forklift is required by asking: What is the maximum weight of the product, at the maximum height with the longest potential load centre.

Remember: Always drive with your mast and forks lowered no more than 150mm off the ground.

Vehicle weight and Corresponding forklift licences
A driver of a forklift with a class one licence plus F endorsement can operate a forklift with a gross laden weight up to 18,000kgs.

A driver of a forklift with a class two licence plus F endorsement can operate a forklift with a gross laden weight 18,000kgs or over.

Forklifts are extremely powerful machines and it does not take much for damage, injury or loss of life to occur.

If you add together the forklift weight, counter balance and load it is carrying, it adds up to a moving object with a total weight of almost 6,000 kg!

An average 2,500 kg forklift weighs around the same as four average family sized cars. Forklift driver training enables forklift drivers to maintain equipment in the correct manner, and ensure that all relevant safety checks are completed.

Forklifts are extremely powerful machines and it does not take much for damage, injury or loss of life to occur. If you add together a 2.5 ton forklift weight, counter balance and load it is carrying, it adds up to a moving object with a total weight of almost 6,000 kg!

An average 2,500 kg forklift weighs around the same as four average family sized cars. Forklift driver training enables forklift drivers to maintain equipment in the correct manner, and ensure that all relevant safety checks are completed.

The Table Below outlines the different types of licences required for the different types of forklifts:

Operator Checks

It is essential that each forklift driver conducts pre and post operational checks on their forklifts. It is more essential when there may be multiple forklift operators.
Visual Checks
  • Tyres (check for wear, splitting and pressures).
  • Condition of the lights and lenses.
  • Condition of the gauges.
  • Obvious signs of damage to the body and overhead guards.
  • Obvious signs of damage to the mast, lifting assembly and attachments.
  • Forklift types and backrest for cracks and fractures.
  • Hydraulic hose, unions, cylinders for leaks or damage.
  • Underneath the forklift for fuel or oil leaks.
Physical Checks
  • LPG bottle for leaks and security
  • Battery connections
  • Security of the fitting of attachments
  • Thickness and condition of the tyres
Check Liquid Levels
  • Hydraulic fluid
  • Brake fluid
  • Engine oil coolant
  • Battery water levels
  • Fuel
  • Engine oil levels
After Start Up

After the pre start up checks have been done, it is extremely important to go through a few safety tests when initially starting your forklift.

Be sure the check the following:

  • Hand brake.
  • Transmission – forward and reverse positive movement.
  • Brakes and inching pedal.
  • Full range of steering movement.
  • Lift control, tilt control and side shift if fitted.
  • Additional devices fitted.
  • Horn, flashing lights, headlamps, indicator, reversing lights and beeper.

It is important to keep records of these daily checks, in case there are any accidents at work, so you have records on file. As long as each piece of equipment is inspected at least once daily, or per shift your forklift will be well kept, safe and well maintained.

NB: Please see The Forklift Business’s videos regarding daily checklists and the do’s and don’ts found on the website for further information.

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Klerksdorp
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