6 Myths About Driving A Forklift

Many people tend to be a little confused about what a forklift is, and what it’s like to drive one. Even more people believe it’s just like driving a car, so assume they can operate one if needed. The reality however, isn’t so simple. Driving a forklift is a very different style of driving to any other type of vehicle, and as such requires specialist training. So, we’re going to go all Mythbusters on you and reveal the most common misconceptions about driving a forklift, and what the truth really is.


You Have To Have A Drivers License

This is the first and most common myth around forklift training, and thankfully it’s a really easy one to disprove. While you should have specialist training to help you understand how to drive and operate one safely, you do not need a specialist license to drive a forklift. In fact, you don’t need a license of any kind. So even if you can’t drive a car (or don’t hold a license to drive one), you can still drive a forklift. Though we don’t recommend driving one on the roads!


You Have To Qualify For Your Forklift License When You Finish Training 

Forklift training is very important – especially if it’s something you are going to be doing a lot. However, training to drive a forklift doesn’t mean taking a test at the end of it. You can undergo training in forklift driving, which will teach you how to handle, maintain, drive and use a forklift safely, but you don’t have to take any sort of test at the end. There is no such thing as a forklift license at all – employees simply have to know how to use one safely.


Forklift Training Is Just Learning To Drive Forwards

Although driving forwards in a forklift is, of course, something we teach, it is not the entirety of it. In fact, you’ll find that the vast majority of your workplace forklift driving will involve driving in reverse, not forwards at all. This means you will need thorough instruction, practice and training in driving backwards, operating the forklift and manoeuvring safely. You will also need to learn how to drive safely with a load on the front of your forklift – which is not as easy as it sounds – and carry out all of the safety checks needed. This makes it even more important that you undertake proper training before you try to drive one.


Forklifts Are Just Like Any Other Vehicle 

This is fundamentally just not true. While they do have 4 wheels and an engine, that’s about as far as similarities go, which is why specialist forklift training is essential. For a start, a forklift uses its rear wheels to steer, unlike any other vehicle. They are equipped with a three-point suspension system, which means they handle very differently from any car, van or even lorry you might drive, and increases the danger of swinging out and causing damage or injury if not driven properly.


Forklift Training Takes A Lot Of Time

Now, you might be thinking this one is true, given the rest of the article. But actually, forklift training can be done in just 5 days. This allows enough time to go through theory, technique, safety and still get in a lot of practical driving time, which is one of the more important aspects. Learning how to handle a forklift takes time, trial and error, which we can offer you in spades.


So, if you’d like to learn how to drive a forklift and add yet another string to your HGV bow, we can help. Just get in touch with a member of our team for more details.