Based in the North West and operating nationwide, FTW Training is one of the leading forklift training companies in the UK today.
With a dedicated team of instructors who have all worked in industries using forklifts, we’ve got more than a decade of experience delivering quality RTITB courses that make a difference in people’s lives.
Many businesses across a wide range of different sectors are currently looking for qualified forklift truck operators. These include working in warehouses, construction sites, transportation and at the docks.
How to Get a Forklift Licence
Most people don’t realise that you need to have a special licence to operate a forklift truck in the UK. Yes, some businesses ignore the regulations but, for the most part, any legitimate company or organisation will look for an RTITB-accredited licence. That means you have been through a certain amount of training and you are safe to operate the vehicle.
There are several different types of forklift trucks and you will need specialist training if you want to, for example, operate a counterbalance forklift if you have a licence to operate a pivot steer or reach truck.
You need to get your qualification through an accredited training company or service that offers an RTITB-accredited licence. This is usually a one or two-day course for experienced drivers or those looking to refresh their skills and it covers all aspects of operating a particular forklift truck. If you are a complete novice, then you will need a course that lasts between 3 and 5 days.
There are two ways to get your licence. You might be an individual and you are either looking to update your skills or try something new. At FTW Training, we provide courses for novices right through to experienced professionals. In some cases, there is funding available for those who are unemployed and want to add to their qualifications.
You may also be working for a company that wants you to train as a forklift truck driver. In this case, you have the option of either visiting our state-of-the-art training facility or your employer can arrange to have the training onsite. We often work with businesses across the UK who want to have block training for several employees at once.
The training normally involves practical and theory sections where you learn to operate the forklift truck but also get a grounding in all the safety aspects that you need to be aware of. At the end of the course, there is an exam and, if you pass this, you will receive your RTITB-accredited licence.
The Importance of Having an RTITB Accredited Licence
It is illegal to operate certain types of forklifts without appropriate training in the workplace. Even if your employer has decided to turn a blind eye, you can be prosecuted if you are found out or cause an accident and it’s discovered that you don’t have a licence.
The vast majority of businesses will check your credentials and insist that you have the right qualification for the forklift truck that you will be operating.
RTITB stands for the Road Transport Industry Training Board. It’s an independent organisation that ensures that any business that is offering training, including forklift truck courses, has the right elements in place. Gaining accreditation means that the business has to go through a lengthy assessment to make sure they have all the bases covered in its training programme. When someone completes an accredited course, they can be sure they are completely safe to operate the machinery or drive a particular vehicle.
Having an RTITB-approved licence provides you with numerous potential job opportunities. You can find employment anywhere in the UK and can work in a wide range of different sectors. It is a highly sought-after skill in many industries including construction, warehousing and transportation. Newly qualified forklift truck operators can earn a minimum of £10 an hour but this is much higher in many industries depending on demand.
When you possess an RTITB-accredited licence, you can easily prove to any potential employer that you have the skills and training to do the job at hand.
Deciding What Forklift Course You Need
At FTW Training we see people from all walks of life. Some are complete novices and have never operated a forklift truck in their lives, while others are experienced but want a refresher or need to train on a different type of forklift.
We have cutting-edge training facilities at Skelmersdale, Widnes and Birkenhead. We deliver training for a wide range of organisations on their premises right across the country including locations such as Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham, Essex and London. We run courses throughout the year.
If you’re a business and you want to arrange training on your own premises, our expert team can set up a training course for your convenience and design it to meet your needs. The types of individuals who may be interested in forklift training include:
Novice Forklift Training
Complete beginners need more time which is why our novice courses usually run over 3 to 5 days. This includes a complete introduction to the forklift you are being trained on as well as covering all the safety issues that you might face when operating it. At the end of the course, you will have a test and, on passing, you’ll be awarded an RTITB-accredited licence for that vehicle.
Experienced operator Forklift Training
Even experienced operators sometimes want to update their skills, especially if there have been advances in design or changes in safety protocols. These types of courses usually run over a day.
Refresher Forklift Training
If you’ve been out of the forklift truck operating industry for some time but still have the skill and want to make use of it again, your RTITB licence may have expired. You will need to have an update or refresher course with a test at the end to renew your licence.
Conversion Forklift Training
You may want to widen your scope for employment by learning to operate different types of forklift machines. While you have the basic skill, our courses will teach you the differences in operation and make sure that you are fit to drive the new forklift.
Our courses at FTW Training are designed to be flexible. All our training staff are fully qualified and have several years’ working in different industries. Whether you’re a complete novice or a returning expert operator, there’s not much we don’t know about forklift trucks.
The Different Types of Forklift Training Available
There’s no doubt that learning to drive a forklift truck can open up numerous job opportunities. From warehouses and docksides to construction businesses and transports, forklift truck operators with the right qualifications are in high demand.
But which forklift truck should you start your training on or switch to? Here’s our quick guide:
Counterbalance Forklift Training
Probably the most common type of truck in a wide variety of industries, the counterbalance has a heavy weight at the rear to help balance it when lifting goods. At the front are the forks which can be used to lift a variety of heavy objects like pallets. These forklift trucks are often seen in areas like warehouses and distribution centres.
Reach Truck Training
These operate in a similar way to the counterbalance but are designed to work down narrower aisles in areas such as warehouses. They often have a set of wheels at the back and two legs that are used to distribute the weight. They can also reach higher than the normal counterbalance, up to about 12 metres in some cases or nearly 40 feet.
Pivot Steer or BENDI Forklift Training
Also known as a Bendi or flexi forklift trucks, these are also widely used in narrow areas like warehouses. One of the unique features of this type of truck is that the forks can swing 90 degrees to allow more manoeuvrability.
Very Narrow Aisle Forklift Training
These are also called trilateral or bilateral forklift trucks and are designed for operating in confined spaces. One of the benefits of using these types of trucks in areas like warehouses is that you have much more space for storage which can help boost capacity. These trucks can be used to raise goods onto shelves as high as 14 metres in some cases.
Multi-Directional Forklift Training
Also known as the combi forklift, this is designed for handling long and bulky loads in confined spaces. Its all-wheel drive means it has exceptional manoeuvrability with the forks able to operate in multiple directions.
Pedestrian Pallet Truck PPT Training
These are smaller machines that are designed to move pallets from one location to another in a warehouse area. They are ideal if you need space-saving machinery in your business and can be folded away and stored when not in use.
Low-Level Order Picker / LLOP Training
LLOPs are often seen in areas like warehouses where they are used to pick up items quickly. They can be moved while elevated which makes them very efficient and time-saving.
Mobile Elevated Work Platform Training
While not strictly a forklift truck, mobile platforms are widely used in a range of industries. Also known as basket cranes and cherry pickers, they can raise a large platform using a hydraulic lifting system. They are often used by repair workers operating outdoors at height.
As you can see each of these forklift trucks and other machinery has its unique way of operation. It’s not just the size of the equipment but the location that it often has to work in. Very narrow aisle forklifts, for example, require a much different set of skills on the part of the operator compared to a conventional counterbalance truck.
Many businesses will employ a range of different forklift trucks depending on the environment and the job they have to do. Being proficient in using more than one further opens up job opportunities for you across the UK. That’s why people who have had counterbalance training will often go on additional courses to broaden their skill set.
Having employees who have an RTITB accredited licence for more than one vehicle is also good for businesses. Many will organise training in-house to increase the effectiveness of their workforce. This sort of training also benefits forklift operators because it naturally improves their employability and the chance of earning a higher wage.
Forklift Training At Our Site or On Your Premises
At FTW training, over the years we’ve worked with a wide array of different businesses across the UK, not just in the North West where our main training facilities are based. We often arrange to provide training on-site at warehouses and dockyards around the country.
One of the key factors is that we can tailor training to your exact needs, whether you need counterbalance training for your staff or something else. All of our team are experts in the full range of forklift trucks used in industries and sectors today. Our courses are RTITB accredited and we are constantly reviewing and updating our delivery to meet ever-changing needs.
If you don’t have the facilities on-site, the other option is to book a training course at our state-of-the-art facilities in the Northwest. We have locations at Skelmersdale and Widnes with access to all makes of forklift trucks.
Whether your staff need to update their skills or you have some complete beginners that require training, our team will be able to help. We work with both commercial and private clients and hold courses throughout the year as well as developing bespoke solutions all around the UK.
Forklift Truck Instructor Training Courses
If you want to develop your own team of forklift truck instructors, we can help there too. We offer high-quality instructor training that runs over 10 days. This gives individuals the opportunity to learn the teaching skills that are required to deliver accredited training in-house. That can save your business money in the long term and give you access to instant training as and when you require it.
- We also run a 5-day reregistration course for returning instructors and those who want to renew their licence.
- As with our forklift training, these trainer courses are RTITB accredited and are qualifications that are accepted across the UK.
Whether you are an individual or a commercial operation, FTW Training offers a comprehensive range of RTITB-accredited courses. Contact us today on 0151 420 3444 to find out more.