600SA Holdings, a business division of CFAO Equipment SA, is a well-recognised brand in South Africa involved in the supply of a wide range of heavy-lift including material handling equipment such as forklifts. We offer a range of training on-site, at your premises, or via the CFAO Forklift Training Academy including forklift training.

In this article we’ve set out the answers to 14 of the most frequently asked questions relating to forklift training and forklift driver training. Without further ado:

1. What is forklift training and is it the same as forklift driver training?

Often these terms are used interchangeably. Forklift driver training is often used by individuals who wish to obtain a license to drive and operate a forklift; whereas forklift training is a broad term that covers an in-depth understanding of the forklift, regardless of brand, and further covers best practices on how to operate a forklift.

2. Is forklift training only for permanent forklift drivers?

Forklift training is required for both temporary and permanent employees of any organisation that operates forklifts.

3. Why is forklift training important?

Forklift training is now a legal requirement as set out in the Occupational Health and Safety Act (“OHSA”) and every operator and company using a forklift and other driven machinery must comply therewith. Given the number of forklift accidents caused by operators on a daily, weekly, monthly and annual basis the training is provided mainly to equip the operator with the knowledge and skills to help reduce and avoid forklift accidents that can result in minor to serious accidents and fatalities. Forklift drivers are required to have valid licences to operate forklifts, which must be renewed every 2 years. Any individual or company not complying and meeting the training requirements, as set out by law, opens themself up to unsafe practices which carry tremendous risks to people and business.

4. How much does forklift training costs?

Forklift training costs vary for a number of reasons. A person new to the industrial equipment and material handling industry may not have any experience when it comes to using and operating a forklift. This person is classified as a novice candidate and requires extensive and in-depth training on the forklift itself, safe operations, and practices to a thorough understanding of the legal obligations that they operate under and must comply with. As a result, training for a novice candidate is more expensive and requires more time than that of a forklift driver requiring refresher training in order to obtain a renewed forklift driver license. Other factors that influence costs depend upon whether training is to take place on your premises or through CFAO Training Academy’s facility.

The best way to determine the costs for forklift training is to contact us with your requirements so that we are able to then present you with a cost proposal.

5. How long does forklift training take?

A novice candidate undergoing forklift training will require a minimum of 5 full days of training. Refresher training requires 1 working day.

6. Where can I get forklift training near me?

600SA’s forklift training is facilitated through our managing partner, CFAO Equipment at its Training Academy where face-to-face training is offered. In addition and as a value-added service, we offer training at your premises with the added advantage that your employees are trained in the environment that they are already familiar with and on the forklifts that they already or may soon operate.

7. How long do forklift training certification and license last?

Once you have successfully completed the forklift training, you will receive a certificate and forklift operator licence which is valid for a period of 2 years.

8. What does forklift training consist of?

The requirements as set out by OHSA are clear. Forklift training has three components to it, namely the formal theoretical training, followed by practical training and thereafter the evaluation to determine the candidate’s performance whilst operating a forklift against training provided.

9. Who can provide forklift training and certification?

Only registered and accredited training organisations can provide forklift training and certification. 600SA, CFAO Equipment SA and select partners are registered and approved training providers with years of industry knowledge, training and experience. We provide direct and knowledgeable supervision including a thorough evaluation of operator understanding and practices against the required legal standards.

10. What does the forklift training programme cover?

Forklift training is divided into two components, namely training relating to understanding the forklift truck itself, which covers:

  • Operating instructions, precautions and warnings
  • Engine operations
  • Vehicle capacity and stability
  • Forklift controls and instruments
  • Steering and manoeuvring
  • Visibility concerns and practices
  • Fork and attachment adaption, operation and use
  • Operating limitations
  • Fuelling, charging and recharging batteries with safe and best practices
  • Forklift inspection requirements prior to operation and at regular intervals
  • Knowledge regarding maintenance schedules and criteria
  • And more.

Aside from the above, knowing how to operate the forklift within the workplace is includes understanding how to operate the forklift in the following conditions:

  • Driving the forklift loaded vs unloaded across various surface conditions, including ramps and slopes
  • Composition and stability of loads
  • Load manipulation, stacking and unstacking
  • Pedestrian traffic
  • How to operate a forklift in aisles and within restricted areas
  • Potential environmental conditions that become hazardous
  • The hazards of operating a forklift in a closed or poorly ventilated environment
  • Health risks
  • And more

11. How often should forklift training be refreshed?

Forklift refresher training is required every 24 months. On completion of the initial forklift training programme, the forklift operator’s certificate and license will be valid for 24 months. However, forklift operators must be re-certified, which can be done either 90 days prior to or after expiry of the existing certificate. If the 90-day grace period expires, forklift operators are required to undergo the novice 5-day full training programme to reobtain their certification per national code of practice.

12. What is covered in the refresher forklift training programme?

Given the forklift operator’s certificate expires every 24 months, the forklift refresher training will recap unsafe operations, accidents or near-miss occurrences, operator skills and a review of forklift truck, attachments and equipment, workplace environment and operational challenges, changes and more. The purpose of this refresher training is further to evaluate and reinforce the forklift operators’ commitment to continuous quality of safe practices when operating a forklift.

13. What are the forklift training requirements?

In order to operate a forklift, you need to be at least 18 years of age. If the forklift is to be driven on any public road, then the forklift operator requires a current driver’s license.

14. What does my forklift license specify?

A forklift operator obtains a certificate and a forklift operator licence per forklift type. The license specifies the type of forklift including all the attachments that the operator can use on that specific forklift.

Ready for forklift training?

Attend our forklift training via our CFAO Equipment Forklift Training Academy or ask us to come to your premises to deliver your training requirements in your environment

Contact us today for a no obligations quotation.

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