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Lift that over there Put it down, Load that lorry, What else? Next?
=.=.=.=.=.=.=.=.=.=.=.=.=.=.=.=.=.=.=.=.=.=.=.=.=.=.=.=. Fork Lift Truck operating, as a job – well not the first thing that most people would consider as a skilled occupation, but it is. I will endeavour to explain in the simplest of terms, ( who me patronising, I dooo not think so) about lift truck operating as a career.
~~* First *~~ ************* It is not a fork lift truck, it is properly called a ‘Lift Truck’, most people call them fork lift trucks because the forks (the of bits that stick out the front) are an attachment, there are other attachments that can be fitted to the carriage plate, like; carpet boom, slip sheet, pallet rotator, crane boom etc, ect, ect. The correct term for this mobile equipment is, remember! ‘LIFT TRUCK’ why? because it lifts loads.
~~* Second *~~ *************** The lift truck is not just the small, squat lump of metal, with wheels that resides in some part of the warehouse, and gets moved by anybody that decides to use it. To operate a lift truck, legally, the user must be adequately trained; training will take, depending on the individuals ability, between three (3) to five (5) days for ideally two (2) people, or a maximum of three (3) people. This training could take place either at the employers work place or at a training centre. The training centre needs to be run by a properly approved and accredited training provider and they should use properly registered instructor examiners.
~~* The Basics *~~ ****************** The lift truck is a complex piece of mobile equipment, yes I know it looks simple (think back to when you started to drive your car, if you drive); but to operate efficiently the new operator requires good hand eye co-ordination, combined with the use of the feet, good judgement, a sense of distance, be able to think for themselves, be good at resolving problems (both academic and practical).
Many of today’s modern LT’s (lift trucks) which can weigh over 100tonnes, are ergonomically designed for operators to work in comfortable seating, positioned with controls at the finger tips, using aeronautical systems such as drive by wire for steering, strain on the back or neck when continuously looking up, to a height of 10 or more metres is reduced by the seating/ cab leaning back so that the operators eye line moves not head and neck.
Trucks are computer controlled, from a central computer telling the operator where the load is or where load has to go, this is done by ‘bar-coding’, the truck, the load, the aisle, the door that the load goes to.
~~* The Training *~~ ********************
To drive a lift truck legally you must be over 17 years of age, you do not need a driving licence, but to drive on the public road — you do —.
A typical training course would consist of:- Theory training (sat in a classroom) for maybe 5 hours, there is a Theory Test. The remainder of the training is taken up by practical operating, starting very simply by driving around objects in a confined area, this is leads on to more complex manoeuvres and all the time there is a need for excellent observation, all round especially when moving off.
When the driving is mastered, things are then complicated even more because you are expected to select and locate loads from and to storage locations, working with an accuracy of 25mm either way (left or right). As an operator you would stack loads or select loads from height, many trucks these day’s are capable of lifting to more than 10 metres (for those still Imperial about 35 feet), of course it is difficult to see that height so you watch a cctv.
~~* The Test *~~ **************** On the final afternoon of training, you are now going to take your test, or should I say three (3) tests. Test one; this is a pre use check test, to ascertain if the truck is safe to use, and the completion of a piece of paper, next test two; will either be the practical or the theory. The Theory Test, 25 questions 20 of which are multi choice answer, 5 in your own words short answers. There is no time limit but there is a pass mark of 80 per cent. The Practical test, as the name implies you, operate the truck moving loads and driving the truck, this will take up to 35 minutes. There is NO pass mark —but— a FAIL mark of more than 40 penalty points.
You have passed! Yippee! Off you go to get a job, remember you can only operate the type of truck that you were tested on, to operate other types, take another test. Oh, and retraining is required between 3 and 5 years that is the employers responsibility.
~~* Earning Potential *~~ ************************* The rate for the job depends on Location, Location, Location the least that could be expected is the National minimum £4.20 per hour the most I have heard of in the UK was £25.00 per hour.
~~* Further Information *~~ *************************** I found a reasonable site with good links to agency sites at http://the-training.co.uk and other useful information.
I never knew there were ops listed on this, very interesting.
BadBoy 23.07.2002 13:57
ooh! better not tell anyone i went for a joy ride on one of these babies at my work experience. then again, dont suppose i could do much damage at 2mph, lol. Great op! .. seeya around .. jm
bwsr2 14.06.2002 10:17
As a warehouse manager, for goodness' sake don't tell my staff where £25.00 per hour jobs are located which solely involve driving an LT, I'll have a mass exodus!Seriously, informative op which contained much to dwell on. The 'there's the truck - use it approach' has happily been almost eliminated by better HSE vigilance and control, but I would be careful about saying there are jobs which pay so well - FLT driving can be monotonous and when companies cut costs, the 'lowest skill' jobs are usually the first to be made redundant (which for execs these guys are)Anyhow, Thanks for an enjoyable read,Bruce (bwsr2)