Qualifications for Driving a Forklift

Driving a forklift might seem easy, but many people underestimate the amount of concentration that goes into using one. Several skills are needed to be able to drive a forklift safely. The most useful skills for anyone working with a forklift are a sense of shared responsibility and a good dose of common sense.


No previous education is absolutely mandatory in order to be able to drive a forklift. Being able to competently read and write English to communicate with coworkers can be helpful. Although not required, general skills such as basic arithmetic and a preliminary knowledge of most general education subjects can be extremely helpful in most situations.

Forklift Driver's License

In order to qualify for a forklift driver's license, the driver must be 18 years or older. Training for the license can begin before the trainee is 18, but all driving and account of hours must be supervised for underage trainees. The training process is relatively short. In addition to age, applicants for a license must possess proof of identity, such as a driver's license or state-issued photo ID. If the job requires any driving on public roads or sidewalks, a valid driver's license will be necessary, as well.

Physical Qualifications

Although no physical requirements are mandatory to train for a forklift driver's license, being in general good health and having relatively good eyesight and hearing will greatly increase the chances of being hired at a warehouse or department store. Employers will also look for characteristics such as being able to act quickly with good judgment under pressure or in dangerous situations.

Skills and Abilities

To successfully complete a forklift driver's training course, a trainee needs basic relating skills, such as the ability to understand and follow directions completely, as well as a sense of responsibility. Basic common sense is also necessary to aid in decisions such as how fast to go and how much weight to carry. Anyone should also be able to understand speed limit signs in and around the workplace.

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