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Do I Need A Licence To Drive A Forklift Truck?

Want to be able to drive a forklift truck but unsure of the requirements? You’re not alone – with so many different options available for training, certification and licensing, it can be confusing to know what’s necessary for you to get started.

Read on to find out how to make sure you’re ready to start operating your forklift – it’s actually a lot simpler than you might think.

Forklift Training Procedures

The basics

A licence isn’t essential to drive a forklift truck, but there are a few requirements that you must meet in order to safely operate one.

Age – the HSC Approved Code of Practice and Guidance states that anyone of minimum school-leaving age (16) can start driving a forklift truck. That being said, most organisations won’t tend to train anyone under the age of 17, and many employers will only hire people aged 18 or over due to other health and safety limitations.

Health – it’s important that you have the appropriate level of medical fitness to operate heavy machinery. This includes a certain level of vision and hearing, and not being at risk of epileptic fits. Full details of this can be found in the HSG6 booklet provided by the Health and Safety Executive.

A note on driving licences – the fitness standard required to drive a forklift truck is the same as that required for a full UK driving licence, but you don’t need an actual licence (unless you will be driving it on the highway).

Your employer’s responsibility

The onus is on employers to provide sufficient training in how to use any work equipment, as well as informing you of health and safety risks and precautions to be taken. As long as you are old enough and fit enough, it’s their responsibility to ensure employees are fully trained, and they could be breaking the law by not doing so.

However, many employers prefer to hire people who have already undertaken the appropriate training so that work can commence straight away, and they don’t have to do it in-house.

Forklift training

To guarantee the most comprehensive knowledge of forklift truck driving, it helps to be trained by experts in the field.


Here at East Midlands Forklifts we are specialists in the forklift industry, having supplied, maintained and repaired them for over 25 years. We can share this expertise with your employees in one of our comprehensive forklift driver training courses, giving your team the necessary skills and knowledge for safe and efficient forklift operation.

We cover all categories of forklifts, including counterbalance, reach truck, pivot forklift, side loader and vehicle-mounted. All of our instructors are ITSSAR accredited, so you can have peace of mind knowing that our specialist trainers provide the most professional service.

We serve the whole of the East Midlands region and carry out training at your site, so if you are looking to improve your employees’ proficiency and create a safer working environment, look no further than East Midlands Forklifts. Contact us today to find out more.



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