What Skills Do I Need To Be A Forklift Driver?

To be a good forklift driver, you have to have the right skills. In the fast-paced environment of a company’s warehouse, academic qualifications are not the most important thing. Instead, what separates a good forklift driver who keeps the business running smoothly from one who causes accidents and slows production down, is having the right set of skills. Our industrial team are always looking to hire new forklift drivers, and have learned to tell what skills make a good candidate. So, what are they? Here are the essential skills you’ll need to have if you want to be a forklift driver…


  1. Excellent concentration skills

When you’re in charge of transporting thousands’ of pounds worth of goods in a busy storage facility, you have to be able to remain alert. One lapse in concentration is all it takes to make a mistake that could cause severe damage to company goods or, more seriously, yourself, or one of your co-workers. To ensure products are distributed correctly, on time, and safely, you have to be the type of person who can handle serious concentration for extended periods of time.


  1. Able to work as part of a team

Above all, a successful forklift driver has to be a good team member. You and your teammates will have to think strategically about how to get the task at hand done. You could work alongside any number of warehouse operatives and production staff. This may even require you to communicate via radio with your colleagues.


  1. Good literacy skills

You’ll have to be able to absorb new information on a regular basis, if you are to do a good job. You’ll be required to read forms, memos, instructions, guidelines and new internal routines and instructions. You’ll also have to make sure information is written down and documented clearly, make notes in response to inquiries, and fill in picking lists.


  1. Working numeracy skills

A forklift driver’s work has a strong technical component; you’re in charge of operating a complex piece of equipment. As such, you’ll need to be confident making basic calculations. This could mean figuring out your forklift’s stability triangle, its nominal and maximum permitted load capacity, or its point of gravity and stability. To do so, you’ll have to be a logical thinker.


  1. Basic IT skills

In order to ensure stock is kept organized, you’ll have to have working IT skills. You’ll need to be able to log orders and delivery lists, write electronic fault reports, search for new product information on the internet, and much more. You’ll receive training in this area before you start your role, so don’t worry if you’re not a computer whiz. As long as you’re looking to pick up new skills and are comfortable using a computer, there’ll be opportunities to upskill yourself.

If you’re thinking of training as a forklift driver, there are plenty of training courses in the East Anglia region, including Essex and Kent. With opportunities across warehouses and factories all across the region, there’s no time like the present to get involved if you’re looking for an exciting and challenging career.

While you train, a great way to get valuable experience is to spend some time working in a warehouse or factory. We have loads of vacancies across Essex, so if this sounds like you, please give us a call on 01376 502999 and ask to speak to a member of the industrial team.