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Thinking About Getting Your Forklift Licence?

We get the lowdown on how to upskill We caught up with Charlie Schwerkolt, owner and operator of Waverley Forklifts, to get the lowdown on how and why, you should get your forklift licence.

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Hi Charlie, what are the benefits of getting your forklift licence?

Getting your forklift licence is a highly attractive skill to have, particularly in the warehousing industry.  

When applying for a job that either requires or may require forklift operations, having your licence will be attractive to the employer because you’ll require less training, you’ll be skilled and versatile, you’ll provide a safer environment, and it might just be that point of difference you need in securing that job you were so hoping for.  

Sometimes called a High-Risk Work licence, a forklift licence is a qualification that allows a driver to operate a forklift of a certain size. 

What are three things that you should consider before getting your forklift licence?

Why do you require the licence? Do you want to be a full-time forklift driver or is it something that will help you on a day-to-day basis?
Upskilling tradies and builders should consider how often they’ll need to use the licence, whether it’s only now and then or every day and what is the most common forklift they’ll likely use.
Are you committed to getting your forklift licence? You need to be prepared to study the material and put in the work.

What forklift licence do I need? 

Like truck licences, there are different classifications based on the type of the equipment you want to drive.

There are two classes of forklift licences as outlined by Safework Australia:

LF Class qualifies you to operate a forklift truck equipped with a mast and an elevating load carriage with a pair of fork arms or other attachment
LO Class qualifies you to operate an order picking forklift truck where the operator's control elevates with the load carriage/lifting media.

What is the eligibility criteria to obtaining a forklift licence?

Safework NSW states that to be eligible to obtain your licence, you must be:  

At least 18 years of age
Complete a recognised training course with a registered training organisation (RTO) and have been assessed as competent by an assessor working for the RTO and 
Can use English at a level that enables the safe performance of high risk work

The easiest way to get your licence is to take the course through a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) organisation who offer LF and LO courses.

The most popular course is two days in length and contains theory and also practical hands-on training to ensure you have the confidence to know exactly what you are doing and stay safe.

A forklift licence lasts for 5 years and can be renewed ongoing without any further testing.

Waverley Forklifts head office is in Melbourne, but also operates nationwide. For anyone already with a forklift licence, we can also arrange refresher training courses in Melbourne, which is recommended under OH&S legislation.

Do you have any last tips?

Anyone looking to get their forklift licence should remember that it’s all about driving the forklift safely, being confident, and complying with legislative requirements – refer to Safework for more information.

Thanks Charlie! 

For more information about your forklift licence in your state, contact your government authority below: 

WorkSafe Victoria
Email: info@worksafe.vic.gov.au, Phone: 1800 136 089, or 9641 1444

SafeWork New South Wales
Email: contact@safework.nsw.gov.au, Phone: 13 10 50

Access Canberra – (ACT Government)
Phone: 13 22 81

WorkCover Queensland
Email: communications@workcoverqld.com.au, Phone: 1300 362 128

WorkSafe Western Autralia
Email: safety@commerce.wa.gov.au, Phone: 1300 307 877

SafeWork South Australia (SA)
Email: help.safework@sa.gov.au, Phone: 1300 365 255

NT WorkSafe
Email: territory.businesscentre@nt.gov.au, Phone: 1300 362 128

WorkSafe Tasmania
Email: wstinfo@justice.tas.gov.au
Enquire at Department of State Growth 1300 135 513

Waverley Forklifts was established in 1973 and is one of Australia’s largest independent forklifts operators. Waverley Forklifts is a family-owned business that operates in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. It’s a rental company that supports over 2,000 forklifts, 20 Hino trucks and 50 Toyota Hilux Service vehicles within the fleet. It rents forklifts to customers for as short as one day, to as long as five years and beyond.