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Supplying forklifts since 1976

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Since 1976 H&F Trucks have provided local business with high quality materials handling solutions. For nearly four decades we have achieved steady growth year on year, enabling us to provide superior service to our customers from a stable & sustainable business platform.

5 Myths About Driving A Forklift You Need To Know

On first glance, operating a forklift looks pretty straightforward. In fact, many people believe that if you can drive a car, you can drive a forklift. But it isn’t that simple. Operating a forklift requires an entirely different driving style to any other vehicle, which is only taught with specialist training. To help clear any rumours you might have seen on social media, here’s the most common misconceptions about driving a forklift that you need to know before starting your training.  

You need to have a driver’s license

It might sound strange, but you don’t need any kind of specialist license to operate a forklift. That includes a driver’s license, so even if you can’t drive a car, you can still apply to be a forklift operator. As long as you attend regular training sessions to help you understand how to use the machinery safely, you’ll be good to go. 

All training is completed in a forklift

This isn’t always true. While some companies will choose to teach individuals in one of their regular forklifts, many are opting for virtual reality forklift training instead. Though it’s quick and cost-effective VR training is still a valid certification approved by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). 

How it works: 

A real forklift truck is plugged into a VR port to simulate a warehouse. Using the controls and a VR headset, drivers can familiarise themselves with the operations without having to worry about causing an accident in the workplace.

And then there’s the theory test, which you’ll sit at the end of your training. This means around 10% of your training time will be spent in a classroom, learning the theoretical element of driving a forklift.

Forklifts are just like driving a car

Forklifts have four wheels and an engine, so it must be like driving a car, right? Wrong. That’s about as far as the similarities go, which is why you need to attend a training course to learn the ins and outs of forklift operation. Unlike any other vehicle, a forklift uses its rear wheels to steer. They also have a three-point suspension system, which means they handle very differently from any car, van, or lorry you might drive. If a forklift isn’t driven in the correct way, there’s an increased danger of swinging out and causing damage or injury. 

Forklift training is just learning to drive forwards

Though you’ll learn how to safely drive a forklift forwards, that isn’t the entirety of the training course. You’ll actually find that the majority of your training will be spent driving in reverse, with professional instruction and practice helping you to move through the warehouse safely. 

You’ll also be taught how to drive with a load on the front of your forklift and how to carry out the essential safety checks before climbing into the driving seat.

Forklift training takes a long time

Despite the many components to forklift training, a course can be done in just 5 days. This allows enough time to cover the theory, technique, and safety before focusing on the practical driving time. 

If you’d like more advice on forklift maintenance, safety, and training, please get in touch with our team today.

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H&F have supplied us with all our fork lift equipment for in excess of ten years now, and have maintained it in accordance with our stringent operation requirements. During this time they have provided a consistently high level of service (including short term hire when required) whilst never failing to support us in a totally honest and professional manner.

Ashley Basset, Director
R G Bassett & Sons Ltd

H&F Lift Trucks are a pleasure to deal with. All staff, Technicians, Sales and Directors have hands-on experience of all ranges of vehicles they supply. From initial assessments and listening to all users of a potential new vehicle requirement, they keep us informed of all aspects of specification and lead times through to delivery. Their maintenance service is superb – they organise suitable times around our busy working day with our Yard Managers. Any accidental damage or operator error faults are always discussed with me and dealt with fairly – not like some unscrupulous suppliers who seek to profit at every service visit! In a cut-throat market, where we are offered “good deals” a few quid cheaper every day, we are never tempted to stray.

James Hipkins, Managing Director

Pym and Wildsmith have been working closely with H&F Fork Trucks for many years. Their service is excellent, ranging from prompt callouts to breakdowns through to the supply of new trucks. We would not hesitate to recommend them.

Ian Pym, Operations Manager
Pym & Wildsmith

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