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Fork lift truck driver jobs offer a great way to enter a growing industry with many opportunities for career development. Fork lift truck driving licences are affordable and in general only take a few days to attain. Once qualified, you will be able to apply to one of the many fork lift truck driver jobs available around the country. Furthermore, many forklift truck driver employers will pay for you to attain the licence if you are already working for a company and wish to develop your career in this area. Read on to learn what you need to become a fork lift truck driver and what your career prospects could be.
Whilst you may be expected to carry out a number of different duties, you will likely mainly focus on moving goods using a fork lift truck. Duties will include loading and unloading goods to and from delivery vehicles, as well as moving goods to appropriate locations within a storage facility, often a warehouse. Your working day will often be busy and feature tight deadlines and targets that must be met.
Those working as a fork lift truck driver play an important part in a company’s supply chain, and you will therefore be expected to work hard to ensure operations run smoothly and on time. Whilst duties may vary depending on the sector and size of the company you are working for, there are some general tasks that most fork lift truck driver employers will expect you to carry out, including:
- Ensuring orders you are loading/unloading are correct and undamaged
- Making sure loads are secure for transportation
- Performing basic forklift truck maintenance and reporting any issues
- Following health & safety regulations at all times when driving
You will need to gain a fork lift truck driving license in order to be eligible for this role. Prices for fork lift truck driving course are around £300, with course often being full-time and lasting three days. Once qualified, you will be able to apply for entry-level fork lift truck driver jobs. However, there are other options for those wishing to enter this sector but not wanting to pay for the course themselves.
Perhaps the most common is to first work in a warehouse or other business as an operator or picker. Once established, you will likely be given the opportunity to train as a driver. In addition to having a licence, fork lift truck driver employers will also look for employers with the following skill sets:
- Confidence operating heavy machinery
- Attention to detail
- Understanding of health & safety, particularly regarding the operation of vehicles
- Good team working skills as well as the ability to work alone
There can be some great career opportunities for people working as a forklift truck driver. Firstly, your qualification will enable you to work in many different sectors. Furthermore, you could be able to use your experience to move onto more advanced driving positions, including plant and crate operator jobs. With demand for qualified drivers increasing in the logistics sector, you will have good long-term job security working as a fork lift truck driver.
Starting salaries may be low, usually beginning around £17,000 – £22,000 a year. With experience, this can rise to around £30,000 or more. Furthermore, salaries can vary depending on what sector you work in, as well as location, with fork lift truck driver jobs in cities such as London often offering higher wages.
You may be required to work shifts, including nights, weekends and Bank Holidays. Furthermore, workloads may be high, with the pressure of meeting daily targets. You will also be expected to always work in a safe manner to ensure your safety and that of others. Noisy working environments, repetitive tasks and low starting salaries are other negative issues related to the position.
Regarding the advantages of working as a fork lift truck driver, the skills you will acquire can be easily transferred to other sectors. This means you will often have many opportunities to switch jobs should you wish. Furthermore, once qualified, you will likely be given more responsibilities that will enable you to gain new skills and progress within a company.