Forklift Conversion Training – Fortunately, most employers now recognise that proper training is necessary for any forklift operators to use material handling equipment. However, it is often still thought that novice forklift operators only need a basic training course to cover every type of equipment they might use.
This of course is not the case, and you could in fact be unnecessarily costing your company thousands of pounds each year, by implementing your forklift training this way.
A cost and time-effective solution would be conversion training. However, many employers don’t have a full understanding of what this includes, so we’re here to answer a few questions…
What is a forklift conversion training?
“Forklift Conversion training enables trained and experienced operators to extend the range of lift trucks they are qualified to drive… An operator with basic training on one type of lift truck or handling attachment cannot safely operate others, on which they have not been trained, without additional conversion training.”
This is according to the L117, Approved Code of Practice for Rider Operated Lift Trucks.
This essentially means that usually, if an operator holds a forklift license on a rider operated lift truck (this is usually a counterbalance truck, or a reach truck) and is also required to operate a different type of truck, then they can take a forklift conversion course instead of starting another full novice course. This helps bridge the gap of knowledge they’d need to learn, without starting over.
A Forklift conversion training is needed for you, or your employee when:
- A trained individual is required to operate another type of equipment, or handling attachment
- The truck type itself does not change, but the size and weight of the truck changes significantly. For example, a larger or more powerful truck of the same type.
What does forklift conversion training cover?
Forklift conversion training courses include the following:
- Any variations in the operating characteristics, between different types of trucks
- Handling different loads
- Truck steering
- Longitudinal and lateral stability
- Truck manoeuvring
- Any variations in the controls of the truck
- Testing the individual on their ability to operate the new truck type
Although forklift conversion training can and often do save businesses large amounts of time and money, it should be noted that is not any way to cut corners. According to the L117;
“Approach forklift conversion training with the same attention to detail as basic training so that all gaps in, and variants on, existing skills and knowledge are covered during training.”
This should also be followed by any training that is job-specific, or familiarisation training, as per a basic course. Adequate records also need to be kept, to ensure you are complying with the requirements set out by ACOP, L117.
Stay Compliant to Save Time and Money
Forklift operators who are trained and experienced can convert from counterbalance trucks, or reach trucks, to near enough any other type of equipment – and there can be substantial benefits from doing this.
For instance, taking a forklift conversion course to train from a reach truck to an articulated truck would take an operator just one day, instead of 3 days. In this case, not only would training the individual take only one third of the time, but since many training providers charge by day rates, you would also pay just one third of the overall cost.
Plus, you can sleep easy knowing you are following the guidelines set out in L117. By supplementing their already existing skills and knowledge, you are still meeting the legal training requirements.
So remember to train smarter! You can find out more about saving your business time and money, while staying compliant by contacting our friendly team on 0121 294 9395. We can help discuss the best type of training you or your employees need, and offer a free induction!