If you wish to work in the construction, logistics, or warehousing industries, obtaining a forklift licence can be a great way of increasing your employment opportunities and properly carrying out your job functions. Forklifts are considered industrial equipment, and they require specialised training and licencing before one can legally operate them.
There are two main types of forklift licences you can acquire in Australia; the LF and the LO licence. Each one is geared towards the operation of specific types of forklifts. It is important to know which licence you will need so you can get the appropriate training and apply for the correct licence.
1. LF Forklift Licence
The LF forklift licence is required for persons operating various types of forklifts that are used to carry loads. Most of the forklifts in this class are designed for hoisting loads in the air and transporting them to required destinations. For example, counter-balanced forklifts, all-terrain lift trucks, and side-loading trucks all fall under the LF classification.
Once you obtain an LF licence, you can operate any size of forklifts that are under the LF class. It is often the first licence that most operators seek, because it enables them to operate multiple types of forklifts for various purposes.
Operating an LF Forklift
LF forklifts are primarily used to pick and transport heavy loads. They consist of a mast and a load carriage that uses hydraulic force to lift heavy items and move them around.
Before operators can obtain an LF licence, they will need to demonstrate an understanding of forklift operation and safety precautions when dealing with loads.
2. LO (Load-Shifting Order Picker) Class Forklift
There are also forklifts that are mostly used in warehouses for picking items and moving them to their desired destinations. These are often referred to as order picking forklifts or turret trucks. As opposed to other lift trucks, LO class forklifts work by lifting the operator to the required height along with the load. The operator can also hoist themselves to reach high areas of the warehouse in order to pick the required items.
LO licences require a separate testing and application process from LF licences. The training process is aimed at enabling you to navigate narrow aisles and to remain safe at high distances from the ground.
Operating an LO Forklift
LO forklifts and turret trucks operate by lifting both the load and the operator in the air. As a result, the operator needs to be able to navigate tight spaces, keep the load safe at elevated heights, and remain safely strapped in their seating/standing position.
Most operators begin with an LF licence, after which they look to obtain LO licences if they desire to work with load shifting equipment.
To learn more, contact a company like All Onsite Training and Assessment.