A forklift operator’s certificate is a bit like a driver’s license - though you don’t need a driver’s license to become a forklift operator. Just like a driver’s license indicates if the driver can operate a motorcycle or a commercial vehicle, a forklift license specifies what forklift type that the operator is certified to use (a pallet truck with an electric motor, for example) as well as any attachments.
What is a Forklift License?Only a properly-trained and licensed forklift operator may get behind the wheel of a forklift. View Cal OSHA's regulation here. Without forklift training and certification, it’s impossible to get a job driving a forklift. That said, it’s common for employers to offer on-site training.
Steps to Become a Licensed Forklift Operator in CaliforniaThere are two parts to getting your forklift license: a classroom session and hands-on training. TMHNC has certified thousands of forklift operators. Our forklift certification program takes approximately four hours and can be done at a customer’s facility, or at one of our locations.
Step One: Classroom Training and Exam:Classroom training includes video presentations and a written exam. The classroom portion focuses on health and safety concerns the operator needs to know, as well as legislation and penalties related to OSHA regulations.
Step Two: Hands-on Forklift TrainingHands-on training includes more than just learning how to operate a lift truck. Participants first learn how to do an OSHA-compliant pre-shift inspection before moving on to the finer points of manueuvering a lift truck. Before being certified, students must navigate through obstacle courses and demonstrate proper use of the forklift's controls to lift and lower materials.
If training is done at a customer's facility, we customize the program to make use of on-site equipment and the actual work environment. If the class is conducted at a TMH facility, students are certified on a Class 4 forklift, but should expect to complete additional, site-specific training with their employer. Upon completion, each successful participant receives a certification card, which is good for three years.
How often does a forklift certification need to be renewed?Refresher training is required every three years, but there are situations when retraining may be required sooner. Learn more about OSHA’s requirements for forklift operator refresher training.
Forklift Certification Training in Northern and Central California
We offer forklift training at our locations in: Sacramento, Fresno, East Bay (Livermore), and Salinas. Let us come to your facility, at your convenience, (including nights & weekends) to train and certify all your powered industrial truck and powered pallet jack operators! We also offer aerial platform training.
Training your employees "on-site" gives them the opportunity to be trained and certified on familiar equipment and allows us to customize a program specific to your company's needs. Our instructors are knowledgeable of the current regulations and will ensure complete compliance with federal and state OSHA requirements.
We have a page of frequently asked questions about forklift training, but please contact us with any questions about forklift certification or refresher training. We also have a “Train the Trainer” program that allows you to have an employee conduct forklift operation certifications.
- Forklift Safety – A Guide for Operators
- Common Forklift Operator Injuries and How to Prevent Them
- Scissor Lift Training and Safety