In Summary - Forklift Driver / Operator
Forklift Driver / Operators typically work in the following Career Sectors:
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The Work - Forklift Driver / Operator
Fork-lift trucks are vehicles designed to move heavy or bulky goods. They are mainly used in warehouses, stockyards and other storage areas. They are highly mobile with a very small turning circle. This allows them to move easily in confined spaces. They load and unload goods from vehicles such as lorries and aircraft. Fork Lifts also move materials and goods from one place to another.
On the front of the truck are two forks that are operated by hydraulics.The driver must fit these forks into the pallets on which goods are stored. The operator then uses the hydraulic forks to lift the pallet, takes it to where it is needed and sets it down. Operators need to carry out maintenance checks.
Some goods, such as bricks, can be moved by fork-lift trucks without the need for pallets. They are stacked in bales with spaces for the forks. The operator must work carefully as these goods are not protected by pallets.
Some trucks are fitted with small computer display panels that direct the operator where to place goods in the warehouse.
Operators may also have to keep records and follow instructions written on a worksheet. They are also responsible for the basic maintenance of the truck. This includes greasing or oiling parts and changing the battery.
Fork-lift truck operators may have to work in a noisy and dusty environment. Working outdoors in all weather conditions may also be necessary.
Most commonly reported Work Tasks
- Move levers or controls that operate lifting devices, such as forklifts, lift beams with swivel-hooks, hoists, or elevating platforms, to load, unload, transport, or stack material.
- Inspect product load for accuracy and safely move it around the warehouse or facility to ensure timely and complete delivery.
- Manually or mechanically load or unload materials from pallets, skids, platforms, cars, lifting devices, or other transport vehicles.
- Position lifting devices under, over, or around loaded pallets, skids, or boxes and secure material or products for transport to designated areas.
- Weigh materials or products and record weight or other production data on tags or labels.
- Perform routine maintenance on vehicles or auxiliary equipment, such as cleaning, lubricating, recharging batteries, fueling, or replacing liquefied-gas tank.
- Move controls to drive gasoline- or electric-powered trucks, cars, or tractors and transport materials between loading, processing, and storage areas.
- Operate or tend automatic stacking, loading, packaging, or cutting machines.
- Signal workers to discharge, dump, or level materials.
- Hook tow trucks to trailer hitches and fasten attachments, such as graders, plows, rollers, or winch cables to tractors, using hitchpins.
Most commonly reported Work Activities
- Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Handling and Moving Objects Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
- Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Performing General Physical Activities Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Training and Teaching Others Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
Interests - Forklift Driver / Operator
This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:
Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.
Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.
Administrative people are interested in work that offers security and a sense of being part of a larger process. They may be at their most productive under supervisors who give clear guidelines and while performing routine tasks in a methodical and reliable way.
They tend to enjoy clerical and most forms of office work, where they perform essential administrative duties. They often form the backbone of large and small organisations alike. They may enjoy being in charge of office filing systems, and using computers and other office equipment to keep things running smoothly. They usually like routine work hours and prefer comfortable indoor workplaces.
You will need good co-ordination. You must be able to assess weights and distances and work safely and steadily. The work can be repetitive and requires good levels of concentration, patience and an awareness of what is going on around the truck. You must be responsible. You need to follow verbal and written instructions well.
Entry Requirements - Forklift Driver / Operator
Pay & Salary - Forklift Driver / Operator
Salary Range (thousands per year)* 18k - 33k
Last Updated: March, 2017
* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
Labour Market Updates - Forklift Driver / Operator
Employment growth for this occupation is driven by the construction sector. Although there were 1,600 job ready job seekers previously employed in this occupation, shortages are occurring in a small number of areas.
National Skills Bulletin 2018