Forklift Driver Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A Forklift Driver, or Forklift Operator is responsible for operating forklifts and moving goods around warehouses and other industrial sites. Their duties include using forklifts to unload deliveries, stacking boxes for storage and moving wooden pallets around the warehouse.


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Forklift Driver duties and responsibilities

A Forklift Driver is responsible for moving goods, loaded pallets and equipment safely and securely. In addition to driving forklifts, a Forklift Driver also has a range of other warehouse duties such as packaging shipments or checking inventories. A Forklift Driver’s primary duties and responsibilities include:

  • Manoeuvring forklifts safely in busy industrial environments
  • Safely stacking and unstacking large quantities of goods onto shelves or pallets
  • Moving goods from storage areas to loading areas for transport
  • Unloading deliveries and safely relocating the goods to their designated storage areas
  • Ensuring that forklift driving areas are free from spills or obstructions
  • Regularly checking forklift equipment for faults or damages
  • Using industrial plastic wraps and wooden pallets to safely stack and package goods for transport
  • Keeping up to date on health and safety requirements and forklift operating procedures 
  • Consolidating partial pallets for incoming goods


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What does a Forklift Driver do?

Forklift Drivers are employed to work within warehouses, on construction sites, at airports, in ports and in many other industrial and commercial settings. Forklift Drivers use forklifts to unload goods from lorries or storage containers before moving them to their new storage location. Forklift Drivers are required to operate their machinery in line with health and safety regulations and to ensure that all goods that are moved are loaded and unloaded without damage. 


Forklift Driver skills and qualifications

Forklift Drivers need industrial driving skills and the correct licences to safely and legally operate forklifts in a warehouse. Forklift Drivers also need excellent spatial awareness, attention to detail and the physical ability to perform manual labour. A successful Forklift Driver candidate will also have certain prerequisite skills and qualifications that typically include:

  • Ability to work long shifts in cramped, loud and potentially hazardous industrial environments
  • Ability to work well in a team with other staff, such as Lorry Drivers or Warehouse Packers, to coordinate the movement of goods
  • Knowledge of warehouse health and safety requirements
  • Knowledge of industrial storage procedures, such as the correct way to stack pallets on top of one another
  • Ability to itemise and record stock for inventories
  • Constructions Skills Certifications Scheme (CSCS) card for work on construction sites
  • Accredited forklift operating licence from an industry-recognised body such as RTITB 
  • Ability to safely lift 20 kilogrammes unassisted 


Forklift Driver experience requirements

Forklift Drivers require a minimum of two years of experience working in a warehouse or on a construction site operating forklifts, heavy goods vehicles or other industrial machinery. Employers can also consider applicants with two years of experience working in similar industrial settings, such as handling baggage at airports or unloading deliveries at supermarkets, if they also have the correct forklift licence or are working towards one.


Forklift Driver education and training requirements

Forklift Drivers require a minimum of GCSEs in English and maths. However, employers are more concerned with applicants having the correct training to safely operate forklifts in a warehouse. Look for applicants with a Level 2 Certificate in Forklift Truck Operations gained through a college course or forklift training completed through an apprenticeship scheme. 


Forklift Driver salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for a Forklift Driver in the UK is £10.52 per hour. Individual salaries can vary based on experience, location and company. 


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Forklift Driver job description FAQs


What is the difference between a Forklift Driver and a Material Handler?

A Forklift Driver is primarily responsible for operating and maintaining forklift equipment. A Material Handler typically has a forklift licence and will also operate forklifts when required to, but their primary responsibility is organising and maintaining inventories. This involves checking stock levels in the warehouse, arranging shipments for delivery and organising other areas of logistics, such as storage and transport. 


What makes for a good Forklift Driver job description?

A good Forklift Driver job description gives prospective candidates an excellent idea of the working hours and shift patterns they are required to undertake. If night shifts are expected,state it. If employers are able to offer prospective applicants who have warehouse experience, training to obtain a forklift licence, this can help attract a wider range of potential candidates.


Who does a Forklift Driver report to?

A Forklift Driver reports to a Warehouse Supervisor or to a Site Supervisor or Site Manager. Supervisors and Managers inform Forklift Drivers of their daily tasks, keeping them up to date on important logistical points such as delivery schedules, warehouse capacity and changes in storage locations. 

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