What are the factors to consider when selecting a forklift driver?

Hiring a forklift driver is an important task that needs just as much attention, if not more, than production-level roles. A careless forklift driver could not only end up causing accidents that might cost you thousands of dollars in damage, but they might even cost someone their life.

These types of accidents are completely preventable with a bit of vigilance and foresight. Knowing what to look for in your forklift driver could mean the difference between a costly accident and seamless logistics. If you’re looking for a forklift driver, these are some of the things you need to consider:

Training and Experience

The most important thing you need to check in a forklift driver is training and experience, as driving a forklift is very different from driving a car. There are calculations involved in determining load, the center of gravity of the forklift, and other factors. Forklifts also handle differently than cars because they are almost always rear-wheel powered, which drastically changes the way the forklift maneuvers.

If you plan on working as a forklift operator, you need to prioritize receiving your OSHA certification as a lift operator to maximize your chances of getting hired for the job.

Accident Prevention Knowledge

It’s also important to ask a candidate what accident prevention measures they implement. This not only helps you gauge the actual experience of a candidate on standard procedures, but it also helps drive the point that you’d like to put an emphasis on accident prevention. This is especially important when we consider how one forklift accident can cost thousands of dollars in damage.

Communication Skills

It’s also important to observe the manner in which the candidate communicates. Does the candidate respond promptly and clearly? Does the candidate pay attention to what you’re saying?

The importance of being able to express and comprehend properly is important in operating in a high foot traffic area where a forklift driver is bound to share space with many other team members. Communication skills help ensure that everybody knows where they should be and it also helps teams operate more cohesively.

Familiarity With Your Forklift Models

While it may seem a minor detail to consider, a candidate’s familiarity with your type of forklift is going to carry a lot of importance. There are many different types of forklifts and having someone who’s familiar with the model or type of forklift your company uses is going to save you a lot of time and money.

Even with training, if a driver is unfamiliar with the forklift, there’s bound to be an adjustment period before the forklift driver starts to perform efficiently. A driver who’s familiar with the type and model of your forklifts will be able to settle into the job much easier and much quicker.

With so many things to consider, it’s difficult to find a benchmark to use to determine whether a particular candidate is a good fit for your company. And while there are so many more things that you can consider, these are the most important factors you need to weigh in.