5 Hard-Skills Necessary for Your Next Forklift Job

When preparing to write your resume or apply for a job as a forklift operator, it’s important to know what kind of learned skills will be needed for the job.

These are known as hard skills — they’re things you had to work toward and learn, practicing and training over time to learn how to do correctly. These are not things people pick up overnight; they’re abilities that you chose to learn and gain expertise and deftness in to be able to do a job successfully.

Here are some of the hard skills needed for your next forklift job:

  1. Safety awareness.

    Being mindful and aware of your surroundings is one thing. Being able to take that a step further and determine how much clearance you’ll need to move boxes or pallets from point A to point B without causing an accident, or knocking something over, or running into a person or object requires a keen eye and the ability to understand how everything fits together — and, more importantly, when something won’t fit before it has a chance to become stuck. Avoiding accidents and being able to navigate heavy machinery at the same time skillfully is crucial for forklift operators.

  2. Knowledge of the machinery.

    Do you understand how forklifts work? Do you know how to make repairs when needed? Do you feel confident in your ability to know when something is slightly out of whack instead of needing a full-blown replacement? Knowing the equipment’s technical and mechanical specifications means you’ll better understand what to do and what to avoid doing to keep it running well.

  3. A solid record.

    Have you ever been involved in a workplace accident? Do you have a reputation for moving things more efficiently without disruptions? Strong comprehension and a proven track record for being a competent driver can go a long way. While a mistake here or there might be inevitable, the cleaner and stronger your record, the better off you’ll be.

  4. Maintaining a sense of balance.

    This isn’t about work-life balance; it’s about understanding how to keep the weight load balances when loading and unloading the lift. The last thing you’d want to do is cause the machine to tip or unsafely deposit your cargo. Adapting and adjusting to ensure the safety of the materials you’re moving will help keep things rolling smoothly and keep everyone safer.

  5. A keen eye.

    The ability to inspect the machine for wear and tear is as important as the ability to know that your payload is properly secured before trying to move it. Inspecting quickly and accurately the machine and the load before turning anything on helps ensure you only have to check once and not spend unnecessary time making adjustments and changes on the fly.

Forklift operators need to be both strong and delicate in order to handle their precise work. Those with the right skills can go far and become valuable members of their team!

If you’re looking to take on a career as a forklift operator, contact Debbie’s Staffing. With decades of experience, we have contacts with companies looking for someone just like you to join their team right away. Contact Debbie’s Staffing today, and let’s get to work!