Forklift drivers operate forklifts and other material-handling equipment to move products from one part of a facility to another. They must be able to occasionally lift heavy items, as they will often rearrange merchandise which is not properly positioned. Forklift drivers must have good hand-eye coordination because forklifts are sophisticated pieces of machinery which require some skill to manage effectively.
In addition to these physical aspects of the work, some sharp mental skills are required. Forklift drivers are often responsible for the accuracy of the merchandise which they transport, so the ability to perform arithmetic quickly and accurately is useful. Experience with computers is often helpful for logging data about merchandise quantities, expiration dates, and receiving dates.
Most forklift drivers work indoors in a warehouse environment. Almost any industry which deals with physical merchandise will utilize forklift drivers at some point in the order fulfillment process. Due to the hazards of working with such machinery, it is essential that forklift drivers learn and practice the most effective safety measures.
Typically, forklift drivers work under a warehouse supervisor. They must work closely with shipping and receiving personnel to ensure that the correct items are moved to where they are needed. Often, a forklift operator will assist the inventory control department of a company by helping them access merchandise which they need to examine.
Forklift drivers must have a high school diploma or a GED to be employed by a major corporation. Often, the possession of an operator's license will help to secure employment, though some companies will hire a forklift driver with the expectation that he or she will be able to obtain the license shortly after being hired.
Forklift drivers are hired for all shifts. They are typically needed at every time that a facility is operating. Reliability is important, as the schedule of an entire organization can be delayed if the proper forklift drivers are not present to move products around the building. Forklift drivers should expect to work at least 40 hours per week, with frequent overtime during busy seasons.
Forklift Driver Tasks
- Assist the receiving staff by placing the merchandise in the proper location throughout the warehouse using a scanner.
- Return the merchandise to the proper location.
- Operate forklift.
- Assist stockers as needed.