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What to Expect on a Counterbalance Lift Truck Operator Course?

There is no doubt that successfully operating a forklift truck requires a great amount of know-how and dexterity, and this can sometimes seem daunting to those with no experience.

There is no doubt that successfully operating a forklift truck requires a great amount of know-how and dexterity, and this can sometimes seem daunting to those with no experience. However, this need not be the case, as an RTITB Counterbalance Lift Truck operator training course will give you all the skills you need to operate a truck safely and efficiently. But, before attending a course, you will probably have lots of questions. Here we answer some of your most popular questions:


No. You can expect a mixture of practical and theory training – a lot of candidates expect just the practical element of training e.g. “how to drive a truck” but there is also a theory element which covers topics such as legislation, causes of accidents, operators’ safety code, and stability characteristics of the truck.


RTITB forklift courses are restricted to a maximum of 3 people, with one instructor and one truck (a 3:1:1 ratio). RTITB accredited training providers cannot accept any more than that on the course and cannot instruct on more than one truck at a time. The course is designed to ensure that all course members are involved at all times; when it’s not your turn to drive you’ll be observing and learning from someone else driving whilst receiving information and feedback from the instructor. All RTITB instructors are highly trained and will make sure you are engaged at all times during your training course.


The resources used by an RTITB approved training provider to deliver an FLT course have to meet the RTITB criteria. RTITB training criteria has been designed to simulate a variety of different workplace scenarios. However, not every scenario can be covered and there may be some unique differences between what you experience during your training and what awaits you back at your workplace, but don’t worry, your training course will give you all the basics you need to operate a counterbalance lift truck and when you get to your job you will just need a little more information, some informal specific job training and some practice. 


If you have been trained and tested before, you can do a 1 day refresher course (as long as you show your training provider your certificate). If you have been operating a truck for a long time but have never been formally trained and tested you are eligible to do a shorter 3 day course. The RTITB accredited training provider you choose will be able to recommend the best course duration for you. Everyone learns at a different pace and picks things up faster/slower than others, so it is important that your course duration suits you and your needs. 

Last year over 42,000 people completed and passed RTITB counterbalance lift truck courses, achieving their internationally recognised RTITB Certificate of Basic Training. If there’s any other questions you’d like answered, or to start your training journey, visit our website to book your forklift training course or give us a call on +44 (0) 1952 520200

England,Scotland,Northern Ireland,Wales,UK
Material Handling Equipment

Top Tips for Safe Lift Truck Mounting and Dismounting

Many musculoskeletal, and other, injuries occur when operators are getting on and off lift trucks which can be eradicated through proper mounting and dismounting.

Many musculoskeletal, and other, injuries occur when operators are getting on and off lift trucks. Although mounting and dismounting techniques may vary depending on the particular truck, the following steps should be considered to reduce the risk of incident or injury. Nick Welch, RTITB Technical Director, discusses:

Before you start

  • Operators must be properly qualified before they even think about driving a truck, but has their training included a demonstration of correct mounting and dismounting? During training, trainees should get on and off a truck under supervision so that technique can be assessed and corrected.
  • Refer to the manufacturer’s operator manual for specific advice on mounting and dismounting the truck. Operators should be trained suitably for the particular truck(s) that they will be using.
  • Conduct routine pre-use inspections before using a lift truck. This will include a visual inspection of key parts of the truck that must be done before the truck is mounted.
  • Ensure the required protective clothing is being worn. Hanging jewellery should not be worn and items should be removed from back pockets.


Mounting the truck

  • Check the environment and the floor around the truck. Debris and uneven surfaces can cause slips and trips. Also, be aware of other vehicles, pedestrians and even existing loads on the forks.
  • Check the truck’s state of repair and consider how this may affect mounting and dismounting. For example, do you need to take extra care due to erosion on non-slip surfaces?
  • Face the truck when getting on and off. If steps are available they should be used. Good secure hand and foot holds should be established. Always maintain three points of contact with the truck when mounting/dismounting for stability.
  • Be aware that loose or bulky clothing, such as overalls, can catch when getting on and off the truck.


Once you’re in the cab

  • Adopt the correct operating position by using all of the available adjustments. This is important for both safety and ergonomics. The seat, steering column and armrests should never be adjusted when travelling.
  • Sit down in the seat, lean forward and shift hips to the back of the seat to set the spine in correct alignment. Adjust the seat by sliding it forwards so your feet are resting comfortably and the pedals are within easy reach
  • Raise the seat to a comfortable height, checking for adequate head clearance and maximum vision – ensure that pedals are still within easy reach. Ensure the weight limit setting is correctly adjusted
  • Adjust the steering wheel so that the steering assistor is within easy reach of either hand at the furthest point away from the body – the aim is to eliminate the need to lean forward. Adjust the backrest to a position slightly tilted backwards to avoid excessive bending of the head and neck
  • If a safety belt is available it should be worn. Seatbelts are a legal requirement on most trucks since 2002 and for older trucks with any risk of overturning, operator restraining systems should be installed.
  • Make sure mirrors are adjusted as required. Make sure all areas of the body are within the operator’s cabin before the truck starts moving.



  • Ideally find an even surface for dismount as landing awkwardly can result in injuries.  Floor debris or spillages in the area of dismounting could also lead to slips and falls. Of course, check for other traffic before exiting the cab.
  • Never jump down from the truck.  Three points of contact should be maintained during dismount for stability and to protect from musculoskeletal injury.


For more information on lift truck operator training to improve safety and efficiency during mounting and dismounting forklifts, visit


Motivate your employees with in-house Driver Competitions
Motivate your employees with in-house Driver Competitions

The amazing people in the materials handling, logistics and transport industry deserve to be celebrated, and what better way to do this than with an in-house competition?

The amazing people in the materials handling, logistics, and transport industry deserve to be celebrated, and what better way to do this than with an in-house competition?  Let us help you motivate and reward your drivers and operators with a professionally organised corporate competition. We can encourage excellence within your food and drink operations, and gain an important insight into standards and knowledge by running an in-house forklift, electric pallet stacker, LLOP or LGV driver competition. These events are a great way to boost employee morale and restore a sense of pride within your business and with our help, you can get all these benefits, but none of the stress.

At RTITB, we have successfully organised LGV and forklift driver competitions for leading businesses across the UK and Ireland and have worked with an array of organisations to develop fun, company branded, challenges that really put operators’ and drivers’ skills to the test. Hear from Kuehne+Nagel here about how we have assisted them with their yearly in-house competition, celebrating the quality of skills and training within their warehouse team.

With over 50 years of industry experience, we know how busy logistics and transport businesses are and it’s difficult to bring your ideas to life when events aren’t always a priority. That is where we come in. Utilising our sector-specific knowledge and expertise, the RTITB Marketing and Event team can manage your competition from start to finish, so all you have to do is turn up and enjoy the day.

We will look after:

- Themed design and creation of innovative skills tests

- Impartial judging and scoring

- Props and testing material specific to your in-house tasks

- Full event co-ordination

Competitors will need to use knowledge from all different aspects of their role, from pre-use inspections to manoeuvring know-how. This will motivate your drivers to uphold and improve their safety procedures, so it’s a win-win for all!

Our competitions have a positive effect on the workforce and will give your drivers the recognition and support they need to showcase their vital skills. If you would like to find out more about the enjoyable events we can run for your business, feel free to give us a call on +44(0)19520207 or fill in our contact form

England,Scotland,Northern Ireland,ROI,Wales,UK
Material Handling Equipment,LGV,General Health & Safety

3 Business Objectives Driver CPC Training Can Help You Achieve

RTITB is encouraging employers to rethink their approach to Driver CPC Periodic Training in order to help achieve their business objectives.

RTITB is encouraging employers to rethink their approach to Driver CPC Periodic Training in order to help achieve their business objectives.

Laura Nelson, RTITB Managing Director, explains “As Driver CPC training is a legal requirement, some employers treat is simply as a tick box exercise – something that their drivers must do. However, it can be so much more than that. Drivers must complete 35 hours of training during a five-year cycle. With proper planning, employers can use this to their business advantage, whilst also improving safety and professional driving standards.”

Here are three examples of how RTITB’s Driver CPC Periodic Training, through the Master Driver CPC Consortium, can assist employers in meeting specific business objectives.

Objective: Increasing fuel efficiency

Many businesses are tasked with increasing fuel efficiency and decreasing fuel costs. Although the choice of vehicle is key in increasing fuel efficiency, driver behaviour also plays a big part. By using the hours allocated to Driver CPC to deliver a Safe and Fuel-Efficient Driving course, drivers can not only benefit from the continued professional development that Driver CPC offers, but also learn the specific skills to be more fuel efficient.

After implementing this training, one of RTITB’s Consortium members was able to meet their fuel efficiency goals, increasing their average MPG from one depot by 0.9MPG. The member is now set to increase this to 2.5MPG in the near future, which will deliver around £60,000.

Objective: Improved roadside safety

Maintaining safety is often a core business objective for logistics and haulage businesses. However, the time taken to deliver comprehensive first-aid training to a large workforce can be challenging for employers in terms of both time and money.

To overcome this whilst meeting a company-wide health and safety initiative, one RTITB Consortium member implemented an existing JAUPT approved roadside incident management training course. This covers this essential knowledge needed by drivers to reduce roadside risk and has been incorporated into Driver CPC training hours to ensure all drivers are trained by the end of the year.

Objective: Reduced damage

Reducing product wastage and damage is an important objective for many businesses looking to control costs. Including a Load Safety module within Driver CPC training can help to meet this objective by educating drivers on correctly handling loads, and providing an understanding of how to appropriately secure different load types. Manual Handling training can also be included in Driver CPC to help reduce wastage and damage. Contrary to popular belief, this training can cover more than just preventing personal injury. In fact, correct manual handling can reduce product damage, therefore minimising associated costs.

By selecting the right Driver CPC training modules, vehicles and equipment can also benefit from less damage. A safe and economic driving module help to prevent accidents and unnecessary vehicle wear and tear, while a general Health and Safety module can cover the skills and techniques that save businesses thousands of pounds in vehicle and site damage.

Employers joining the Master Driver CPC Consortium will gain access to the extensive library of Driver CPC training modules, which can used to make a bespoke training session that suits the needs of your business’ objectives. RTITB also offers a bespoke course development service, devising unique content that meets the specific needs of your business and drivers, whilst incorporating your company values alongside RTITB’s high standards.

Learn more about RTITB’s Driver CPC solution, or read more about our customer success testimonials. 

England,Scotland,Northern Ireland,Wales,UK

RTITB presents at FLTA Safety Conference 2017
RTITB presents at FLTA Safety Conference 2017

On the 20th September 2017, RTITB were thrilled to have the chance to speak at the FLTA Safety Conference  at the Heart of England Conference and Events Centre in Coventry. 

On the 20th September 2017, RTITB were thrilled to have the chance to speak at the FLTA Safety Conference  at the Heart of England Conference and Events Centre in Coventry.

This year’s conference theme was ‘Managing fork lift safety in changing times’, and focused on preparing managers and supervisors for the challenges that lie ahead in the ever-evolving materials handling industry. Covering all bases, this event clarified changes in legislation, staff patterns, job security and much more. 

RTITB’s very own Nick Welch, Technical Director, delivered a presentation entitled ‘Appearance isn’t everything’, looking at pre-use inspections – a crucial element of safe forklift truck operations that is often overlooked. For instance, did you know that 65% of forklift operators don’t know how to correctly conduct the driving and braking pre-use check?

In the presentation Nick revealed the negative results that ineffective pre-use inspections have on the number of forklift truck related accidents each year and how simple changes to attitudes and knowledge can improve pre-use inspections, making them a meaningful part of any shift. If you were unable to attend the FLTA Safety Conference, we can email you a copy of Nick’s presentation, by clicking here.

Reducing the number of forklift truck related accidents can easily be achieved by quality Lift Truck Operator training. At RTITB, we believe that all Materials Handling Equipment training should provide much more than legal compliance, which is why our Counterbalance (Forklift) Lift Truck Training course has such a high success rate. Our course gives candidates the skills to operate trucks safely and efficiently, carry out pre-use inspections correctly, and understand and explain the causes of truck and load instability.

Last year over 42,000 people completed and passed RTITB counterbalance training and testing and achieved their internationally recognised RTITB Certificate of Basic Operator Training. For more information on lift truck operator or lift truck instructor training from RTITB, or for advice about pre-use inspections, feel free to contact our friendly team on +44(0)1952 520207, or via email. We are always happy to discuss any queries you may have.

Material Handling Equipment,General Health & Safety

RTITB Events More Events
  • RTITB Driver CPC Taster Days

    UK - Various Locations

    26/02/2018 - 20/11/2018

    More info
  • RTITB Regional Members Meetings 2018

    Various, throughout the UK

    22/01/2018 - 17/04/2018

    More info