Final Day of Forklift Training

That is it.
After about five hours of training on the counterbalance I was tested on it.

I passed.

I did it in 25 minutes with 13 points, the lowest number of points, again!

I picked up the points up because I kept touching the course, or I picked the pallet up incorrectly, i.e. at an angle, or not with the forks fully inserted.

I had thought I wouldn’t do that well on this test, as I wasn’t that confident with the steering.

The steering on the counterbalance is similar to a car, that you turn the wheel to the left, and you go left. With the counterbalance the steering wheels are at the back, so, you turn the wheel to the left, the wheels turn to the right, the back swings to the right, and you go left.
I had to think about it.

The other two passed the test as well.

On to what we practiced.

The truck wasn’t ready for us until about 9am-ish.

At first we just went around the same course that was set up the previous evening. That is four barriers set up in a line, and we had to weave in and out of them.
Forwards and backwards.

Then we had the chicane, this time it was the proper one!

The chicane was more of a zigzag shape. You drive forwards a little way, tun to the left and drive forwards, then turn to the right and drive forwards.
Easy you might say. Straight forward it was not.

The width of the gap between the pallets was about half the trucks length, and at the corners you had to tuck right up to the inside so as you can get far enough around it to swing the back out.

I managed it. In the test I didn’t hit any of the walls.

Then we had a practice at turning to face a row of pallets. Then once we had practiced that a couple of times we had to pick up and put down pallets on the stacks of pallets.

It was the same layout as for the reach truck, with two different heights of stacks of pallets, and a spot on the floor!

We also practiced the emergency stop. We had three pallets on the forks, and then drove forwards and then back. When we had to stop going forwards, the pallets started to slide off the forks.

The test for the counterbalance was much the same as for the reach truck. The only difference being that the chicane was a different layout, and it was right next to the stacks of pallets.

We all started at the start of the chicane.
So we had to drive up to the first corner in the chicane, pick up three pallets, and then drive the rest of the way through the chicane. Place them on a specified stack, and then stack and un-stack a couple more times.
Then we had to reverse through the chicane with three pallets on the front, and then back out again.
The we did some more stuff with stacking and un-stacking three pallets.
Then we had to reverse back through the chicane, dropping the load in the middle of it, then reverse to the start of the chicane.

That’s it.
The first person started their test at 2:15pm, and I finished my test at about 3:30pm. Then we had to demolish the course and stack the pallets up, and there was some paper work to do. I finished at 4pm.

I think I had either seven or eight cups of tea.

Luckily I have tomorrow off (Saturday)
And on Sunday me and dad go off to Brands Hatch.

Bye for now.

Forklift Training Day 4

I passed!
Woohoo! I can now drive a reach truck!
It was pretty easy really.

In the theory test I got 96%
There was five sets of “open questions” each worth four points each. Then there was two groups of 10 multiple choice questions, and each of these was also worth four points each.
One of the sets of multiple choice questions was on safety, and the other was on the operation of a forklift truck.
That means I only got one question wrong, it was one of the multiple choice questions.

Straight after the theory we went down into the yard to start practicing for the test.

We started off moving two stacks of three pallets between three different heights of stacked pallets.

Then we each had a go through the chicane both with, and without a load on the front.

After lunch, about 1pm, we went back out in the yard to start the dummy test.

On my first go through the chicane I did it in four minutes, with three points. At my second try I done it in six minutes with three points.

I opted to use my first try, to give me more time to do the next part of the test in.

As a side note, the three points that I gained we both to do with observation.
In my first run, my observation dried up towards the end. And in my second run I started off with poor observation but improved as I continued.

The next part of the test was to do with stacking and unstacking two piles of three pallets from three differently stacked heights of pallets.

I did that part of the test in 17 minutes with a total of 12 points.

I got the points because I hit the course a couple of times. I used the wrong control when I didn’t need it, I wanted to raise the forks a little bit, but instead I moved the leaver to extend the forks, I retracted the forks as soon as I had realised I had hit the wrong control. I believe the rest of the points were picked up from not doing enough observations.

I sat in the truck while the instructor counted up my points. When he told me how long I had taken, and the number of points I had, I chose against trying again.

He shook my hand and said “Well done. You have passed.”


Both of the other people taking the course with me also passed the test.

In the evening, about 4pm, we had a little go on the counterbalance.

We just drove up and down the yard, forwards and backwards, getting used to the steering, and the fact that the way you turned the steering wheel was the direction you went in.

It got too dark and cold for us to continue much past half five, so we called it a day and left.

Other news:
I’ve got a new bulb for the courtesy light in my car. The new bulb is 10W, the bulb it replaces was only 7W.

Today I had six cups of tea.

I’m sure I had more news than that! Oh well.

Bye for now.

Forklift Training Day 3

The big test is tomorrow!

How did I do?

Not bad. But I do need to improve my 90 degree turn.

Today we were mainly practicing the 90 degree turn, and stacking pallets.
We had to take the top three pallets off the top of one of two stacks, the high stack and the medium stack.
We then had to place the pallets on the floor for the next person.

The next person then pick up those pallets and returned them to the top of one of the stacks.

From about 4pm the chicane was set up again, and we had two goes each, both forwards and backwards, and with and without a load.

It was cold this morning, especially in the shade. So we moved even further down to the bottom corner of the yard where we had sun all day, apart from early evening onwards.

For the last half hour we watched another video, and then answered some questions we might get on the test.

Some of you may have noticed that my Halloween header was up for longer than a day. Thats because I forgot to change the images around. Oops, Its all fixed now.

Ive had seven cups of tea today (like you really wanted to know that!)

That is it for this post. I have now got to read the fork lift truck safety book, and revise for tomorrow.


Forklift Training Day 2

Today was much more fun, and cold!
We were in the yard for practically the whole day.

First we took the reach truck back down the bottom end of the yard and went around the same course that we went around the previous day.

We were then going to do something different, but the truck wouldn’t start. Please note that this is the new reach truck, it is electric, and had only just been taken off charge.
So it was reported.

That meant that we had to use the other reach truck, also electric, but this one is older, about six years (ish).

There is not much difference between the two trucks, apart from on the older one, all of the controls are on the right, so all your left hand has to do is steer.

It has two wheels that steer, compared to one on the other truck. Not only that but it has a little lever, with a neutral, so that you can select which direction to go in. The other truck has the direction selector on the control lever to raise the forks.

At one point I thought I had stalled the truck. I was pressing the accelerator, and the thing wasn’t moving. What I had done was slightly knock the direction lever into neutral. Oops! It was electric, so how the hell I thought it had stalled is beyond me!

And the brakes on it! It was almost like a hand brake. You put your foot on it, and it wouldn’t slow down. It wasn’t until the pedal had reached the floor did the brakes actually begin to work!

Other than that, there isn’t much difference between the two.

While we were messing about with the old truck an engineer from Jungheinrich turned up. Only about an hour after the truck broke down.
The engineer was there for less than an hour. So after lunch time we were back in the new truck.

The first course was going in a circle around two drums, then a figure of eight around the same two drums. Pallets were then stood up on end around the two drums so we had to manoeuvre around the drums while staying within the confines of the pallets.

The next course that we had to complete was the chicane.
Two rows of pallets were stood up on end parallel to each other. Three other pallets were then stood up on end within the “walls”, so we had to weave around them.

We started off going in with the fork leading (backwards on a reach). Then when we reached the end, we had to stop, and then go forwards (forks trailing) back through the course.

Then we had to pick up a stack of four pallets, and drive through the course both ways. When returning to the start we had to drop the load in the entrance for the next driver.

Then in the evening we started 90 degree turns to face a row of pallets.
Conveniently a row of pallets (with boxes on them) was lined up alongside a wall. So a row of pallets was stood up parallel to the stacks of pallets. The space between the two rows of pallets was as wide as the reach truck is long.

Tomorrow we will be doing the same course, but this time we will have a pallet on the front, and will have to drop it, and pick it up again.

The courses that we had to drive around were built from pallets standing on their side, and because it was windy, there was another pallet resting inside the one standing up to stop it from blowing over.

At about half five we went back inside to the little room we were in yesterday and watched a short recording of “safe” fork lift driving. It was recorded at four in the morning from channel 4, and the program was in German (it had sub-titles).

It was gory, but funny! It portrayed some of the possible hazards of forklift driving in a very humorous, tongue-in-cheek way.

For example, it showed people being cut in half by a sheet of metal. And other people being impaled on the forks of a fork lift. Then the people stuck on the front having their arms cut off.
One of them was holding a chainsaw at the time which slid across the floor towards the person cut in half by the sheet of metal (he was still alive). The chainsaw then proceeded to cut him in half.

The forklift driver driving the forklift with the two people impaled on the forks gets his head cut off (some how! I remember something slicing his head off, and then it rolling on the floor)

The forklift then makes its way out of the building with its headless driver and impaled passengers down the street and into the sunset.

And that was just in the last five minutes!
Before that it had a knife fall off a pallet into someone’s head, who then broke the blade off. And someone else who went inside the engine compartment to fix the forklift, only to have his hands chopped off when the driver started the engine.

The course is being run by Mentor, paid for by ASDA. And we have all forgotten our instructors name!

Before I finish, this post is a great idea for trick-or-treaters next Halloween (seeing as its too late for this year). Thanks Scott for pointing that out.
My special Halloween header has been up for nearly 24 hours, and will be replaced by the old banner in half-an-hour.

Quick report on my drinking habit: seven cups of tea today!


8 cups of tea!!!

I’ve had eight cups of tea today!
I’ll be looking like a tea bag before this week is out if I continue to consume the amount of tea I drank today!

I’m sure you *really* wanted to know about that!

Anyway, I’m sure you want to know all about my day of forklift training.
Boring! Apart from the last hour

There are two other people (colleagues?) training up on the forklift alongside me, and we are all novices.

The training runs from 8am to 6pm Monday to Thursday, and 8am to 4pm on Friday.
Monday to Wednesday is training up on the reach truck, with Thursday being the big test day.
Then on Friday we do the conversion test to get our counterbalance licence.

Today (Monday) was theory for most of the day.
We covered H&S laws on using the forklift trucks, and also a bit about the major components of a forklift and the maintenance of the vehicle.
Only after that were we taken downstairs to look at a reach truck.

Then it was back upstairs for more slides.
This time it was all about the limits of the forklift, and the (in)stability of it, and its load.
We were then shown a video of how unstable a forklift is with, and without a load.

All of this took us up until about 5pm

Back downstairs, and we go to the end of the yard where the lorries turn around, and we actually get to drive a reach truck. 🙂

First we just went back and forwards in a straight line.
Then we had to drive forwards and turn left, then stop and reverse and turn left again, so that we ended up back where we started.
Four pallets were then stood up on end, and we had to drive anti-clockwise around them (turning left)

It was all great fun, and cold!
Lets just hope the weather holds out.

Edit: Look out for a special Halloween header which will be doing the rounds for tomorrow (Tuesday) only.