An LO Forklift Licence is needed to operate an LO class forklift. It’s obvious, but not all forklift trucks are created equal. Another type of forklift is the LF forklift which has its own licensing requirements. In Australia, operators of both types of forklifts are required to be licensed.
Having an LO forklift licence means that you have undertaken certain training and are deemed competent to drive an LO Forklift. It means everyone around you in the workplace should be safe and you know how to operate the machine within the bounds of law.
The LO forklift is also called the load shifting order picker. These types of forklifts are commonly known as parts pickers and stock pickers. This class of forklift requires that the operator wears a harness and that they are attached to a retractable lanyard.
During operation, the operator goes up and down with the carriage and gets to the height of the racking system where they can move items on or off of the shelving. This style of forklift is obviously very different than a standard LF forklift truck. Having an LO forklift licence will not entitle you to operate an LF forklift. The licences are not interchangeable as the training for both is different.
Australian law requires that anybody operating an LO or LF forklift is 18 years of age or older. That means you cannot get the training required for an LO forklift license unless you are 18 or older as well. Otherwise, decide what type of forklift license is needed or if you want to get both. You can then find a provider that offers LO forklift licensing to get your ticket.
The two types of licensing required for the different machines doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to learn at two separate providers. Look for a facility that offers both LO and LF tuition. Drivers can get both types of training from the same instructor if they need to. Some skills are transferable so you can get RPL or Recognition of Prior Learning to make the process easier. It may also be possible to negotiate a package discount.
Australian High-Risk National Standard for Licensing states you cannot operate an LO class forklift with an LF license and vice versa. However, you can learn on both types of equipment in an approved training facility. On passing the assessments, you can then drive both types of forklift in an industrial workplace. If you just want an LO forklift licence then most training centres in Australia should be able to provide that too.
Operating heavy equipment cannot be learned just by studying the theory. It requires real-world operating skill. To master the ability to work in an actual work environment requires learning somewhere that is similar to what one would find at a warehouse or similar.
Look for trainers that provide LO forklift licence instruction in an actual warehouse type environment. This allows operators to get familiar with what it’s like to be working on one of these machines in situations that they will actually encounter as employees.