With the rise of eCommerce and the warehouse industry, the job of a forklift driver is in high demand with thousands of job postings each year. Forklift drivers make up over 15% of all employees in a warehouse.

Forklift driving isn’t something just anyone can do. The job requires certain skills and training.

What are the key qualities you should look for when hiring a forklift operator? Let’s take a look.

5 Skills Needed for Forklift Driving

Forklift drivers are responsible for operating a forklift and maneuvering it through tight spaces. The driver must always have an eye out for safety to avoid hitting other employees and causing harm.

If you find a potential candidate who you would like to hire but maybe needs to brush up on certain skills, there’s always forklift training to look into.

Here are the skills you should look for in an operator when deciding who to hire:

1. Warehouse Experience

You can’t be a great forklift operator without experience in a warehouse. A forklift driver needs to know the flow of industrial operations and how to prepare and unstack pallets.

2. Trained and Certified

It’s illegal for anyone under 18 years of age to operate a forklift. Anyone over 18 must be trained and certified to operate a forklift.

3. Communication

A forklift driver is always on the move. Often there are other employees going about their job in the warehouse, walking in front of and behind the forklift.

An operator needs to be good at communication to ensure everyone stays safe.

4. Safety First

Safety is a huge factor when it comes to forklift driving. When researching job candidates, do a reference check to find out whether they’ve ever been in an accident. You want to hire someone who’ll be committed to safety and be responsible behind the wheel.

5. Organized and Calm

Warehouses are often bustling with activity. They can be downright hectic during the holidays.

With so much going on through the warehouse, it’s important that a forklift driver be able to work well under pressure. There’ll be times when they’re expected to almost be in two places at once, and a driver needs to be able to cope with it.

Organizational skills are also important. There’s always a mountain of tasks for a forklift driver, whether that’s unstacking pallets, delivering large items, or stacking boxes. A forklift driver needs to know how to prioritize their tasks so as not to slow down the operations of other employees.

Essential to Any Warehouse

Forklift driving is an integral part of the daily operations of any warehouse. Without a forklift driver present to help with moving large objects, business would slow to a grind. Ensuring items are shipped out on time requires forklift drivers who know how to operate the machinery with efficiency and safety in mind.

If your business needs to buy or service forklifts, Superior Industrial Products can help. Contact us today.