Forklift Operators

Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics > Forklift Operators > Overview
Occupation is in demand for the following regions: Northern Stateline, Northwest, Career Cluster
Forklift Operators

Forklift Operators - Overview

Forklift operators use tractors to lift and move heavy loads of materials.

Most forklift operators work in warehouses and factories. Forklifts are also called industrial trucks and tractors.

Before moving items, forklift operators make sure that loads are not too heavy for their vehicle. They weigh loads and record the information on tags or labels. Many loads are on wooden platforms called pallets. Forklift operators use levers and knobs in the cab of the vehicle to raise the forklift device and the pallet. After moving a load they slide the forklift out from under the pallet.

Forklift operators work to make sure they and their coworkers are safe while they are operating equipment. Forklift operators signal other workers that the load is clear of the forklift and that materials can be unloaded.

Forklift operators may perform other duties as well. Some operators tend machines that prepare loads to be moved by automatically stacking, packaging, or cutting materials. They may also hook tow trucks, using hitches and pins, to other equipment.

Forklift operators keep records of the materials they move. Some drive vehicles that require a commercial driver's license or another type of certification.

Forklift operators maintain their vehicles and forklift devices. They make sure that all parts are oiled and that vehicles have enough fuel. If there are problems with equipment, forklift operators talk with mechanics about them.

Source: Illinois Career Information System (CIS) brought to you by Illinois Department of Employment Security.