Forklift trainee failures

In the UK, the practical part of the driver training test is judged by the trainee scoring fault points each time they make a mistake. At the end of the test, these fault points are totaled, and have to be less than 40 for a pass.
My question is, does anyone have any idea which of the many possible driving faults occur most frequently and account for the most test failures?
Or putting it another way, is there any particular driving skill that is particularly difficult for trainees to master in the relatively short time they get to practice during a training course....

I have tried asking the UK accrediting bodies, but they don't assess this information, which seems strange to me since they are the ones who design the training courses and define the fault points scored for each type of error. In these days of KPIs and continual improvement I would have thought knowing what areas cause most failures would be critical information.

Any insights into US training would also be helpful.
  • Posted 26 Nov 2015 22:55
  • Discussion started by antony_c
  • Cheshire, United Kingdom
Showing items 1 - 12 of 12 results.
antony_c, Regarding your comment: "Any insights into US training would also be helpful."...

In the USA, professional training practices have evolved since the 1960's and continue to evolve...for the better, in my opinion. For safety training in particular, there is a consensus standard published by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and organized by The American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP). You can learn much of their practical approach by searcing "ANSI/ASSP Z490.1". For forklift operator training, I started with substantially the same general approach in 1985, as I learned the original version directly from its author, the late Robert F. Mager. Mager published extensively on "Criterion Referenced Instruction" and related practices. His unique contributions to the field of human performance improvement have been as humorous as he has been instructive.

As training and testing have evolved with some in the US and in other countries, there are those researchers and practitioners of behavior analysis who do not find the fault-point scoring approach to operator testing useful. (Yes, this method gets you compliance with government regulations, but does little, if anything, to allow for any inferences as to an operator's skills.) Some have upped their "game", just as most USA military training commands, and larger organizations, have done for decades. New testing approaches have been found to be more useful, fair, and generally acceptable. I will leave it to you to decide if fault-point test scoring approaches should be improved before you conclude that they may produce as much good as they produce potential harm. To decide, here are three questions you can ask about your forklift operator testing practices:

1. If an operator fails just ONE (1) item during the test, AND I pass them as a qualified operator, is it possible that the ONE skill they failed to perform on the test could get them killed, seriously injured, or cause catastrophic economic damage on the job?

2. If the answer to the above is "YES", Ask: Did I just pass an operator into performing a job, knowing they could get killed, or seriously injured becuse they never performed that ONE item under test conditions?... and...

3. If the answer to number 1, above, is "NO", Ask: Why are we waisting precious resources testing operators on items that make no difference to anyone's safety?

To me, the role of forklift operator instructor and examiner is an important one. With operator testing practices, we can help move the world of forklift operations forward making the kind of difference that maters.

Best wishes,


LIFTOR (Lift Truck Operating Resources)
  • Posted 17 Jul 2020 19:09
  • Modified 17 Jul 2020 19:33 by poster
  • Reply by joe_m
  • New Jersey, United States
Operator/Examiner Certification for In-House Supervisors
In my opinion its depends from instructor. If the instrucotor teach good then the operator will know how too drive. I ve done o course in Empiring Training Services and my instructor always corected my mistakes. And now im good operator
andy r.

I have worked with colleagues who have used the 25 point threshold in the past.
may I ask if it is in-house, unaccredited training you deliver at the minute or do you issue ITSSAR certification. the reason I ask is that if your are doing an accredited course then the pass/fail mark is fixed at 40 points, regardless of our own opinion or feelings on this.

im not saying I don't find merit in your method as 40 points can allow for a LOT of faults before failure, but im just curious.
  • Posted 28 Mar 2016 23:52
  • Reply by TonytheTrainer
  • Aberdeenshire, United Kingdom
I am a truck engineer, ITTSAR instructor and fleet manager I have been a trainer for 7 years. On the site I train on I only allow 25 points before failure. I find with counter balance looking is the most common as already stated. reach is the same, and pedestrian stacker I find looking in the direction of travel is a common fault. This is more common than any other.
on my instructor re-test we were told the last thing an operator does is release the brake. this was a change to the previous rule as we used to teach the last thing an operator does was look around.
hope this help
  • Posted 24 Mar 2016 02:23
  • Reply by andy_r
  • buckinghamshire, United Kingdom
If you put the fear of g-d into them during the classroom session, and advise them that they will be forking over $$$€€€ if they strike someone with the lift trucks, then looking over their shoulders, when reversing, won't be a problem.

Biggest issue with my students is failing to neutralize the forklift prior to utilizing the control lever, for example, leaving the truck in gear prior to utilizing the control levers. The bad habit experienced operators are the worse but the newbies follow instructions and get it right.
  • Posted 11 Mar 2016 00:14
  • Reply by dan_m
  • Ontario, Canada
I dont understand why not looking around when moving off is marked as a 3 The severity of this error could potentially injure somebody same as failing to look in the direction of travel which is marked as a 5 ?
  • Posted 9 Mar 2016 09:28
  • Modified 9 Mar 2016 09:29 by poster
  • Reply by ZZJASEZZ
  • BUCKINGHAMSHIRE, United Kingdom
And to answer your other question, the biggest infraction that I see when guys are taking the practical examination is either failing to shoulder check, or not cradling their load properly.
  • Posted 20 Feb 2016 16:50
  • Reply by Austan
  • Alberta, Canada
I'm from Alberta Canada. Was just wondering if it was law in the UK for you guys to get professional training for forklift certification?
  • Posted 20 Feb 2016 16:48
  • Reply by Austan
  • Alberta, Canada
The original test marking sheet was designed by an RTITB manager in 1974 and, although there have been a number of changes to the test, the penalty faults and scores have generally remained the same.
I have always advised that if a trainee does something that you think should be a fault but is not on the marking sheet, you note it and have a discussion with the trainee afterwards to make him aware of your concern and to put him right, but you cannot penalise him. Alternatively, if it is serious enough, you can always disqualify his test and make him retake it.
  • Posted 12 Feb 2016 00:59
  • Reply by Pusey
  • Somerset, United Kingdom
One of my customers is currently refreshing counter balance training for there operators as a lot of them have no idea about the Toyota SAS system.

Another customer, I had reach truck operators asking how to adjust forks as they wouldn't fit in the pallet & several asked what buttons on the truck did.

Another customer moaned there reach truck didn't have creep travel on it, he hadn't found how to activate it.
  • Posted 4 Feb 2016 22:49
  • Reply by Forkingabout
  • england, United Kingdom
Most trainees will score in maybe 5-7 areas - boxes. All round checks, Not looking in direction of travel, misuse of tilt i.e travel positions, leveling forks/loads, not being level for picking up/setting down loads etc & loads incorrectly stacked are possibly the most common - oh and of course the trainee doing something unexpected & stupid.
  • Posted 4 Feb 2016 21:40
  • Reply by MaxaM60
  • Bristol, United Kingdom
Instructor, ITSSAR Cat' 4 Tutor
i have been an instructor for 7 months now and i would say the most common fault is trainee's not looking over both shoulders before moving off. this is mostly down to the trainee focusing on the task they are away to perform rather remembering all the safety aspects they have to remember when driving a forklift.
  • Posted 2 Dec 2015 20:20
  • Reply by csk6800
  • aberdeenshire, United Kingdom

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