Basic Operator Training

Berry Material Handling will help you and your company be compliant with OSHA regulation 29CFR1910.178.  Call us toll-free at 800-333-6576 or email Ed Helten at today to schedule your Basic Operator Training.

On January 1, 2000, OSHA mandated that all new forklift operators must be trained, regardless of experience and must be evaluated for competency at least every three years. Berry Material Handling offers courses that ensure that all formal classroom training, written exams, practical exams, and the operator evaluations are completed per OSHA requirements.

Nine facts about training requirements

  1. OSHA states that all forklift operators must be trained and certified under regulation 29CFR1910.178.
  2. Aerial work platform operators also must be trained as per ANSI A92.2 - A92.6 (which OSHA can enforce under the General Duty clause).
  3. No one may operate a forklift and/or aerial work platform unless they have been trained and evaluated and demonstrated they have the knowledge and ability to operate the equipment safely.
  4. Operators of both lift trucks and aerial work platforms may be trained by a person that has the knowledge, training, and experience to train operators and evaluate their competency.
  5. Each operator must be trained and evaluated on the equipment he or she operates (based on the different types of forklift classifications).
  6. Forklift operator evaluations are to be renewed every (3) years and any time there is an accident, near miss, or complaint filed against the operator.
  7. Train-the-Trainer courses provide the necessary tools to aid a company's training staff to produce effective training sessions.  These courses contain complete step-by-step instructions from initial preparation to the final student evaluation process.
  8. Training your operators can help to reduce accidents, injuries, and product or property damage.
  9. OSHA fines totaling up to $7,000 for each untrained operator.  Take training and safety seriously. OSHA fines are expected to increase in 2016.

Operator training should be conducted at your facility on your equipment, to identify possible hazards. 

Our trainers provide you with documentation after the training. This course is designed to fulfill OSHA's requirement that "only trained and authorized operators shall be permitted to operate powered industrial trucks." Pre-operation inspections, safety procedures, routine maintenance, and operating techniques are discussed or demonstrated. Training includes classroom presentations, written exams, and hands-on training and evaluation. At the conclusion of this program students must demonstrate safe operation of forklift as required by the OSHA Occupational Safety and Health Administration Standard CFR291910.178. 

Training includes(but not limited to) the following: 

Accident prevention

Accident investigation

Forklift truck driving skills

Fueling and charging


Pre-operation inspection

Load handling

Pedestrian hazards

Dock operations

Job site hazard analysis

Forklift Classifications

All forklift trucks can be categorized into seven different classifications. 

Class 1: Electric Rider trucks.  Trucks in this class may have 3 or 4 wheels with cushion (solid) or pneumatic (air filled) tires. Both sit down and stand up forklifts are included.

Class 2: Electric Narrow Aisle Trucks.  This class includes reach and deep (double) reach trucks as well as order selector trucks which are also known as “order pickers” or “cherry pickers.” Order selector operators ride up and down with the load and must be secured to the truck using a fall arrest system. Other narrow aisle trucks include stand up straddles, swing masts, side loaders and turret trucks.

Class 3: Electric hand pallet jacks or walkie/rider jacks.  Low lift electric hand pallet jacks are also known as “walkies.” They may or may not have a mast and use pallet forks or a platform to haul loads several inches off the ground. Masted walkies are either counterbalanced (using the battery weight) or use outrigger or straddle arms. Some have reach capability.

Class 4: Internal Combustion Engines (“ICE”). Cushion tire trucks fueled by gasoline, diesel, LPG, or CNG. Designed to be only operated on hard, smooth surfaces. Best used indoor.

Class 5: ICE Pneumatic tire trucks fueled by gasoline, diesel, LPG, or CNG. These units can be operated on improved or slightly unimproved surfaces (indoor/outdoor).

Class 6: Ride on Tuggers.   These units have a draw bar pull greater than 10,000 pounds. They can be either electric or ICE. Tuggers are often called tow tractors. Examples are tugs at airports moving planes and cargo. Yard Trucks are included in this classification.

Class 7: Rough Terrain Trucks.  These trucks have pneumatic tires and most are powered by diesel engines and operate on rough or unimproved surfaces. This classification includes tractor type forklifts, piggy back forklifts, container handlers, and telescopic (telehandler) forklifts.

Quiz – Basic Operator Training - 10 question Self Evaluation

  1. Have all of your powered industrial truck operators been trained?
  2. Has the training been documented?
  3. Do you have a three year re-evaluation program?
  4. Can each driver identify the class (1 - 7) of equipment they operate?
  5. Is the proper operator’s manual attached to each of your units?
  6. Do you provide a pre-shift inspection form (check-list) for each type of unit operated?
  7. Could you produce the pre-shift inspection form and maintenance records for each unit in your fleet for the past six months or more?
  8. Is the capacity plate for each unit visible, legible and accurate for the type of attachment(s) and forks?
  9. Are your units currently equipped with the appropriate seat belts and / or fall protection?
  10. Does each unit have the required (legible) warning and informational decals?


If you answered “No” to any of these questions, your company and your employees are at risk. To schedule a Basic Operator Training or Train the Trainer session, please call 800-333-6576 or 316-945-0101. Or send email to Ed at: