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Operate Counter-Balance Lift Truck F1-3


Unit Standard (SAQA Reg. No 242974)

A forklift (also called Lift Truck) is a powered industrial truck used to lift and move materials over short distances.

Every year many lift truck operators are killed, and many more injured in Lift Truck mishaps. The incidents include Lift Trucks turning over, and pedestrians being struck by Lift Trucks while on foot. With a large amount of Lift Trucks in operations currently, emphasis need to be placed on both operator and pedestrian safety.

Operators who are not adequately trained in forklift operations are at great risk of injury because of their lack of understanding in the principles of operations that allow a Lift Truck to lift and move heavy loads.

This course will assist the learner operator in becoming a fully qualified Lift Truck operator who has the knowledge, skills and experience to operate a Lift Truck in a safe and professional manner. This will allow certified operator by adding value to any organization.

Successful candidates credited with this unit standard are able to:

  • Apply the recognised methods for inspecting and recording the operational fitness of all components of the lift truck with reference to safety procedure in the workplace
  • Identify and classify freight/loads taking into account documentation, packaging and labelling associated with the specific freight
  • Handle, load and store freight in accordance with industry standards, environmental requirements, and with due consideration to inter alia the commodities and their properties, storage area and placement of load
  • Achieve maximum work performance of lifting equipment and attachments, by applying knowledge of equipment dimensions, controls, principles of operation and capacities, manufacturing specifications and circumstances in the working environment.
  • Operate equipment in accordance with laid down organisational and legislative standards and procedures as well as manufacturer’s guidelines
  • Access available emergency support systems and services in case of incidents and accidents


  • Novice: 5 Days
  • Refresher: 1 day



Quality Assured Partner: Transport Education And Training Authority



Lift Truck Operational Learning Outcomes

The person credited with this course is able to safely operate and use a specific code F1 to F3 lift truck(s). They will also be able to conduct pre and post inspections to ensure the performance of the lift truck. The person will be able to handle the loading and storage of freight by using the equipment and it’s accessories in the required manner. They will also be able to access emergency systems and services in the event of an incident and accident. The area of focus of this programme will be;

Legislative requirements

  • General Duties Of Employers To Their Employees
  • General Duties Of Employers And Self-Employees Persons To Persons Other Than Their Employees
  • Duties To Inform
  • General Duties Of Employees At Work
  • General Safety Regulations 2
  • General Safety Regulations 8
  • General Machinery Regulations
  • Driven Machinery Regulations 18
  • Construction Regulations
  • National Code Of Practice
  • Managerial Responsibilities

Purpose Of The Training

Lift Trucks Defined

Lifting Machine Definition

  • Lift Truck
  • Jib Crane
  • Lifting Tackle

Lift Truck Codes

  • Code F1 – Counterbalance Lift Truck
  • Code F2 – Counterbalance Lift Truck
  • Code F3 – Counterbalance Lift Truck
  • Code F4 – Counterbalance Lift Truck
  • Lift Truck Attachments

Principles Of Lift Truck Operation

Basic Principles Relating To Stability Of Lift Trucks

Lift Trucks And The See-Saw Principle

The Centre Of Gravity & Combined Centre Of Gravity

The Stability Triangle

  • Driving On Ramps And Inclines

Rear Wheel Steering

Centrifugal And Frictional Forces

Stability That Can Affects Lift Truck Operations

  • Lateral Stability
  • Longitudinal Stability
  • Dynamic Stability

Load Centering

Data & Capacity Plates

Load Charts

  • Load Capacity

Technical Information

Counterbalance Lift Truck Components

Types Of Lift Trucks

  • Petrol/Diesel Operated Lift Truck
  • Battery Operated Lift Truck
  • Liquid Propane (LP Gas) Operated Lift Truck

The Cabin

  • Operators Seat
  • Safety Belt
  • Instrument Panel
  • Switches Panel
  • Lift Truck Controls

Lift Truck Transmissions

  • Mechanical Transmission
  • Hydrostatic Transmission
  • Torque Converter
  • Benefits Of Torque Converter Transmission Systems

Lifting System

  • Mast
  • Chains
  • Fork Carriage
  • Lift Carriage
  • Lift Cylinder
  • Steering Cylinders
  • Bonnet
  • Fuel Filler Cap
  • Transmission
  • Free Lift
  • Tilting

Lift Truck Attachments

  • Attachment Effect On Lift Truck Capacity
  • Permanently Fitted Attachments
  • Removable Attachments
  • Lift Truck Attachments: General Safety
  • Preparation For Storage
  • Examples Of Lift Truck Attachments

Tyre Types

  • Solid Tyres
  • Pneumatic Tyres

Lift Truck Inspections

Daily Inspections For All Counter-Balanced Lift Trucks

  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Engine Oil Level
  • Cooling Liquid Level
  • Fan Belt
  • Fuel Level
  • Transmission Fluid Level
  • Tyres – Condition, Pressure And Torque
  • Brake System
  • Fuel System
  • Electrical System
  • The Mast, Chains & Forks/Attachments
  • Hydraulic System
  • General External Checks
  • The Cabin

Operator Pre-Start Checklist

  • Operator’s Daily Checklist: Diesel/Petrol Lift Truck
  • Operator’s Daily Checklist: LP Gas Lift Trucks
  • Operator’s Daily Checklist: Electric Lift Trucks

Lift Truck Operational Procedures

  • Operating Instructions
  • Starting The Lift Truck
  • Operating Procedure
  • Closing Down Procedure

Freight Handling

Warehouse Safety

Identifying And classifying Freight

  • Material Safety Data Sheets Documentation (MSDS)

Labelling Dangerous Goods & Substances

  • Toxic And/Or Corrosive (Combustible) Substances
  • Radioactive Material (Low To High Level Radiation
  • Flammable Liquids (Polar/Water-Miscible) Potential Hazards
  • Flammable Solids-Toxic And/Corrosive Potential Hazards
  • Substances-Spontaneously Combustible-Toxic (Air-Reactive) Potential Hazards
  • Substances-Water-Reactive (Emitting Flammable And Toxic Gasses
  • Oxidizers (Unstable) Potential Hazards
  • Organic Peroxides (Heat And Contamination Sensitive/Temperature Controlled Potential Hazards
  • Substances-Toxic (Non-Combustible) Potential Hazards
  • Infectious Substances Potential Hazards
  • Mixed Load/Unidentified Cargo Potential Hazards
  • Gases-Inert Potential Hazards
  • Gases-Flammable-Corrosive Potential Hazards
  • Gases-Oxidizing (Including Refrigerated Liquids) Potential Hazards

Freight Class

Labelling: Symbols

  • Safety Colours And Symbols
  • Typical Signs: Examples

Handling A Load

  • Stacking Of Articles

Pallets (Packaging)

  • Pallet Glossary
  • Pallet Stacking Pattern
  • Pallet Stacking Tips
  • Stacking Pallets
  • Types Of Pallet
  • Freight Wrapping

Handling Palletised Loads

  • Weight Of Load And Centre Of Gravity
  • Lifting A Load From The Ground
  • Picking Up A High Load On Tyres
  • Laying A High Load On Tyres
  • Picking Up A Non-Palletised Load
  • Lateral Horizontality Of The Lift Truck

Confined Gangway Stacking

  • Racking
  • Pallet Loading Sequence
  • Vehicle Loading And Unloading

General Lift Truck Safety

General Safety Regulations

The Main Causes Of Injuries In Warehousing

  • Major Injuries
  • Over 3-Day Absence

Safety Rules

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  • Hard hats
  • Safety Glasses
  • Gloves
  • Protective Footwear
  • General (PPE) Safety

Lift Truck Risks

  • The Carrier
  • The Forks
  • General Safety Factors

Care And Maintenance Of Your Fire Extinguishers

  • Fire Extinguisher Inspection
  • Fire Extinguisher Inspection
  • How A Fire Extinguisher Works
  • Types Of Fire Extinguishers
  • How Fire Works
  • Basic Fire-Fighting Tips
  • How To Fight A Fire Safely
  • Never Fight A Fire When
  • What To Do When Your Clothes Catch Fire

Standard hand signals

  • Definition
  • Requirements For Hand Signals

General Safety

  • Quick Turns
  • Dock Boards
  • Counterweight Value
  • Environment
  • Centre Your Loads
  • Loose Loads
  • Wide And Long Loads
  • Handling
  • Visibility
  • Driving The Lift Truck On Public Road
  • Driving The Lift Truck With A Front-Mounted Attachment
  • Operating The Lift Truck With A Trailer
  • Overhead Clearances
  • Chain Slack
  • Driving On Different Surfaces
  • Confined Spaces
  • Hazardous Areas
  • Other People
  • Safety Devices

Entry level requirements into this programme?

All new entrants intended under this code (Novice or Re-licensing) shall provide training institution with the required documents as specified under the National Code Of Practice (NCOP No 43835) Promulgated 23 October 2020

  • An employer declaration or medical certificate confirming the medical fitness of the learner to undergo the intended training
  • An eye test results issued by a person trained to carry out such tests
  • All new entrants intended under this code will be required to hold at least a Grade 9 (Std 7) school certificate
  • Learners shall provide training institution with a valid certified copy of his/her Identity Document
  • Employers must provide a valid copy of Lift Truck Load Test Certificate
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