Forklift tests are part of the standard OSHA-approved forklift training programs and determine whether the student or trainee has the skills and knowledge to operate a forklift safely in different types of work environments. A forklift test or forklift safety training exam usually consists of a set of multiple choice questions and/or short answer questions. Some forklift tests also require students to explain the components of an inspection checklist or safety checklist, or to name various parts of a forklift.

Taking the Forklift Test

OSHA forklift tests are not required by an employer but most employers do perform a safety and performance evaluation at least once every three years. Employees must be able to demonstrate that they can operate a forklift safely on different types of terrain, and that they understand how to handle emergency situations and hazardous materials. Many employers that offer onsite forklift training programs require trainees to complete a series of forklift tests. These typically include both hands-on and standard tests, and ensure that the trainee can operate the forklift with OSHA and company standards.

Those who are completing their entire OSHA-approved forklift certification training online may be required to complete both an online test and a hands-on test at an approved facility. After completing the online training and tests, the trainee will need to be certified by their employer or future employer by completing the employer-designed forklift operating test. Once this portion of the test is completed, the individual can apply for certification.

Types of Forklift Testing

Some employers and training centers require students to complete a test based on the type of forklift they will be using. The different types of forklifts include: high lift trucks, low lift trucks, low lift platform trucks, motorized hand trucks, rider trucks, cantilevered trucks, counter-balanced trucks, order picker rider trucks, narrow aisle rider trucks, straddle trucks and single side loader rider trucks. Forklift tests for a particular type of vehicle evaluate the trainee on the following:

  • Operational Procedures
  • Maintenance Checks
  • Components and Parts of the Forklift
  • Emergency Controls
  • Inspection Safety Checklists

Forklift testing is typically offered by an employer, as well as by trucking schools, vocational schools that offer construction courses, equipment rental facilities, forklift dealers and some forklift manufacturers.

Components of the Forklift Test

Preparation for a forklift test typically includes hands-on training, reviewing books and other materials, attending a workshop or lectures, watching forklift training videos and completing online simulations.

Most forklift tests consist of:

  • Multiple choice questions
  • Labeling diagrams and photos
  • Short answer questions
  • Short essay questions
  • Simulation
  • Hands-on component
  • Safety checklists

Trainees preparing for the forklift training test and exams may be able to take online quizzes and sample tests over the web, but will still need to obtain an official evaluation that states the trainee is qualified to operate a powered industrial fork lift operator at a particular location. An official evaluator designation letter also indicates that the trainee has demonstrated the correct, OSHA-designated use of forklift controls, operating procedures, general truck operation protocol and can follow the guidelines set forth in the inspection and safety checklist.

Since these requirements vary by employer or work site, the forklift operator may need to complete another round of testing and get a new evaluator designation letter when they change employers or are required to work on a different work site.