Counterbalance Forklift Training

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Counterbalance forklift training

Become fully licensed to operate

All our counterbalance forklift training courses contain theory lessons in a classroom and practical work using the counterbalance truck. These courses follow the Health and Safety Commission's approved code of practice and guidance. This means you, as an employer, meet your legal obligations to make sure all forklift drivers receive adequate training.

At South Coast Forklift Training, we understand that everyone prefers a different learning style. Therefore, our courses use a variety of techniques to suit all learners. We use forklift models, videos, PowerPoint, worksheets and handouts to keep everyone interested. Each lesson is then finished with some questions to ensure all information is understood.

The theory work builds gradually allowing time to absorb the information before moving to the next stage. Practical lessons are demonstrated, then trainees are given adequate time to practise under close supervision.

Each course culminates with three stages of testing:

  • A theory test – consisting of 25 questions
  • Pre-use inspection test
  • Practical skills test involving various manoeuvres completed in a safe manner
Licensed Counterbalance Forklift Training
Linde Counterbalance

The counterbalance forklift truck

The most common forklift truck in use today

A counterbalance forklift truck or counterbalance truck is what most people think of when talking about forklift trucks. Usually found in either a warehouse or construction environment, moving freight inside or out. They are by far the most common forklift truck in use in the world today.

A counterbalance truck has a compact design; the operator sits behind the forks inside a protective structure. This structure protects the user from falling objects and in the event of a tip-over. Steering comes from the rear wheels while the power comes from the front. Their lifting capacity is usually around 1.5 tonnes, but the larger machines can lift over 40 tonnes.

They are powered by electricity, with batteries, or an internal combustion engine fuelled by diesel or liquid petroleum gas (LPG). This power source is under the driver’s seat.


Counterbalance Forklift Course Specifications

counterbalance forklift training
Counterbalance Forklift

Counterbalance (Rider)


Lifting capacity up to 5 tonnes

Accrediting Body:
Independent Training Standards Scheme & Register (ITSSAR)

3 : 1 : 1 (3 operators, 1 instructor, 1 machine)

Novice - 1 operator = 3 days, 2 operators = 4 days, 3 operators = 5 days
Experienced - 1 operator = 2 days, 2 operators = 2 days, 3 operators = 3 days
Safety Refresher - 1 operator = 1 day, 2 operators = 1 day, 3 operators = 1 day
Conversion - contact us

Contact us


Counterbalance Forklift Course Breakdown

The following list is the elements that make up a novice counterbalance forklift course. For experienced operators, safety refresher and conversion courses the list would be shorter.

  • Course induction
  • The need and reasons for training and statutory requirements (HASAWA 1974 etc.)
  • Introduction to equipment/control familiarisation/principles of operation
  • Identification/use/adjustment of attachments in pre-determined positions including forks
  • Recommended mount and dismount
  • Introduction to motive, steering controls and practice
  • Basic steering exercises – simple courses
  • Advanced steering exercises – figure of 8/chicane/90° approaches
  • Battery charging procedures/maintenance
  • Operator safety code and relevant handout
  • Daily pre-use inspections/refuelling procedures
  • Engineering principles/rated capacity/stability
  • Simple hydraulics (theory)
  • Introduction to hydraulic controls, handling empty pallets low-level
  • Load types/handling and weight assessment
  • Stacking/de-stacking at low, medium and high levels on industrial racking*
  • Stacking/de-stacking at low, medium and high levels bulk stacks*
  • Stacking/de-stacking at low, medium and high levels cup post pallets*
  • Manoeuvring with loads/ramps and inclines/handling awkward loads*
  • Relevant safety film
  • Vehicle loading and unloading (theory)*
  • Vehicle loading and unloading (practical)*
  • Multi-choice theory test
  • Pre-use inspection test
  • Practical skills test

* To be covered where relevant to operation or facilities permit


From in-depth beginners to safety refresher courses

Counterbalance Forklift Refresher Training

Accredited counterbalance forklift training

All courses are ITSSAR accredited and therefore recognised throughtout your industry.

Novice Operator Forklift Training
Novice counterbalance training

For trainees with little or no previous experience operating a counterbalance forklift truck.

Experienced Operator Forklift Training
Experienced counterbalance training

Where candidates have relevant, recent experience but, have not received any kind of approved training.

Safety Refresher Forklift Training
Counterbalance refresher training

Periodic counterbalance forklift refresher training is for experienced operators who hold an accredited certificate.

Conversion Forklift Training
Counterbalance conversion training

Where operators already hold a forklift certificate on a similar machine and wish to qualify on a counterbalance forklift.

Delivering the best for your buisiness

Our courses are designed to achieve results

On-site counterbalance forklift courses

Every counterbalance forklift course we deliver is carried out on our customer’s premises. This gives trainees the advantage of being trained and tested on a machine that is already known to them. Therefore, eliminating the need for them to re-learn on another truck after initial training. On successful completion of this counterbalance course, operators will know how to use these machines safely and efficiently.

We are happy to offer bespoke training programmes to meet your individual business requirements. We will always work around your needs and environment, to cause minimal disruption.

On-Site Forklift Courses
Facilities Required

Facilities required

Firstly, and most importantly, to carry out your forklift training, we will need the use of your counterbalance forklift truck. Also, an area where we will not be disturbed with ample space to carry out basic manoeuvres and testing. Pallets and realistic loads appropriate to your business are useful - the instructor will bring a selection of traffic cones. For the theory lessons, we need sufficient space for the instructor and the trainees to work. A small office with a table, chairs and power will suffice.

All forklift operators are required to wear safety boots and any other personal protective equipment as per the company's internal risk assessments. We supply hi-visibility vests.

If unsure about any of the above, contact us to discuss.

Counterbalance forklift licence certificates

On completion of this counterbalance forklift training, drivers are fully licensed to operate this category of truck. The qualification is nationally recognised and accepted throughout the industry.

They will also receive the following:

  • An A4 ITSSAR approved counterbalance certificate of basic training*
  • A plastic photo identification card*
  • A written assessment of strengths and weaknesses*

Additionally, operators are entered or edited onto ITSSAR’s TOPS (Trained Operator Passport Scheme) database for future reference.

*There is no additional charge for these

Forklift Licence Certificate
Aftercare from the best in the business!

Five-star aftercare

Our service doesn't end with your training. At South Coast Forklift Training, we pride ourselves on our aftercare. It is what sets us apart from the competition and one of the many reasons our clients return to us. If you need us we are always here to answer any questions and offer advice.

In addition to this, after completing our training courses, clients receive:

  • Advance warning when refresher training is due
  • All relevant Health and Safety documentation
  • Refuelling/recharging poster
  • Seven-day pre-use inspection checklist
  • An authorisation to operate lift trucks form
  • Employer's training record form


Other Accredited Training Courses

Telehandler Training

No building site or farm is complete without a rough terrain, telescopic truck. With large tyres and high ground clearance, there aren't many locations they can't work in. Some come equipped with legs for increased stability.


Pallet Stacker Training

This pedestrian truck is ideal for handling Euro Pallets. They are very manoeuvrable so ideal for narrow aisles but with the added ability of being able to lift pallets into and out of racking systems. Some models can lift 1.6 tonnes to a height of 6+ metres.


Reach Truck Training

The reach fork truck is a common sight in most warehouses. They have great manoeuvrability and the ability to reach into warehouse racking. Usually chosen when height, rather than weight is the main purpose of use.


Professional Courses Our Customers Love

We look forward to working with you

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Professional Instruction

ITSSAR accredited courses

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Cost Effective

Premium service for less

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Fully Insured

Public liability & indemnity

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Easy Booking

Simple application process

No wonder our clients keep coming back

Feedback from our trainees

Black Quotation Marks

"The instructor was very thorough and extremely patient and persistent and encouraging."

DB, Emsworth, West Sussex

Black Quotation Marks

"Adaptable to the individual being able to gauge how well I understood the topics and arrange the course to suit."

OD, Portsmouth, Hampshire

Black Quotation Marks

"Very thorough explanations of all aspects of the course. Explained all information very well."

MS, Southampton, Hampshire

The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974

“It shall be the duty of every employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all his employees.”