Telehandler Training Courses

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Telehandler Training

The telehandler training course contains theory lessons in a classroom and practical work using the telehandler truck. The classroom work consists of learning about Health and Safety legislation. Also, the theory of using a telehandler and the operator’s safety code. The practical work builds so that trainees gain knowledge and experience gradually. Adequate time to practice is important, before moving onto the next stage. This training culminates with 3 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


The Telehandler Forklift Truck

Its full name is the rough terrain telescopic handler but often shortened to telehandler. They are usually found in the construction and farming industries. Their name comes from the fact they have a telescopic arm known as a boom that can extend upwards and outwards. This boom is fitted with different attachments depending on the work it is being used for. Some of the more common attachments are a shovel, grab, pallet forks, towing hitch, and brush.

Telehandlers are extremely versatile due to the large off-road tyres and high ground clearance. Most also have 3 steering methods for use on and off the road.

These machines come in all shapes and sizes. The largest can reach out to around 20 metres and the most powerful can lift more than 6 tonnes.

Traditionally these huge machines run on diesel, fuelled by internal combustion engines. But recently manufacturers have begun making hybrid and electric versions too.


Telescopic Handler Course Specifications

telehandler training
Rough terrain telescopic handler

Rough Terrain Telescopic Handler


Up to 9 metre reach

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


On-site Telehandler Courses

All of our telehandler courses are carried out on our customer’s premises. This gives our students the advantage of being trained and tested on a machine that is known to them. And, after successful completion of forklift training, operators will know how to use these machines safely and efficiently.

Facilities Required

You will need sufficient space for candidates and an instructor to carry out theory lessons. For practical work you’ll need a telescopic handler truck. Also, you will need ample space to carry out training, assessments and testing.

All operators will need safety shoes/boots plus any other personal protective equipment as per the company’s internal risk assessments.

Forklift Certificates

After successful completion of our telehandler training operator's will receive:

  • A4 ITSSAR approved certificate of basic training
  • Plastic photo identification card

An operator will then have their details entered or edited on ITSSAR’s TOPS (Trained Operator Passport Scheme) database.

Telehandler Course Breakdown

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

  • Course induction
  • The need and reasons to 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; eye and high level on industrial racking*
  • Stacking/destacking at low; eye and high level bulk stacks*
  • Stacking/destacking at low; eye and high level 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

Levels of Training

Our instruction and examination comes in 4 basic levels. Getting the correct level isn't an exact science and so we like to discuss the experience of candidates individually to ensure there aren't any surprises.

Novice Course

This course is for operators who have little or no experience. The objective is to equip students with the confidence, knowledge and skills to safely and efficiently operate a telehandler truck in the workplace.

Experienced Course

For operators who are competent and experienced on a telehandler. But, either has not received any kind of approved training or doesn't have or able to prove previous telehandler certification.

Safety Refresher*

This is for drivers who have already undergone and passed a telehandler operators course. And, they can produce an accredited certificate. Appropriate where operators have not used trucks for some time or are occasional users. Also, if they have developed unsafe working practices, had an accident or near miss, or changed their working practices.


For training on a similar machine to one that an operator has already been successfully trained, tested and certified on. Any relevant certificate must from a recognised accrediting body.


* Certification must be provided before commencement of any training


At the end of each course we ask our trainees to complete a short feedback form. Amongst other questions, we ask them "what did you like the most about this training?" Here are a small sample of the replies:

Knowledgeable instructor, friendly guy.

KS, Fareham, Hampshire

Insightful and extremely informative with good use of desktop media.

FM, Liphook, Hampshire

Good training at a good relaxed pace.

JM, Chessington, Surrey

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.”