Construction sites can be busy places, with a variety of machinery and vehicles in operation. Two common types of equipment used on construction sites are forklifts and telehandlers. But can you drive a telehandler with a forklift licence?
Can You Drive a Telehandler With a Forklift Licence?
The short answer is – no.
Different licences are required to operate different machinery in Australia, including forklifts and telehandlers.
To operate a forklift, you need a High Risk Work Licence in class LF or LO. Telehandler licensing is more complex and varies depending on the capacity of the telehandler, the attachment being used, and the state or territory in which it is operated.
Where a telehandler is fitted with a boom or jib and a hook block, a high-risk work licence is required. If the telehandler is fitted with a staff box directly attached to the main boom and the staff box can be extended 11 metres further, an elevated work platform certificate is required.
If the telehandler is fitted with attachments such as buckets or forks, no licence is required per-se – but you do need to be trained in the safe operation of the telehandler to operate one and in most cases be employed in the field.
Let’s take a closer look at the licensing requirements for each piece of machinery and find out why a forklift licence isn’t transferable to operating a telehandler.
Operating a forklift in Australia requires a High Risk Work Licence, either in class LF or LO. The LF licence is for the offset forklift (the most commonly used forklift), while the LO licence is for the Order Picking forklift.
To obtain a High Risk Work Licence, you must complete training and a High Risk Work Assessment through a Registered Training Organization (RTO) and submit your successful High Risk Work License Assessment to the relevant workplace health and safety (WHS) regulator in your state or territory. Here in Perth, you would apply via Worksafe.
Equip-Safe’s forklift training course (TLILIC0003 Licence to operate a forklift truck) is the best way to get your High Risk Work Licence in class LF.
Telehandler licensing is a little more complicated, as it depends on the capacity of the telehandler being operated, the attachment being used, and the state in which the telehandler is being operated.
When Do You Need a High Risk Work Licence for a Telehandler?
A telehandler falls under the Mobile Crane category unless it has an EWP basket attachment with a width of more than 11m, in which case it is classified as a Boom type EWP and requires a High Risk Work WP licence to operate.
Dave to add additional content about specifics regarding high risk work licence for telehandlers (if applicable)