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KEYLIFT FORKLIFT TRUCK TRAINING Professional Fork Lift Truck Training

Forklifts on public roads in the UK

As a forklift truck instructor, the one reoccurring question asked by employers is, “Can we operate forklifts on public roads?” There is not so much information on this subject and the little information there is, is very vague. 


forklift on public road
Forklift on public road

Facts to remember when operating forklifts on public roads

To operate the forklift truck on public roads, the operator should have a full category B car licence that will allow them to use a vehicle designed for the road. The operator also needs to have had forklift truck TRAINING provided by a competent person.

Another grey area is taxing, insurance, number plates etc. The machines truck MUST be taxed to operate forklifts on public roads. However, you could be exempt from this if the forklift is not travelling more than one mile (weekly) and is only used in the agriculture, horticulture or the forestry industry. A number plate must be displayed and the lift truck must be fitted with necessary lighting. When operating on public roads, a seat belt must be fitted and USED. The vehicle must also be appropriately insured and registered for the road.

As the majority of forklifts travel less than 25mph, a flashing amber beacon is required at the rear of the vehicle and lights must be visible from the rear by other road users. Regular vehicle maintenance and daily checks should be carried out to make sure the forklift truck is fit to drive. These should also be logged for your records.

There is a “1000 yard rule” that sometimes comes up in conversation but again is unclear. Basically if the forklift truck will travel more than one thousand yards or 0.568 miles, then it should comply with the Road Vehicles Construction and use Regulations.

The employers responsibility

1- Make sure your forklift truck is insured and taxed if required.

2- DVLA is notified the the forklift is being used on public roads.

3- Make sure the candidatures operating the forklift truck have catogary B car licence and have received adequate forklift truck training.

4- Appropriate PPE is provided for the employees.

5- The forklift has a flashing amber light on the top of the truck.

So above was your guide as a employee and employer to operating a forklift on public roads in the UK.

if you would like to discuss this more we’d love to hear from you contact our forklift training team.

Bye for now.

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