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Why Some Online Forklift Training Programs Are Insufficient

forklift training vancouver

In the world of material handling and warehouse management, forklifts play a crucial role in the efficient movement of goods and materials. Operating a forklift, however, is not as straightforward as it may seem. It requires specific skills, knowledge, and safety awareness to prevent accidents and injuries. To equip operators with these essential skills, many companies and individuals turn to online forklift training programs. While online training can offer several benefits, it’s important to acknowledge that not all programs are created equal. In this post, we will explore why some online forklift training programs fall short of adequately preparing end users.

  1. Lack of Hands-On Experience

One of the most significant limitations of online forklift training programs is the absence of hands-on experience. Operating a forklift safely and efficiently requires practical skills that can only be acquired through real-life experience. Online programs typically lack the opportunity for trainees to actually operate a forklift, meaning they miss out on the hands-on experience crucial for building confidence and competence.

  1. Inadequate Safety Emphasis

Safety is paramount when it comes to forklift operation. In-person forklift training programs often place a strong emphasis on safety practices, with instructors able to correct and guide trainees in real time. Online programs may include safety modules, but they can’t replicate the same level of hands-on safety instruction and reinforcement. Safety protocols are essential to prevent accidents and injuries in the workplace, and a lack of in-person guidance can be a critical shortcoming.

  1. Limited Interaction and Feedback

Online forklift training programs often lack the interactive component that in-person training provides. In a classroom setting, instructors can answer questions, engage in discussions, and provide immediate feedback. This personalized interaction is invaluable for helping trainees grasp complex concepts and address their specific concerns. Online programs may offer some degree of interaction through forums or chat, but it’s typically not as effective as in-person engagement.

  1. Variable Quality of Content

The quality of online forklift training programs can vary greatly. Some programs are comprehensive, well structured to CSA standards and are up-to-date on the standards also set by The Workers Compensation Act and Occupational Health And Safety Regulation, while others may provide outdated or incomplete information. It can be challenging for end users to discern the quality of a program before enrolling, potentially resulting in subpar training that fails to adequately prepare them for real-world forklift operation.

  1. Accountability Issues

Online training often lacks the accountability factor that in-person training enforces. In a classroom, instructors can assess trainees’ progress and ensure they are meeting the required standards. Online programs may have assessments and quizzes, but there’s a risk that some trainees may take shortcuts or skip important content without accountability, which can lead to incomplete or insufficient training.

  1. Lack of Adaptability

Every trainee is unique, and their learning needs can vary. In-person training allows instructors to adapt their teaching methods to cater to individual learning styles and needs. Online programs often have a one-size-fits-all approach, which may not suit all trainees. This lack of adaptability can result in some users feeling left behind or unprepared.

     7. Incomplete Training

Online forklift training only focuses on theoretical knowledge, regulations, and safety guidelines. While this information is required and essential, it doesn’t provide trainees with the practical hands on portion of the forklift training that is required by regulations for complete training. Real-world experience is necessary to develop the muscle memory, spatial awareness, and coordination needed to operate a forklift effectively.


While online forklift training programs offer convenience and flexibility, they are not always sufficient for the end user. The limitations include the absence of hands-on experience, inadequate safety emphasis, limited interaction and feedback, variable content quality, accountability issues, and a lack of adaptability. For those seeking to become competent and safe forklift operators, a comprehensive approach that includes in-person training and hands-on experience is required and necessary. Ultimately, the best training programs are those that prioritize safety, quality, and the needs of the end user, ensuring they are adequately prepared for the responsibilities that come with operating a forklift in a warehouse or industrial setting.

 I thought it was important to write this post as we have a lot of inquiries with individuals looking to complete the practical portion of there training with us after they have done the online portion of the forklift training. More often then not the individuals inquiring where totally unaware that the online forklift training they have done is incomplete training. They also run the risk of having the online training rejected unless it has been done by a reputable training program. I myself had to do the rejection as i know the training they have received is insufficient. I don’t like doing this but it is necessary for there own safety. For example and i wont use the particular companies name but i had an individual tell me he did online training for class 1-7 forklifts and they wanted to come in to do the practical portion for all those machines to complete the training. I asked the individual how long the online theory portion was and what it covered, as that is a lot to cover with so many class’s of forklifts. They stated it was 9 topics and took them an hour to complete. Any reputable trainer will tell you that an hour to complete training for class 1 through 7 forklifts is absurd and dangerous to the end user. If your going to do the online portion of forklift training, do your research and choose a reputable training program that ensures  you receive the knowledge and skills necessary to operate forklifts safely and effectively.

Training with Robs Forklift Training

Robs forklift training services are available for both offsite forklift training at our training facility in Maple Ridge and onsite forklift training for your employees at your place of business anywhere in Vancouver and all of British Columbia. We also offer onsite Aerial Lift (MEWP) Training and Fall Protection Training. Contact Robs Forklift Training to inquire.

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