A forklift (also known locally as a “hyster”) is a powered industrial truck used in warehouses to lift and move materials over short distances. Start your own business teaching people how to use a forklift to improve their career prospects.

Getting started
Firstly you are going to have to learn to use a forklift properly or hire an instructor to teach students. You will then need a forklift (can be rented by the day) as well as space for training. Driving skills can be taught outside but for the lifting its best you get a “real” place to train inside a warehouse or at least a mock space with heavy pallets. If you renting a forklift by the day make sure you have enough students to cover the cost and make a profit. Depending on where you are you and the type of service you are offering you may need to get accredited. You can contact the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) regarding requirements. You can then approach various companies and other institutions to offer forklift training to their employees or members.

Getting students
The target market for forklift training is twofold: general workers wanting to increase their income level by becoming forklift drivers and unemployed people wanting to learn a skill to improve their chances of getting a job. There are also others such as truck drivers learning to use forklifts so they can offload their trucks if a forklift driver is not available.

Growing the business
This is an interesting business because you can grow an existing truck driving school to cover forklift training. But you can also grow a forklift business to offer bulldozer, bob cat, grader, excavator, rigging and crane training. So forklift training can fit in-between the truck and heavy machinery training which means return students as well as you are offering a career path they can grow into.

Image credit: osha.oregon


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