Industrial Truck & Tractor Operators
Also called: Fork Truck Driver, Forklift Driver, Forklift Operator, Truck Driver
Produced by CareerOneStop
Video transcript: skip transcript
Moving mountains may sound impossible, but material moving machine operators do it all the time, one load of earth at a time. They use machinery to move heavy materials around building sites, warehouses, ships and mines. Material moving machine operators use a variety of equipment in different settings. Most of these operators drive forklifts moving materials around warehouses, storage yards, or worksites. They may operate conveyor belts to pick up merchandise, and move it to and from large warehouses, building sites and vehicles. Many operators work for underground and surface mining companies digging mines to extract coal, ore and other materials. They load material onto shuttles or conveyors running from a mine to the surface. Some operate platforms and cages that raise workers and materials up to elevated construction sites or lower them down into mines and quarries. In construction, these machine operators clear space for buildings with excavators, and operate cranes to load and unload building materials. Cranes are also used at ports to move cargo, and at iron and steel mills. Dredge operators shift large quantities of sand and gravel from the bottom of rivers, lakes and other waterways so that ships and boats can move freely. Safe equipment operation is a top priority in this field; injury and illness rates are higher than most occupations. Workers wear gloves, hardhats, or respirators as needed. Most material moving machine operators work full time— sometimes with overnight shifts— and overtime is common. Although there are typically no formal education requirements, a high school education may be preferred for some positions, and is often required for crane operators, excavating machine operators, and dredge operators. Some states and cities require licensure for crane operators.
What they do:Operate industrial trucks or tractors equipped to move materials around a warehouse, storage yard, factory, construction site, or similar location.
On the job, you would:
- Move levers or controls that operate lifting devices, such as forklifts, lift beams with swivel-hooks, hoists, or elevating platforms, to load, unload, transport, or stack material.
- Inspect product load for accuracy and safely move it around the warehouse or facility to ensure timely and complete delivery.
- Manually or mechanically load or unload materials from pallets, skids, platforms, cars, lifting devices, or other transport vehicles.
Safety and Government
- public safety and security
Arts and Humanities
- English language
- customer service
Manufactured or Agricultural Goods
- manufacture and distribution of products
- keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements
- noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
- quickly change the controls of a machine, car, truck or boat
- use your arms and/or legs together while sitting, standing, or lying down
Hand and Finger Use
- hold or move items with your hands
- keep your arm or hand steady
People interested in this work like activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions.
They do well at jobs that need:
- Attention to Detail
- Self Control
- Concern for Others
You might use software like this on the job:
Inventory management software
- Argos Software ABECAS Insight WMS
- BarControl Enterprise Manager iBEM
Materials requirements planning logistics and supply chain software
- SSA Global Supply Chain Management
- Symphony GOLD
New job opportunities are likely in the future.
- Heat Treating Equipment Setters, Operators, & Tenders, Metal & Plastic
- Logging Equipment Operators
- Mine Cutting & Channeling Machine Operators
- Rolling Machine Setters, Operators, & Tenders, Metal & Plastic
- Textile Cutting Machine Setters, Operators, & Tenders
You might like a career in one of these industries: