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The telescopic handler training course is aimed at providing operators with the theoretical knowledge and practical skills to safely operate Telescopic Handlers or Telehandlers on construction sites.

The telescopic handler forklifts are widely-used within the construction, agriculture and warehousing industry.

The primary use of telehandlers is for lifting pallet boards, and they can move heavy loads into high up areas that are tough to reach any other way.

There are two routes to gaining the necessary skills and qualifications for telehandler training:

NPORS and CPCS-accredited courses award Red Trained Operator cards on successful completion of courses which is valid for two years.

The Red Trained Operator Card confirms a level of core skills, understanding and knowledge that can be applied on the construction site.

Candidates who hold Red card will then need to achieve an NVQ in Plant Operations within these 2 years, in order to upgrade to a Blue Competent Operator card.

What is telehandler training?

Telehandler training ensures that operators of telescopic handlers are skilled in operating this equipment. The telescopic handler training course is for operators with little or no previous experience and experienced operators requiring a refresher training in using a telescopic handler forklift.

The key aspects of telescopic handler training are:

  • Understanding the equipment
  • Operating it safely
  • Complying with regulations

Understanding the equipment is a basic requirement and foundation for effective training. Although the telehandler is a popular and commonplace piece of equipment, it is also complex and dangerous.

Training therefore includes the fundamentals of the equipment, what the machine is capable of, and how it operates.

Operating the equipment safely establishes and reinforces the right safety mindset.

Telehandler hazards can occur when the vehicle is moving or lifting. It is important for the telescopic forklift operator to control these risks.

To control risks, the trainee must first understand them.

This means knowing what daily checks they must carry out before and after operations, and what inspections and servicing schedules apply to each vehicle as per the manufacturer’s instructions.

They must learn how to manoeuvre and operate the telescopic handler safely, at the correct speed, and recognise where there are issues to do with visibility and ground conditions.

Regulatory compliance means making sure that the trainee understands how to use the equipment in the workplace and what they must do to ensure they follow these regulations.

What does a telehandler course entails?

A telehandler course is a short training course that teaches attendees how to safely operate a telescopic handler.

The two main types of accredited telehandler training course are the NPORS telehandler training and the CPCS telehandler training.

The primary objective of a telehandler course is to train attendees in the rules, regulations, and best practices for safely operating a telescopic handler.

After completing one of these accredited telehandler courses, you will receive the certification you need to safely operate a telehandler on a construction site or other setting.

Key areas that telehandler courses cover include:

  • Health and safety regulations and procedures.
  • How to operate and configure a telescopic handler.
  • How to carry out important safety checks.
  • How to ensure load integrity and security.

Telehandler courses are made up of both theoretical and practical training. The course will teach attendees everything they need to know to operate the machinery safely and efficiently.

What does a telescopic handler do?

The telescopic handler is a vehicle that uses a telescopic frame to raise forks up and down.

This design ensures that the equipment minimises the use of space when not fully extended or operational. It also means that as a compact unit, the vehicle is easier to manoeuvre.

It has built-in weights to ensure that it will not tip over when extended and carrying a load. For this reason, telescopic handlers are also known as counterbalance forklifts.

The telescopic handler is multi-functional, with several key hydraulic functions:

  • Boom extend and retract
  • Boom lift up and down
  • Fork tilt up and down
  • Stabilisers up and down
  • Steering
  • Frame levelling

It is compact but can carry heavy loads. It has both standard and high-lift capabilities.

How to Become a Telescopic Handler Operator

Telescopic handlers, sometimes referred to as telehandler, are usually used in outdoor areas like construction sites where they are used to lift and move heavy loads.

According to the Health and Safety Executive website, telescopic handlers must be operated by trained operators.

This is because heavy machinery and equipment like telehandlers can be dangerous if they are not being operated by someone who has been trained in the associated health and safety risks and regulations.

To become a telehandler operator, you must have completed professional training and be in possession of certification from a recognised scheme to prove your competence in the role.

You can then be employed in a role where you work on-site as a telehandler operator or operate a telescopic handler as part of your role.

To become a telescopic handler operator, you should be able to demonstrate your level of competency. The way to do this is by taking an accredited telescopic handler training course.

Novices and experienced operators can benefit, because successful completion will give them the essential certification to apply for this construction industry role.

The two main routes for doing this are taking either an NPORS-accredited or CPCS-accredited course.

In telehandler training the operator learns to:

  • Carry out pre-operational equipment checks
  • Prepare the vehicle for safe use on-site and on the road
  • Manoeuvre the vehicle in confined spaces, forward and reverse
  • Prepare and attach forks for lifting
  • Set the telescopic handler
  • Stack and de-stack palletised loads
  • Turn in forward and reverse directions, laden and unladen
  • Start the vehicle uphill and downhill
  • Place and retrieve loads at different heights
  • Carry out vehicle isolation procedures.

Telehandler Training: the NPORS Route

NPORS offers flexible training courses and provides the second most recognised plant qualification in the UK.

The N010 Rough Terrain Telescopic Handler novice course consists of a theory test, plus dedicated practical training and it is a 5-day course. People wishing to attend the course who have had experience may be eligible for a shorter course.

All candidates who wish to attend must first have passed the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) Construction Skills Health & Safety test within two years of attending this course.

Successful completion of the course means the attendee qualifies for a NPORS operator card.

Telehandler Training: the CPCS Route

CPCS-accredited training courses provide the UK’s most recognised plant operator qualifications. Unlike NPORS courses, CPCS courses are scheduled throughout the year.

All candidates who wish to attend must first have passed the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) Construction Skills Health & Safety test within two years of attending this course.

The CPCS A17c Telescopic Handler course covers telescopic handlers of all sizes, excluding 360 slew training and it is a 5-day course.

There are two days of dedicated practical training and a practical test. The course also includes a theory test, which has basic health and safety questions along with category-specific questions.

If the candidate completes all elements of the course successfully, their qualification is a CPCS Red Trained Operator card.

What qualifications do you need to drive a telehandler?

Employers have a duty of care to make sure that anyone driving heavy machinery or equipment has been trained to do so competently and safely to keep everyone on-site safe.

To drive a telescopic handler at work, you will need to have completed either of the following qualifications:

CPCS Telescopic Handler Training

NPORS Telescopic Handler Training

If you have not driven a telehandler before and you are completing the full novice training, then before taking the course you will also need to have passed the CITB Health and Safety Touch Screen Test.

If your role requires you to drive the telescopic handler on the road, you are required to have the relevant UK driving licence and company insurance.

How long is a telehandler course?

Telehandler courses are short training courses that can usually be completed in a week or less, depending on your existing level of knowledge and experience.

Those that have never driven a telescopic handler before are required to take the full course, which usually runs full time over 4 or 5 days.

If you have experience operating a telescopic handler and require a qualification to formally recognise your skills and competence, then you may be eligible for a shorter, experienced worker assessment which usually takes just one day to complete.

The length of the course may also differ depending on whether you choose to the take CPCS or NPORS accredited route.

How much are telehandler courses?

The cost of telehandler training courses varies depending on whether you are taking the full novice course, or a shorter, experienced operator course.

The prices of the CPCS and NPORS courses are also different. The CPCS telehandler training course is the most widely recognised telehandler qualification and not all employers will accept the NPORS qualification.

We always recommend checking with employers or potential employers which qualification they prefer before enrolling.

You may also be eligible for grants or funding from the CITB Levy to help with the cost of telehandler training.

To view the course details and book our upcoming course dates, please check out our training calendar.

Why You Should Attend a Telehandler Training Course?

Anyone wishing to work in construction and develop a career, must be able to demonstrate that they can work competently and safely on-site.

Employers must comply with regulations regarding safe site working, and to reduce liability, they look for construction operators who can demonstrate their skills with the necessary qualifications.

At SB Skills Solutions, we provide NPORS and CPCS telescopic handler training courses aimed at people who require a formal qualification for operating telescopic handlers.

Take a look at our CPCS & NPORS training calendar and book your telehandler training course today.

For more information about telescopic handler training, call us today on 01695 558420 or complete our online contact form, and we’ll be back in touch as soon as possible.