Certified Forklift Technician

The purpose of the Certified Forklift Technician (CFT) program is to certify and recognize individuals who demonstrate core competencies involved in repair and maintenance of forklift vehicles. The CFT credential will give technical and community college students the tools to enter career pathways within the material handling industry.

The purpose of the Certified Forklift Technician (CFT) program is to certify and recognize individuals who demonstrate core competencies involved in the maintenance, service, and repair of forklift vehicles. The CFT credential will give technical and community college students the tools to enter career pathways within the material handling industry.

The CFT program was created in partnership with the Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association (MHEDA) to provide skills to entry level forklift technicians, enhancing their performance in the world of material handling. The CFT prepares individuals to repair and maintain technical systems utilizing key engineering principles that underpin most forklift vehicles.

CFT Key Activities

The Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC) credentialing system leading to a CFT covers core competency areas, as defined by MSSC’s industry-led, nationally validated skills standards for higher skilled, front-line material handling workers working to maintain, repair and service forklifts. Individuals are assessed on twenty key activities which encompass those skills desired in the forklift industry. The MSSC training and assessment addresses the need for employability and academic skills as well as technical skills. MSSC strongly recommends that individuals be at the 8th grade level of math and 9th grade level of English before attempting MSSC courses and assessments. The critical work functions and their related key activities are described below: 

  • Operator Orientation

  • Lift Truck Fundamentals

  • Basic Safety

  • Basic Engines

  • Basic Hydraulics

  • Brake Systems

  • Basic Laws of Electricity

  • Batteries

  • Masts

  • Basic Attachments for Lift Trucks

  • Components and Symbols

  • Cooling Systems

  • Front Driver Axle & Differential

  • Gasoline & LPG Fuel Systems

  • Use Meters for Testing Electrical Circuits and Components

  • IC Electrical Systems

  • Oil Cooled Wet Disc Brakes of Electrical and Mechanical Braking Systems

  • Steering Systems

  • Transmissions

  • Diesel Operations

Assessment

Pre-Qualification Online Assessment

Individuals demonstrate their understanding of the core skills and knowledge through one assessment based upon MSSC’s industry-defined, nationally validated skill standards. Delivered online, this Pre-Qualification assessment contains 92 multiple-choice questions. Once the candidate has passed they earn a CFT Pre-Qualification Award and can then move on to the hands-on assessment to earn the Full CFT certification.

MSSC strongly recommends that individuals be at an 8th-grade math and 10th-grade reading level.

Hands-On Assessment

This performance-based hands-on assessment will be given at an authorized Forklift Dealership. Candidates will be required to demonstrate their understanding of the 20 key activities listed on the CFT Standards. To be connected to your local Forklift Dealership, please contact our offices.

Training

MSSC has partnered with the Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association (MHEDA) and Amatrol, an independent training provider, to develop online interactive learning units for the CFT training program. Schools may choose to combine CFT with the Certified Logistics Technician certification program as part of a larger program of study. Since the demand for higher skilled technicians permeates the entire TDL industry, schools may also wish to offer CFT as part of a suite of “stackable” industry certifications within the framework of an innovative “supply chain logistics” or industrial maintenance curriculum.

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