We at Wallace Forklift Training London are often asked what are the regulations regarding driving a forklift truck on public roads. There are a number of factors you need to consider before driving a forklift truck on a public road. These include:
- Distance Travelled by a Forklift Truck
- Forklift Truck Registration to Drive on Public Roads
- Forklift Truck Operator Age Criteria
- Forklift Truck Lighting Requirements
Distance Travelled by a Forklift Truck
There are different regulations depending on how far the forklift truck travels on a public road. Regulations for forklift trucks travelling less than 1000 yards (914 m) in one go are less onerous as there is a special dispensation and they are classed as “work trucks”. Regulation 3(2) of the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986, defines a Works truck as:
“a motor vehicle designed for use in private premises and used on a road only in delivering goods from or to such premises to or from a vehicle on a road in the immediate neighbourhood, or in passing from one part of any such premises to another or to other private premises in the immediate neighbourhood or in connection with road works while at or in the immediate neighbourhood of the site of such works”.
There is no definition of “immediate neighbourhood”, but we would assume it to be less than 1000 yards (914 m) for forklift trucks.
Forklift Trucks travelling over a 1000 yards (914 m) in one go, or due to frequency of use on public roads, the special dispensations for “work trucks” do not apply and licencing reverts to standard practice. Forklift trucks weighing more than 3500 Kg including the load need to be licenced in the HGV (Heavy Goods Vehicle) class.
Forklift trucks travelling over 1000 yards ( 914 m) but weighing less than 3500 Kg are classed as Private/Light Goods Vehicle for licence purposes.
Forklift Truck Registration to Drive on Public Roads
A forklift truck must be registered with DVLA, have appropriate road tax and insurance to drive on a public road, even for short distances. It must also have the registration plates displayed on the forklift truck. These apply to all mechanically propelled vehicles on public roads as per the Vehicle Excise and Registration Act 1994. The forklift operator must also have a full UK driving licence and have passed forklift operator training course (commonly known as forklift truck licence).
Applications for registration and licencing of a forklift truck should be made to your nearest DVLA office with form V55/5. When requesting form V55/5 from your DVLA office, you should also ask for Booklet V355/5 (Guidance notes for the completion of form V55) and Booklet V355/1 (Notes for taxation classes).
Forklift Truck Operator Age Criteria
Depending on the weight of the forklift truck including the load, difference age criteria for the operator applies. The age limit for operators of forklift trucks up to 3500 Kg is 17 years, between 3500 and 7500 Kg is 18 years and over 7500 Kg is 21 years.
Forklift Truck Lighting Requirements
The forklift truck lighting requirements vary with maximum speed and are contained in Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations (RVLR). If used on public roads between sunrise and sunset and is not fitted with any front or rear position lamp then it is exempt from having to be fitted with any lamp or reflector.
The general lighting requirements depending on maximum speed are:
- At Any speed – Front position lamp, Rear position lamp and Rear retro-reflector
- Greater than 15 mph – Front position lamp, Rear position lamp, Rear retro-reflector, Dipped beam headlamp, Direction indicator, Hazard warning signal device
- Greater than 25 mph – Front position lamp, Rear position lamp, Rear retro-reflector, Dipped beam headlamp, Direction indicator, Hazard warning signal device, Rear fog lamp, Stop lamp
- Greater than 40 mph – Front position lamp, Rear position lamp, Rear retro-reflector, Dipped beam headlamp, Direction indicator, Hazard warning signal device, Rear fog lamp, Stop lamp, Dim-dip device or running lamp
Ruth Wallace of Wallace Forklift Training London says “It is important that you pay particular attention to the regulations governing the use of forklift truck on a public road. It is not straightforward, particulars if you are travelling over 1000 yards (914 m) and exceed the 3500 Kg limit. If necessary seek advice from the appropriate governing body”.
Wallace School of Transport including Forklift Training in London is a fully accredited RTITB company with over 60 years’ experience. You can be trained either at your own work site or at Wallace Centre in Park Royal. If you have any questions, call Wallace Forklift Training for free on 0800 612 8948, choose option 3 or click here to email us.