Which type of forklift license should I get?

06 Jan 2020

Forklift key in ignition

Need to get a forklift license but not sure which one is best for you? Whether looking to improve your employment opportunities, find work in warehouse operations or if you need to operate a forklift as part of your current job, you will require a forklift certification.

Types of Forklift Licenses

In Australia, there are two different types of forklift licenses, based on the class of the vehicle. These include:

  • LF License: Forklift Truck
  • LO License: Load-Shifting Order-Picker

LF Class License – Forklift Truck

With an LF License, you are authorised to operate any forklift, excluding those classified as LO. This includes the following types of forklifts:

  • Counter balanced forklift truck
  • Reach forklift truck
  • Side loading forklift truck
  • All-terrain forklift truck
  • Truck mounted forklift truck

These forklifts are commonly used in the delivery of palletised products. With this license, there is no restriction on the size of forklift you can use.

Forklift in warehouse

LO Class License – Order Picking Machine

The LO class forklifts are handled very differently to the LF class, hence the reason for two different licenses. With the LO licenses, you can operate the following forklifts:

  • Order picking forklift truck or “stock pickers”
  • Turret truck or “very narrow isle truck”

With an order picking forklift truck the operator’s control is part of the load carriage, meaning the operate lifts with it.

A turret truck is used to store and retrieve pallets in very narrow aisles, by rotating the forks sideways and not the entire truck.

The main difference between the two licenses is that with LO classed forklifts, the operator can be lifted up to 10m into the air with the load and is therefore required to wear a harness at all times. LO classed forklifts allow the operator to pick up stock from varying heights, which makes it great for use in warehouses where stock is on high racks.

These forklifts are great for moving many items at once or heavy items. So, if you are required to operate a Load Shifting Order Picker or a Narrow Aisle/Turret Truck, as part of your job, then you will need to get this type of license.

What do I need to get my forklift license?

To be eligible to get your forklift license in Australia, training centres will usually require the following:

  • Be 18 years of age or over
  • Have basic knowledge of the English Language (written and verbal skills) to understand the training course
  • Be a resident in Australia (or have a letter from your employee)
  • 100 points of identification (passport, driving license, etc.)

If you are planning on getting your forklift license to improve your employment opportunities, it may be worth getting both an LF and LO license. To begin with we would recommend starting out with your LF license as this allows you to drive the majority of forklift types. If you need more information about obtaining a forklift license, check out our post on forklift certification.

For all forklift hire, service and repairs in Perth, contact us at Simon’s Mechanical services!


5 Oxford Court
Maida Vale
Western Australia 6057


Mobile 0419 954 303
Fax +61 8 9454 2696

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