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How long does a telehandler course take?

The duration of a telehandler course can vary, but it generally ranges from one to three days, depending on the level of experience and the complexity of the operations to be undertaken. Whether you’re a construction professional or someone interested in operating heavy machinery, understanding the time commitment for a telehandler course is essential for planning your career or project timelines.

Do you need training to operate a telehandler?

Operating a telehandler is not as straightforward as it may appear. Due to the risks involved and the specific skill set required, it’s imperative to undergo formal training. In the UK, it’s a legal requirement to be certified to operate heavy machinery like a telehandler. Employers are responsible for ensuring that their staff have adequate training and hold the appropriate certificates.

What Does the Training Cover?

  • Basic telehandler operations
  • Load lifting and placement
  • Worksite safety protocols
  • Emergency procedures

Types of Certificates

In the UK, the two main bodies that provide telehandler training and certification are:

  1. CPCS (Construction Plant Competence Scheme)
  2. NPORS (National Plant Operators Registration Scheme)

Certificate Validity

Once obtained, a telehandler operating certificate is generally valid for 5 years. After this period, a refresher course is required to renew the certificate.

“Proper training is not just a legal necessity; it’s a crucial step in ensuring the safety and efficiency of your worksite.”

Is it hard to drive a telehandler?

Driving a telehandler can be challenging, especially for beginners. The machine’s size, along with its versatile yet complex set of controls, can make it somewhat intimidating. However, with adequate training and practice, operating a telehandler can become second nature.

Key Challenges

  • Understanding load limits
  • Maneuvering in tight spaces
  • Operating on uneven terrain
  • Adhering to safety guidelines

Is Previous Experience Necessary?

While having prior experience with heavy machinery can be advantageous, it is not a prerequisite. Training courses are designed to accommodate both novices and experienced operators.

How Long Does the Course Actually Take?

The duration of a telehandler training course can vary based on several factors:

Factors Affecting Course Duration

FactorImpact on Duration
Experience level of the traineeLess experienced operators may require more time.
Course formatBlended learning options may shorten physical attendance time.
Type of telehandlerSpecialised or advanced machines may require longer training.

Average Course Duration

For novices, a comprehensive training course usually takes about three days. For experienced operators, a one-day refresher course is often sufficient. It’s crucial to consult with training providers to get an accurate estimate tailored to your needs.


Telehandler training is a necessary and legally mandated step for anyone who wishes to operate this type of machinery in the UK. While driving a telehandler may present some challenges, they are surmountable with the right training. A typical training course can last from one to three days, depending on various factors including the trainee’s experience level and the complexity of the machine.

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