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D E & C L Bailey


Use of Fork Lift Trucks on the Public Highway - May 2002

Driver licensing

When a truck is driven on the public highway the minimum ages for the operator depend on the gross vehicle weight of the machine and are as follows:

  • Up to 3.5 tonnes - Age 17 years
  • Between 3.5 tonnes and 7.5 tonnes - Age 18 years
  • Over 7.5 tonnes - Age 21 years

When classed as a works truck a category B licence is required to drive the truck on the public highway. An HGV licence is not required regardless of capacity.

Provisional licence holders may drive trucks on the public highway but this is not recommended. Current legislation restricts this provision to trucks that are adapted to carry more than one person and the following applies:

  • A qualified driver must accompany the provisional licence holder
  • The provisional licence must cover the vehicle being driven
  • Learner plates must be displayed prominently on the front and the rear of the truck
  • The driver must be properly trained to operate a fork lift in accordance with current Health and Safety Legislation

Additional Requirements

When traveling unladen:

  • Forks should be removed, folded back or fitted with marker plates
  • Similar action should be taken with any attachments
  • Marker plates, if used, must be suitably illuminated between sunset and sunrise

When traveling laden:

  • No part of the load shall project more than 2 metres
  • Loads must be arranged to provide clear forward vision

Remember that it will be normally necessary to carry out a risk assessment as required under the PUWER 98 Regulations before using a truck on the public highway

Vehicle Licensing and Registrations
Licensing and Fees
Operators and Additional Requirements
Lighting Requirements