Forklift Theory Test

Forklift Theory Test Mock Questions

You have 45 minutes to answer 20 multiple choice forklift theory test questions. You need to answer at least 18 out of 20 questions correctly to pass. Answers may be reviewed after each question or at the end of the test. Good luck!

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Forklift Theory Test Answers

List of questions in above test (quick view). Click question box to reveal correct answer.
1. Which of the following is NOT something a forklift operator must do during pre-use inspection? Give ONE answer
A Carry out all checks required by the manufacturer
B Carry out any cosmetic repairs
C Immediately report any defects
D Make a record of the checks
Correct Answer: B Carry out any cosmetic repairs
Explanation: All required checks must be completed and recorded, and any defects reported.
2. Which of the following is NOT a duty all employees must take on under the Health and Safety at Work Act? Give ONE answer
A Abiding by and upholding all safety measures and precautions
B Co-operating with their employer
C Protecting themselves and others
D Reporting all serious incidents to the HSE
Correct Answer: D Reporting all serious incidents to the HSE
Explanation: Reporting serious incidents to the HSE is not the responsibility of all employees.
3. Which THREE of the following are checks that must be run on mast lift chains? Give THREE answers
A Are the chains damaged?
B Are the chains insured?
C Are the chains lubricated?
D Is the tension evenly distributed?
Correct Answer: A Are the chains damaged?, C Are the chains lubricated?, D Is the tension evenly distributed?
Explanation: You must ensure chains are not defective, and that they are well lubricated with the tension evenly distributed across them.
4. Why is soft ground hazardous for a loaded forklift? Give TWO answers
A The vehicle engine may get damaged
B The vehicle may sink
C The vehicle may stall
D The vehicle may tip
Correct Answer: B The vehicle may sink, D The vehicle may tip
Explanation: Soft ground can cause a loaded forklift to sink or tip over.
5. Which THREE of the following describe why working in confined spaces can be dangerous? Give THREE answers
A Fumes can build up
B People are working in close proximity
C Visibility can be poor
D Work will be slower
Correct Answer: A Fumes can build up, B People are working in close proximity, C Visibility can be poor
Explanation: Confined spaces can create dangerous conditions: fumes and gases can build up, people are at risk from work taking place closer to them, and visibility is often restricted. Slow work is not a hazard - it is more likely a sign that work is being done safely.
6. Your project site is on a hill, which you will be driving up and down in your forklift. What is generally the safest way of doing this? Give ONE answer
A Keep the heaviest part of the vehicle on the downhill side
B Keep the heaviest part of the vehicle on the uphill side
C Use ballast to ensure the vehicle is always heaviest at the back
D Use ballast to ensure the vehicle weight and load is evenly distributed
Correct Answer: B Keep the heaviest part of the vehicle on the uphill side
Explanation: As a general rule, it is safest to keep the heaviest part of the forklift on the uphill side to avoid it tipping over. You should, however, refer to the manufacturer recommendations where possible.
7. Why is it useful for a plant operator to gain a card or qualification? Give TWO answers
A It allows them access to better insurance
B It improves employment and promotion prospects
C It means they cannot be held legally liable in case of accident
D It serves as proof of their skills
Correct Answer: B It improves employment and promotion prospects, D It serves as proof of their skills
Explanation: Qualifications serve as proof of an operator's skills - this will help them gain employment, and move ahead in their career.
8. You will be driving a forklift onto a transporter so it can be moved between sites. This is a significant loading operation - who is responsible for it? Give ONE answer
A The banksman
B The driver of the transporter
C The vehicle marshal
D You, the forklift operator
Correct Answer: B The driver of the transporter
Explanation: The loading operation is the responsibility of the transporter driver.
9. What is a ROPS frame for? Give ONE answer
A It protects pedestrians if they are struck by the vehicle
B It protects the load if the forklift rolls over
C It protects the operator from falling materials
D It protects the operator if the forklift rolls over
Correct Answer: D It protects the operator if the forklift rolls over
Explanation: Roll Over Protective Structures protect the operator if the vehicle rolls over.
10. Why do forklifts have counterweights? Give ONE answer
A To ensure the fuel levels in the tank remain stable
B To ensure the vehicle does not cause damage to surrounding structures
C To ensure the vehicle does not overheat
D To ensure the vehicle remains stable whilst lifting loads
Correct Answer: D To ensure the vehicle remains stable whilst lifting loads
Explanation: Counterweights are used to help balance the vehicle whilst it is raising and lifting loads.
11. True or false: failure to comply with legislation or regulations may result in a prison sentence? Give ONE answer
Correct Answer: B TRUE
Explanation: Operators who do not comply with the law, or with regulations, may have prison sentences handed down by judicial bodies.
12. What is one drawback of a triplex mast relative to a duplex mast? Give ONE answer
A It decreases lift height
B It has a reduced load capacity
C It is less safe
D It reduces visibility
Correct Answer: D It reduces visibility
Explanation: A triplex mast will slightly reduce visibility for the operator.
13. Operators must ensure that their vehicle is not accessed without authorisation before they go on break. Which TWO of the following steps must they take to prevent this? Give TWO answers
A Ensure no unauthorised persons are on site
B Ensure they remain within sight of the vehicle during their break
C Isolate the vehicle
D Remove the keys
Correct Answer: C Isolate the vehicle, D Remove the keys
Explanation: Isolating the vehicle and removing the keys are two important steps to prevent unauthorised access.
14. Special safety measures must be taken if the forklift's counterweight gets closer than a specific distance to any structure. What is that distance? Give ONE answer
A 1000 mm
B 300 mm
C 600 mm
D 750 mm
Correct Answer: C 600 mm
Explanation: Special safety measures must be taken when this distance is less than 600 mm.
15. Where must you keep the Operator's Manual? Give ONE answer
A In an easily accessible place inside the vehicle
B In the site cabin
C It does not matter - you should never need to consult it
D On your person at all times
Correct Answer: A In an easily accessible place inside the vehicle
Explanation: You will often need to consult the manual - it should be kept somewhere readily accessible inside the vehicle.
16. In which THREE of the following ways can forklift operations be impacted by wet weather? Give THREE answers
A Air temperature cools
B Ground is softened
C Loads become heavier
D Traction is reduced
Correct Answer: B Ground is softened, C Loads become heavier, D Traction is reduced
Explanation: Wet weather may weigh down the load, soften the ground below the vehicle, and reduce vehicle traction - all of these will have operational implications.
17. Why does a lifting machine require examination, as well as daily checks? Give ONE answer
A The examination creates a written record to be used in case of prosecution
B The examination is only necessary where daily checks have shown faults
C The examination is used to test the knowledge of new operators
D The examination will catch defects not covered during daily checks
Correct Answer: D The examination will catch defects not covered during daily checks
Explanation: Examinations are more thorough than daily checks, and will pick up on any issues that daily checks may have overlooked.
18. You are moving loads onto the back of a flatbed transporter - where is the safest place to put the heavier loads? Give ONE answer
A Along the sides of the cargo space
B In the centre of the cargo space
C Over the front axle
D Over the rear axle
Correct Answer: D Over the rear axle
Explanation: It is best practice to place the heaviest loads over the rear axles of the vehicle.
19. You are about to begin lifting loads onto loading out racking. What must you know before you begin? Give ONE answer
A The length of the forklift
B The upper weight that the racking tower can safely hold
C What material the racking tower is made of
D Whether the load is correctly insured
Correct Answer: B The upper weight that the racking tower can safely hold
Explanation: You must know the total weight that can be safely stored on the racking tower before you begin loading it.
20. Why is it important to ensure the forks are equally distanced on the carriage before starting to lift a load? Give TWO answers
A To keep the centre of gravity high
B To keep the machine stable
C To lift the load higher
D To provide maximum load support
Correct Answer: B To keep the machine stable, D To provide maximum load support
Explanation: Equally distanced forks will lift loads more effectively, and help keep the vehicle stable.

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For so many would-be counterbalance forklift operators, the theory test is the part of forklift training which worries them most. With your essential forklift licence depending on passing the assessment, it’s quite right to be thinking ahead about what the counterbalance forklift theory test might entail.

We get so many queries about the theory assessment we decided to create this guide to explain all the details you need to know plus how to use free practice tests to help you ace the exam. Read on for essential answers to all your questions about the test, pass rate, test length and more.

What is the forklift theory test?

Though counterbalance forklifts are a common feature in businesses across the UK, if you think about the heavy loads they transport plus the two large prongs that front the vehicle, you quickly realise the possible dangers driving one could involve.

That’s why you need a licence to drive a forklift in the UK. To gain certification as a qualified forklift operator you’ll need to take the CPCS forklift training course (A16). The course covers all the theoretical and practical knowledge you’ll need to work as a forklift operator.

The mandatory practices you’ll learn during the course are etched in national legislation and industry regulations so you’ll be assessed before you can gain certification. The forklift assessment involves a theory test and a practical test.

Understandably, it’s the forklift theory test people feel somewhat anxious about. There’s no need to worry, the CPCS (Construction Plant Competence Scheme) organise the exam so it’s as accessible and straightforward as possible.

There are also practice tests you can use to revise beforehand. You’ll find an example a little further on in the text.

One thing you do need to do is to make sure you’ve passed the CITB Health, Safety and Environment test within the last two years otherwise you won’t be able to take the course. Take a CSCS mock test here.

Here’s what the counterbalance theory test involves:

What’s in the forklift theory test?

The theory test will examine your knowledge of the important regulations, procedures and standards learnt during the course. Both the theory and practical assessments take place on the last day of training so you’ll have plenty of time to absorb the information you’ve learnt and revise anything you’re unsure about.

Learning in each session of the training is rooted in compliance so these are really important facts you need to know.

How long is the forklift theory test?

The forklift theory test lasts for one hour.

How many questions are in the forklift theory test?

The forklift theory test involves 25 questions. 20 are multiple-choice, and the other 5 require a written answer in the form of a sentence.

The pass mark for the theory test is 80%.

You can re-take the theory assessment if you fail but our mock theory tests are here to help you pass first time. Here’s how they work:

What is a mock forklift theory test?

Our mock forklift tests enable you to get real-life experience of what the exam will be like. You’ll get your pass mark at the end of each test and have the chance to answer the same types of multiple-choice questions you’ll be asked in the real examination.

CPCS Forklift Training

If you’re planning to operate an industrial counterbalance forklift truck, you’ll need to take the CPCS Forklift Training Course (A16). The course is designed to ensure you have all the information and skills necessary to keep yourself and others safe whilst driving.

When you complete the course you’ll get the forklift licence you need to drive a counterbalance forklift in the UK.

There are two sets of courses, one for new drivers of counterbalance forklifts and the other for experienced drivers. Both are comprehensive training courses with tests which if passed will qualify you for the CPCS red card.

Here’s all you need to know about the counterbalance forklift training course and what it involves.

What is CPCS forklift training?

Designed to make lifting large pallets of goods easy, counterbalance forklifts are a common feature in lots of businesses. To drive one safely you’ll need to take forklift training because they’re in use in busy environments with lots of other people, valuable goods and large obstacles around.

From construction sites to warehouses and docks, forklifts play an important role in logistics. Without them, the physical tasks of stacking, lifting and transporting goods would take a lot longer. Logistics is a busy part of any business so it’s crucial you can operate your counterbalance forklift efficiently without causing harm or damage.

Counterbalance forklifts are defined by the counterweight at their rear. The counterweight is designed to offset the weight of the heavy load to be lifted.

With long forked arms to navigate and large loads to lift, it’s critical you know what you’re doing! With so many hazards involved, it’s no surprise you have to have a counterbalance forklift licence to legally drive a forklift. In fact, you’ll need to pass a theory and practical test at the end of the course to get your licence.

Here’s all you need to know about the forklift course, tests, cost and more.

Who is counterbalance forklift training for?

Forklift training is for anyone who wants to drive a counterbalance forklift in the UK. Forklift drivers are always in high demand so training is a great investment for future roles. In fact, if you’re a novice carrying out research before applying for a position as a forklift driver, look out for job adverts which offer forklift licence training as part of the role.

What does the counterbalance forklift training course involve?

Not only is forklift training mandatory, it’s also necessary if you change jobs (unless you to stay in the same company), have an accident or are observed to be driving dangerously. For that reason, there are two types of forklift training courses. One for new drivers (Foundation CPCS Forklift Course) and the other for experienced forklift drivers (Intermediate / Experienced  CPCS Forklift Course).

Both levels of courses include all you need to know to drive an industrial forklift safely. You’ll learn the theory that underpins industry requirements and have plenty of time to learn and practice driving a counterbalance forklift.

On the last day, you’ll take the mandatory forklift practical and theory tests. If you’re taking the course for experienced drivers, you’ll only have a theory test.

CPCS cards

Once you pass your forklift tests you’ll get a certificate, CPCS red card which shows you’re a trained industrial forklift operator and registration on the RTITB’S NPORS database. Two years later when your CPCS red card expires, if you’ve completed an NVQ Level 2 by the time of expiry, you should be able to apply for a CPCS blue card.

To ensure forklift operators remain at required national standards, once you get your blue CPCS card you will need to take a forklift refresher course every 3 years to renew your licence.

Essential requirement: It’s essential you’ve taken and passed the CSCS Health, Safety and Environment Test within the last two years to join the forklift course. This requirement refers to the obligatory online test which must be taken to get a CSCS card. If you haven’t taken one or your pass certificate is out of date, you’ll need to sit the CSCS test before you can take this course.

The CPCS forklift course programme

You’ll find the A16 forklift training course very practical and stimulating. You’ll uncover lots of important information about your role and statutory duties with ample time to master the key driving skills necessary to carry out your work as a forklift operator.

Over the duration of the course you’ll learn:

  • about the controls and parts of an industrial counterbalance forklift plus the meaning of commonly-used industry jargon relating to forklifts.
  • your legal, industry and company responsibilities as a forklift operator.
  • about important health and safety legislation which relates to forklifts.
  • to follow procedures as set out in the operator’s handbook, legislation, industry regulations, manufacturer’s requirements and other important documentation.
  • to explain why certain documents are important for forklift operators.
  • how to maintain a safe working environment.
  • to carry out accurate checks before and after use following strict procedures.
  • the correct protocols for safe lifting and loading.
  • how to safely manoeuvre and travel in busy environments.
  • how to: lift and remove different types of loads, transfer and place loads in specific locations, extract loads from a vehicle, place loads into a vehicle and more.

What is the forklift training test?

Your forklift test will take place on the final day of the course and is comprised of:

  • a 1-hour verbal theory test delivered in the form of an oral question-and-answer session.
  • a 70-minute practical counterbalance forklift practical driving test. During the test, you’ll be asked to demonstrate driving skills learnt during the course such as lifting and transporting loads.

The pass rate for the CPCS forklift training tests are:

  • 74% for the practical test.
  • 90% for the theory test.

These are high pass rates but our free practice CPCS forklift tests are a popular way to revise beforehand.

How much does counterbalance forklift training cost?

For new counterbalance forklift drivers taking the 3-day test, which includes practical and theory training plus tests, the cost for the course will be around £850. For experienced forklift drivers attending the 2-day test, which includes theory training plus practical and theory tests, the cost will be around £700.

Don’t forget the CITB (Construction Industry Training Board) has grants available to help with training costs.

How long does CPCS forklift training last?

Understandably, the Foundation CPCS Forklift Course for new drivers lasts a little longer than the intermediate level for experienced ones. This is because the foundation grade includes the teaching of practical skills like manoeuvring with a load, which experienced drivers don’t need.

The Foundation CPCS Forklift Course lasts for 3 – 4 days whilst the Experienced Worker Forklift Course will be completed within 2 days.

Moving from a red CPCS card to a blue CPCS card

The expectation is that you will move from the CPCS red card (officially known as the CPCS Red Trained Operator Card) to the CPCS Blue Competent Operator Card after two years so you cannot renew the red CPCS card.

You can however extend your CPCS red card for a further 12 months if you are registered to take the relevant SVQ or NVQ training required for a blue CPCS card. Your existing CPCS Red Trained Operator Card must still be in date for you to be able to get a 12-month extension.

The extension covers you for the time it will take to complete the training so you will need to apply for a blue CPCS card at the end of the 12 months when you have your new NVQ or SVQ qualification.

There is one other option. If your red CPCS card has expired red card but you have a valid CITB health, safety and environment test you may be able to get a two-year extension.

To get the 24-month extension you will need to be registered for a relevant NVQ/ SVQ and have passed the CPCS practical test within six months of the CPCS theory test (and 2 years of the CITB health, safety and environment test). For further information about red card extensions call the CPCS (Construction Plant Competence Scheme) on: 0844 815 7274.