Forklift Engineer Trailblazer standard

With the support of BITA, the FLTA recently hosted the latest meeting of a working group formed to deliver the Forklift Engineer Trailblazer standard.

The group – which is Co-Chaired by BITA, FLTA, Linde MH and Kevin Sowerby of Crown with strong support from the industry’s own training centre: F-TEC – is fully engaged with the IMI as the sector’s awarding body and is confident that this new standard will be accepted and operational in the near future.

Importantly, the standard is the result of industry-wide consultation and will deliver the scope, depth and quality of content that meets the true requirements of the fork lift truck industry.

Apprenticeship Standard for Lift Truck Engineering

Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship Standard

Occupational Profile:

The lift truck engineer will maintain, repair, and undertake diagnostics of a variety of lift trucks including; hand pallet trucks, electrical power pallet trucks, electric reach trucks, electric very narrow aisle & man-up warehouse lift trucks, electric, liquid petroleum gas (LPG) and diesel-powered counterbalance lift trucks and lifting platforms. There are also lift trucks specially designed to meet specific applications.

The lift truck engineer will work in a variety of different environments including warehouses, foundries, cold-stores, manufacturing plants as well as many others. Lift trucks are used in the movement and storage of all types of products in different sectors including food manufacturing, engineering, construction, and storage & logistics industries. To meet customer expectations, many companies that employ lift truck engineers require staff to work shifts, which can mean that their weekly hours involve working nights, weekends, and bank holidays.

The lift truck engineer will be responsible for:

  • Responding to customer requirements in a highly proactive industry, visiting clients on-site with a mobile workshop. Delivering a high level of customer care and communication skills and conduct themselves in a professional manner.
  • Being dynamic in their approach and adapt to a range of working situations which may include major overhaul and repair centres, customer sites or field service environments, working across a defined geographical area with attention time management.
  • Demonstrating a multitude of current skills and technical knowledge whilst following safe working practices and maintaining environmental compliance.
  • Maintenance and diagnostic capabilities in repairing or replacing faulty electrical / electronic, mechanical, and hydraulic parts.
  • Carrying out scheduled servicing/safety checks on all vehicle/unit applications
  • Carrying post inspections, test driving and making any final adjustments in accordance with BITA GN 28, identifying problems, or fine-tuning performance, using a laptop or hand-held diagnostic equipment.
  • Maintain, diagnose, and repair internal combustion engines, engine management systems and fuel systems to include liquid petroleum gas (LPG) and diesel fuel injection.
  • Maintain, repair, and diagnose drive trains, including, hydrostatic transmissions, power-shift, final drive units and AC/DC drive motors.
  • Maintain, adjust, and repair complex mast configurations including lift chains, forks arms and attachments in accordance with BITA GN 15.
  • Maintain, adjust, replace chassis auxiliary systems and rollover protective structures.

Core Knowledge

The lift truck engineer must know:

  • Company and customer polices, rules, and safe working procedures when working in different environments.
  • Tools and equipment required for each application within the lift truck profession.
  • Fabrication techniques: Soldering / electric & gas welding, electrical, mechanical hydraulic connections & fixings. Identify metal composition, filing, hacksawing, drilling, thread tapping, grinding, and crack detection.
  • The safety aspects of mechanical, electric, and pneumatic tools, lubricants, and specialist equipment.
  • The maintenance, testing and manoeuvring purposes of lift trucks for operational purposes
  • Advanced technical and engineering disciplines in electrical, electronic, mechanical, and hydraulic components along with operation, repair, and diagnostics procedures on all types of complex lift trucks
  • Manufacturers’ specifications and customers’ requirements and process to access, interpret and apply information gained from.
  • Methodical and systematic techniques during logic fault-finding diagnosis and the verification of functionality and performances of complex lift trucks.
  • Lift truck on-board diagnostics and truck communication systems as well as set up lift truck characteristics to meet customer specific requirements.

Core Skills

The lift truck engineer must be able to:

  • Carry out safe jacking and blocking procedures; correctly selecting and using lifting and blocking equipment (toe / hydraulic jacks & blocks).
  • Use correct lifting equipment when removing heavy lift truck components (chains, slings, shackles) and follow working at height procedures in compliance with appropriate health & safety legislation.
  • Interpret lift truck electrical, mechanical, and hydraulic schematic diagrams, flow charts and manufacturers’ technical data to verify correct systems functionality.
  • Perform detailed preventative maintenance activities on complex trucks in compliance with manufactures’ specifications.
  • Check, diagnose and repair electrical/electronic, mechanical, and hydraulic systems, including: 24/48/80-volt lead acid and lithium-ion batteries.
  • Diagnose and rectify vehicle charging systems, fuel cells and electrical / electronic wiring / safety circuits
  • Diagnose and rectify motor control circuits to include: thyristor control (SCR); transistor and separately excited motor control (SEM) systems; AC motor and inverter control
  • Test and interpret Control Area Network (CAN Bus) diagnosis.
  • Check, diagnose and repair electrical braking and steering systems, including brake re-generation systems.
  • Install and calibrate automated wire guide and in-aisle warehouse lift trucks and navigation systems.
  • Maintain, install & repair lift truck telematics/robotic systems.
  • Check, repair and diagnose hydraulics components using pressure gauges, flow meters and on-board computer / laptop programmes.
  • Diagnose and repair hydraulic/electrical proportional control valves and perform breakout calibration of individual valves.
  • Calibrate electronic controllers and recognise the importance of safety devices and systems.
  • Make the required parameter adjustments in compliance with manufactures’ specifications, customer requirements, industry directives and relevant health & safety legislation.


The lift truck engineer must be able to demonstrate the following behaviours:

  • Safety Culture Conscious: Lift truck activities have many hazards. It is imperative, therefore, to adhere to a disciplined approach in maintaining a safe environment.
  • Work Ethic: Positive work principles: reliable, flexible, diligent, and trustworthy.
  • Commitment: Committed to health & safety, complying with employer and industry standards.
  • Willingness to learn: Actively involved in undertaking continuous professional development (CPD).
  • Motivation: Thrives on challenges, uses own initiative, sets targets, and achieves goals.
  • Adaptability: Positive to changing situations, technologies and working environments.
  • Personal Responsibility: Driven to succeed: motivated to complete a task and likely to succeed.
  • Is Quality Focused: Complies with policies, procedures, rules, and regulation; follows approved engineering principles.
  • Adheres to Codes of Conduct: Company ambassador: polite; wears corporate work clothing; good personal hygiene; maintains company property; keeps vehicle clean; leads by example, demonstrates “can do!” attitude.

Entry Requirements

Employers will set their own entry requirements


Apprentices without level 2 English and Maths will need to achieve this level prior to taking end-point assessment. For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement the apprenticeships English and Maths minimum requirement is Entry Level 3 and British Sign Language qualification are an alternative to English qualifications for whom this is their primary language.


Typically, 36 to 42 months. Timescales may vary depending on any relevant prior experience or qualifications

Professional registration

Achievement of the standard is designed to be recognised by relevant Professional Engineering Institutions such as the Institute of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE). the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) at the appropriate level of professional registration
(Eng.Tech.) and the Institute of the Motor Industry, at the appropriate level of professional registration


This is a Level 3 standard

Review date

This apprenticeship standard will be reviewed after 3 years of approval.