Author Archive F-TEC

Staff member explaining forklift safety to visitors

Alcohol Interlocks deliver reduced risk for material handling incidents and accidents

Alcohol has no place in the workplace especially if you are responsible for material handling equipment and vehicles. Forklift trucks are widely used throughout industry for moving materials and goods, but they also feature prominently in worksite accidents: every year there are about 8,000 lift truck accidents, some of which are fatal, according to an article entitled ‘Driving lift trucks’ which is available on the TUC  website (

A positive step towards safer operation of these vehicles is being tested and trialled for industry adoption at The Forklift Training Engineering Centre (F-TEC), which is based in Swindon (

F-TEC is a joint-venture of the forklift industry’s leading trade associations, BITA (British Industrial Truck Association), and the FLTA (Fork Lift Truck Association). The training centre was created to address the training needs of the forklift truck industry.

Karl Baum, managing director of F-TEC said, “F-TEC are trialling the use of a Lion DS-25RS, breath alcohol Interlock. This is a hugely important to F-TEC as we continue to develop and work in synergy with new and emerging technology applications such as these.” 

The Lion DS-25RS was designed, developed and manufactured by Lion Laboratories Ltd ( Lion are world-renowned experts in alcohol in breath analysis and are the pioneers and introducers of the world’s first electrochemical breathalyser.

The Lion DS-25RS breath alcohol Interlock is an ignition interlock device or breath alcohol ignition interlock device (IID or BAIID). It is a breathalyser for use on a wide range of vehicles. In order to use it, the driver has to blow into the mouthpiece fitted on the DS-25RS device before starting or continuing to operate the forklift truck. If the resultant breath-alcohol concentration analysed result is greater than the programmed blood alcohol concentration, then the device prevents the vehicle from being started, as it is directly connected to the forklift trucks ignition system.

The DS-25RS Interlock interrupts the signal from the ignition to the starter until a valid breath sample is provided so declaring the driver / operator fit to operate the forklift.

The trial is being managed by RpM-i who is an authorised distributor for Lion Laboratories for alcohol Interlock detection and safety systems who have a specific focus on the material handling industry. RpM-i is working with F-TEC and Lion in raising the awareness of alcohol in the workplace and improving the safety – duty of care – corporate responsibility and liability within the warehousing, logistics and material handling industry.

This is a positive step forward for safety in the warehousing and logistics workplace and it is likely that once adopted you will see many of these instruments fitted to aerial platforms (cherry pickers), off-road construction vehicles, cranes and many other vehicles that we encounter in the workplace.

It is anticipated that as a result of this initiative by F-TEC, a UK and Ireland network of installers will support the warehousing, logistics and material handling industry. These installers would be trained to the manufacturer’s standards either by F-TEC or the manufacturer.

Top UK training facility, F-TEC choose redheadPR to make an impact

Wiltshire-based redheadPR, the dynamic independent public relations consultancy, has confirmed a long-term campaign with Forklift Training Engineering Centre (F-TEC), the dedicated training facility. 

“We’re delighted to be working with F-TEC. They have a huge UK and European presence. They’ve worked with some of the leading manufacturers in the industry and over 40 independent companies.” said Sara Tye, founder and managing director of redheadPR.

F-TEC is the only training facility in the country that is accredited by both the British Industrial Truck Association and the Forklift Truck Association.

There is little question as to why the training company selected redheadPR as the agency to firmly establish their national presence.

F-TEC, based in Swindon, Wiltshire, offers an extensive range of forklift engineering programmes, including: apprenticeships, advanced level courses, thorough examination, diagnostics, safety and more.

“Working with redheadPR has already bolstered our profile. In the short time we’ve worked together, we’re planning our biggest ever presence at IMHX (the UK’s largest event for logistics and supply chain professionals) in September. We’ve also received a visit from a local MP, celebrated our third year in business, received credible coverage within the sector and increased our digital profile.” said Karl Baum, managing director, F-TEC.

“A continued PR campaign is integral to our marketing and sales process awareness, and profile raising for organisations like F-TEC. We have lots of exciting announcements on the horizon and look forward to working with Karl and his team.” said Sara.

Having celebrated 15 years in business, redheadPR also has client experience with many leading brands in the engineering and manufacturing sector including Jet Environmental, Keter, MediSieve and many other organisations.

redheadPR helps clients build a platform from which they can voice their expertise, engage in conversations and deepen relationships with existing and potential customers. Content strategy, publishing, application and social media integration lie at the core of its strategies.

Graham Hughes


Parts supplier TVH maintained its high visibility at IMHX with its busy hospitality area well supplied with Belgian beer.

On the serious side, TVH UK key accounts manager Graham Hughes said the company was highlighting its MyTotalSource webshop, an online tool to help find any of the company’s 40 million parts.

The company debuted its GemOne telematics offering which “keeps an eye on machine maintenance and usage”, while it also showed its battery reconditioning system. “There is still a lot of prejudice about battery regeneration, so we’re showing how we can give you another two or three years of battery life.”

A separate stand hosted a wide range of TVH’s CAM attachments line.

Hughes was particularly proud of TVH’s association with the F-TEC training initiative and the company supported the trainer’s stand by bringing a hydraulics training simulator to the show. “It allows people to build a hydraulic circuit to see how it works without actually having to take a fork truck to bits,” he explained.

TVH is well advanced in changes to deal with Brexit and its approach will be reported in a future newsletter.

The above article first appeared on the website.

Geoff Wall trainer F-Tec

Geoff Wall Trainer at F-TEC

Geoff Wall is the latest trainer recruited by the Forklift Training Engineering Centre (F-TEC), the dedicated training facility.

In his role, Geoff will be teaching the up-and-coming apprentices within the forklift industry, helping them gain the skills and knowledge to become fully qualified forklift engineers.

Geoff has over six years’ experience within the sector. He spent three years qualifying as an apprentice within the workshop, gaining his Level 2 and Level 3 in Forklift Truck Maintenance and Repair.

In his fourth year, Geoff progressed and qualified for his Level 4 Advanced Automotive Studies. He spent the last three years as a qualified engineer, working at Honda, gaining experience on customers sites.

“The reason I chose to change direction into teaching was the job satisfaction of being able to help somebody to do a skill on their own and watching them progress through that skill.” said Geoff

Geoff continues, “For the last four years, in my spare time, I’ve been an instructor for the Oxfordshire The Rifles Army cadet force (ACF). Before that, I spent six years as a cadet in the ACF. This is part of the reason that I love teaching as it’s been part of my life in one way or another for the last ten years. Working for F-TEC has allowed me to do the job I love.”

Karl Baum, managing director at F-TEC said, “We’re delighted to have Geoff join the team. His journey and experience are relatable to many of the apprentices that come through F-TEC and is sure to provide inspiration to them all.”

In his spare time, Geoff works with the charity Turner Syndrome Support Society (TSSS) where he assists with admin, IT and attends their annual conference. He also plays amateur golf and amateur rugby for Hungerford Rugby Club (HRFC).

Mature training at F-Tec

IMHX 2019 sees the launch of F-TEC Benchmark

The Forklift Training Engineering Centre (F-TEC), the dedicated training facility, is set to launch ‘F-TEC Benchmark’, the online assessment tool, at IMHX 2019.

Designed as a recruitment and benchmarking tool for the forklift truck (FLT) industry, the confidential online assessment tool is open to employers, engineers, manufacturers and technicians. 

Participants are required to answer randomly selected questions covering health and safety and technical topics.

Upon completion, the user will either achieve a Level 2 or Level 3 accreditation qualification or receive advice on what further training is required. Successful candidates will be invited to enrol on the nationally approved PRO-TEC Register. 

“This fantastic new service will provide employers with a recruitment tool to assess the recruit’s technical knowledge at the point of interview.” said Karl Baum, managing director of F-TEC.

“There is no better place to launch F-TEC Benchmark than at IMHX. The F-TEC team will be on hand to explain the features and benefits of the use of this new service.” said Karl.

IMHX is the UK’s largest logistics, supply chain and materials handling event. It takes place at the NEC Birmingham 24-27 September.

The event is free to attend. Those looking to attend can register here.

A joint venture of the forklift industry’s leading trade associations, BITA (British Industrial Truck Association), and the FLTA (Forklift Truck Association), F-TEC was created to address the training needs of the forklift truck industry. Working with some of the leading manufacturers in the industry and over 40 independent companies, F-TEC delivers training designed by the industry, for the industry.

For more information, visit

Follow them on TwitterLinkedIn and Facebook.

Karl Baum Managing Director

F-TEC to make an impact at IMHX 2019

The Forklift Training Engineering Centre (F-TEC), the dedicated training facility, will be exhibiting at IMHX between 24-27 September 2019. Not only that, but they will launch their new service, Pro-TEC.

Pro-TEC, the professional register of forklift truck (FLT) technicians, is the first of its kind and will be recognisable within the industry as a definable skills standard.

“We’re excited to be launching Pro-TEC. Pro-TEC has been created specifically for engineers and technicians working within the forklift truck industry. Pro-TEC will deliver a nationally approved set of standards for forklift technicians that provides consistency across the industry, allowing employers to recruit with confidence and optimise staff development.” said Karl Baum, managing director, F-TEC.

Karl Baum has also been invited to speak within the Skills Zone on Wednesday 25 September 2019, 10.45 am – 11:30 am. Here, he will present on how F-TEC is ‘Shaking Up the Forklift Sector’.

As well as the exciting new launch, F-TEC, its team and its apprentices will be on stand TL16 to talk about their services, training and courses, which includes:

  • Advanced Courses -Accredited courses at Level 4 or above, designed to expand engineer’s knowledge and increase diagnostic ability to maximise efficiency
  • Apprenticeship Training -F-TEC deliver high quality training programmes at level 2 & 3 to produce competent engineers. They pride themselves on a 94% pass rate. The industry standard is 67%
  • Bespoke Training – F-TEC create tailor made programmes to meet specific needs
  • Service Engineer Development – With over 20 short courses from Introduction to Electrics to Thorough Inspection, F-TEC provide courses to help engineers to upskill

“We’re looking forward to attending and exhibiting at IMHX. This show, which takes place every four years, is the largest in the industry and provides the perfect platform for us to demonstrate the offering of F-TEC and its services.” said Karl.

IMHX is the UK’s largest logistics, supply chain and materials handling event. It takes place at the NEC Birmingham 24-27 September.

The event is free to attend. Those looking to attend can register here.

A joint venture of the forklift industry’s leading trade associations, BITA (British Industrial Truck Association), and the FLTA (ForkLift Truck Association), F-TEC was created to address the training needs of the forklift truck industry. Working with some of the leading manufacturers in the industry and over 40 independent companies, F-TEC delivers training designed by the industry, for the industry.

For more information, visit

Follow them on TwitterLinkedIn and Facebook.

F-Tec celebrating three years in business

F-TEC Celebrates Three Years in Business

July 2019 sees the Forklift Training Engineering Centre (F-TEC), the dedicated training facility, celebrate its third year in business.

F-TEC, based in Swindon, Wiltshire, offers an extensive range of forklift engineering programmes, including; apprenticeships, advanced level courses, thorough examination, diagnostics, safety, and more.

Karl Baum, Managing Director of F-TEC said, “Since the business started three years ago, we’ve gone from strength to strength. F-TEC now boast a team of 14 who manage the apprentice and commercial training.”

Over the past three years F-TEC has trained in excess of 600 engineers, of all ages and abilities.

Justin Tomlinson MP, Minister of State at the Department for Work and Pensions, who recently visited F-TEC, said, “It’s fantastic to celebrate yet another growing and thriving business that has chosen Swindon as its base for its national programme. I’ve been particularly impressed with programme of works to train up the next generation of engineers in this vital industry.”

Working with some of the leading manufacturers in the industry and over 40 independent companies, F-TEC delivers training designed by the industry, for the industry.

Karl Baum continues, “We have a 15,000 sq ft centre which contains four fully equipped training rooms and two large diagnostic workshops, to enable our trainers to deliver fully integrated training to the Material Handling Industry.”

F-TEC deliver training to companies across the UK and Europe, from independent companies with one or two engineers to manufacturers with hundreds of engineers. They provide training to young apprentices aged 16 plus to engineers with decades of experience.

For more information on F-TEC, visit



New apprentice training on lift trucks

New apprenticeship standard agreed for lift truck and powered access technicians

In a major new development for the sector, a Level 3 Lift Truck and Powered Access Engineering Technician apprenticeship standard and end point assessment (EPA) have been approved by the Institute for Apprenticeships & Technical Education.

The 36-month course will be recognised by the Institute of Mechanical Engineers (I/MechE), the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) and the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI).

Originally part of the Government’s Trailblazer initiative, the new standard is the result of industry-wide consultation coordinated by F-TEC — the forklift industry’s training facility — working in tandem with a steering group drawn from across the industry. Among the manufacturers, dealerships and industry bodies involved were Crown, Linde, Acclaim Handling, IPAF, BITA, FLTA, Lomax Powered Access and Briggs Equipment.

Announcing the news, F-TEC Managing Director Karl Baum said: “The training landscape is changing, and we have worked with organisations of every size from across the industry to create a modern standard that meets the needs of both employers and apprentices.

Fork lift apprentice

“It has been an extraordinary team effort and we are delighted that the new standard has been approved. We look forward to implementing it on future programmes.”

It is anticipated that the new standard will be introduced initially for those starting new apprenticeships this summer, with full enrolment expected by September.

Speaking on behalf of the Steering Group, its chairman Kevin Sowerby of Crown emphasised the scale of the achievement. “This is a hugely important development. It is the result of a great deal of hard work and the widest possible consultation in order to ensure that the standard is truly representative and meets the requirements of the whole industry.

“At this moment we have some concerns regarding funding levels but are working with the Institute for Apprenticeships & Technical Education in order to resolve them.”

For more information on the new Level 3 standard for Lift Truck and Powered Access Engineering Technicians please call 01793 686182.

F-Tec celebrating a strong performance

Dramatic growth in training within the fork truck sector

F-TEC off to a strong start in 2019

F-TEC, the forklift industry’s dedicated training centre, has revealed record-breaking figures for the first quarter of 2019.

The remarkable start to the year has seen a 50% expansion in the centre’s training capacity, double-digit growth in the number of apprentices, a dramatic increase in the number of engineers attending courses, a doubling in the number of trainers and investment by industry partners including Crown, TVH and B&B Attachments of more than £330,000 in new and refurbished equipment.

Revealing details of the first quarter performance F-TEC managing director Karl Baum explains: “When F-TEC was first established with the support of the sector’s two key trade associations, BITA (British Industrial Truck Association) and the FLTA (Fork Lift Truck Association), our mission was to give the industry the training it needs to prosper.

“To achieve that we’ve sought to work closely with all parties, from the biggest manufacturers to the smallest dealers to make certain that our courses meet the needs of individuals, employers and the wider industry. The results demonstrate we’ve succeeded in that.”

From its state-of-the-art facility in Swindon, F-TEC offers apprentice, engineer and technician development courses as well as skills-transfer programmes, advanced qualifications, Thorough Examination training and skills courses for non-engineers.

Karl continues: “We’ve designed our courses to give employers the best return on their training investment by equipping employees with the skills and understanding needed to work much more efficiently.

“Our advanced diagnostics courses, for example, equip service technicians with the capability to achieve unprecedented first-time fix rates. Our customer services courses, meanwhile, impart the know-how to handle tricky situations and build satisfaction as part of a business-retention strategy.

“Importantly, because our courses are specifically developed by the industry for the industry we work very closely with those on the front line and evolve to meet changing needs. Our growth reflects the confidence the industry has in F-TEC and demonstrates a growing recognition of what the right skillset can do for any service operation.”

To learn how F-TEC’s engineer training can help your business, visit


The next generation of engineers

On Saturday 30th March, an elite group of young engineers graduated in front of a capacity crowd at the Telford International Centre for the 25th FLTA Awards.

From the graduating class of seven, four were in attendance to collect their Level 4 Certificate in Advanced Automotive Studies for Master Technicians from television host Mark Durden-Smith.

F-TEC — the Forklift Training Engineering Centre — is an organisation closely involved with the FLTA and BITA. It offers those interested in the industry the opportunity to develop their knowledge of engineering methods using the latest, high-quality equipment at the cutting-edge facility.

The Level 4 course focuses on advanced diagnostics and is designed to align traditional methods with state-of-the-art technologies. It gives engineers a thorough understanding of vehicle systems — enabling them to diagnose problems faster and with greater certainly than using fault codes alone.

For the employer that means higher efficiency and profitability — through a far higher hit-rate for “first time fixes”.

Katherine Roberts, who represented F-TEC at the ceremony said: “This years’ graduates are among a small handful of engineers throughout the UK to achieve this certificate. They have demonstrated the advanced levels of technical knowledge, practical skills and sheer tenacity.

“Our apprentices have the talent, imagination, and dedication to progress into the industry’s most senior roles. The journey they’ve made with the guidance and support of our fantastic F-TEC trainers has been nothing short of remarkable; we couldn’t be prouder.”

To learn how F-TEC’s engineer training can help for your business, visit today.