With the International Materials Handling Exhibition (IMHX) 2016 just one week away, RTITB and 40 of the best forklift operators in the world are counting down the days until the heats of the International Forklift Operator of the Year award begin.
The live heats, partnered with UniCarrier and McCue, will take place at stand 9A40 at IMHX from 13th - 16th September 2016 at the NEC, Birmingham, UK. The top 40 forklift drivers will battle it out for a spot in the Grand Finals, where 40 become 10 as they prove that they are the best in the world. In the heats, the skilled drivers will have to complete a series of assessments, sponsored by TruckLOG, Dolav, Racking & Storage Solutions, Transaid and Pyroban, which are specially designed to test their skills and knowledge of safe forklift operation in front of industry specialists and professionals.
Among the competitors this year are a number of forklift operators from well-known, international companies, the youngest ever heat finalists aged just 18, and more female operators at this stage of the competition than ever before. Also taking part in the internationally renowned contest will be a forklift driver from the US, and the winner of the Indian Forklift Operator of the Year 2015.
"The International Forklift Operator of the Year award is about recognising the best of best and showing supply chain professionals that skilled, safe, efficient forklift operators can make a huge difference to productivity and profitability within their company," says Laura Nelson, Managing Director at RTITB. "We're excited to have a wide range of drivers of all ages and from all around the world competing in this year's heats at IMHX."
"The forklift drivers will be taking part in a series of live challenges that we've specially designed to test their skills, knowledge and safe operation," says Laura Nelson, Managing Director of RTITB, the preferred workplace transport training body. "We encourage visitors to IMHX to visit the competition zone to be part of the action and support the drivers as they take on each exciting challenge."
'The Fun Factory' operating test, sponsored by Racking and Storage Solutions Ltd and Dolav UK Ltd, will see competitors skilfully drive a UniCarriers Counterbalance ET truck. Fitted with a rotating fork clamp by B&B attachments, drivers will need to move a laden box pallet safely without spilling any of the contents, within the time limit.
The 'Bicycle Bingo' theory test is themed around charity partner Transaid's successful fundraising cycle rides and will test the competitors' knowledge of issues affecting stability and safe lift truck operation, while in the Perfect Pre-use test, competitors will use a lift truck fitted with a TruckLOG TK5 system to conduct a full, correct pre-use inspection and determine if the truck is safe for use.
Another operating challenge, the 'Explosive Mixer', will test the skills needed for forklift operation in, or near to, a potentially explosive environment. Using a UniCarriers forklift fitted with added safety system Gascheka duo™ from Pyroban, contestants will have to manoeuvre a barrel through the 'whiskey distillery' without risking an 'explosion'.
All of the tests are protected by McCue FlexCore pedestrian safety barriers and will see drivers using personal protective equipment from BACA Workwear and Safety. In addition to the support of manufacturing partner UniCarriers and the different test partners, the 2016 competition is also supported by UKWA, FSDF and BITA in recognition of its contribution to improving safety in the workplace.
IMHX visitors can head to the competition zone to watch forklift operators battle for their place in the Top 10 and the Grand Final, and can visit the competition zone at 3:30pm on each day of the contest for the announcement of that day's winners. There will also be chances to find out about running an in-house forklift driver competition with the support and partnership of RTITB, and to hear the latest updates on RTITB's new international awards for people, talent and training in logistics.
In addition to the all the action of International Forklift Operator of the Year, guests at IMHX can also visit stand 9A20 to learn more about RTITB's workplace transport training solutions that can improve efficiency and safety in business. The expert RTITB team will be available to discuss the in-house and outsourced LGV training solutions available to employers nationwide and how this can improve safety, maximise efficiency and reduce operational costs. This includes details of RTITB LGV/HGV license acquisition training, Vehicle Banksman and Yardshunter training, Commercial Driver Vehicle Assessments and Driver CPC Periodic Training.
"Implementing the right training can help businesses to improve their return on investment on training, while increasing safety, reducing costs and maximising productivity," says Laura. "We're looking forward to discussing our leading workplace transport training solutions with as many employers as we can at IMHX 2016."