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ARA Certified Forklift Training is on the way

By Brock Huffstutler

September 20, 2023

The American Rental Association (ARA) is set to expand its ARA Certified course lineup with the launch of ARA Certified Forklift Training in January 2024.

The new forklift training offering — like the ARA Certified program covering mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs) introduced in 2022 — is designed to establish rental industry standards, professional development and deliver what is needed to train equipment rental staff and customers competently and safely.

Sean Willich, ARA safety training manager, says the program “is comprehensive and will satisfy federally mandated Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and American National Standards Institute (ANSI) operator training requirements. It also will be compliant with the Canadian Standards Association (CSA), so our Canadian members can take advantage of it, too.”

The training will include three course options, enabling ARA members to enroll according to their forklift needs:

  • Class 1-5: Industrial Forklift
  • Class 1-5, 7: Industrial Forklift and Rough Terrain Forklift
  • Class 7: Rough Terrain Forklift

Each course includes nine unique learning modules:

  • Forklift Regulations and Standards (OSHA, ANSI, CSA)
  • Know Your Responsibilities (Training standards)
  • Identify the Right Forklift for the Job
  • Forklift Controls and Features
  • Manuals, Decals, and Placards
  • Forklift Safety
  • Pre-start Inspection and Function Check
  • Safely Operate a Forklift
  • Preventative Maintenance and Refueling/Recharging

The ARA Certified Forklift Training program also will offer Forklift Train-the-Trainer. Willich says a major benefit of the Train-the-Trainer option is that it “will allow members to become certified operator trainers, permitting them to offer operator training to their employees and customers — and create an additional revenue source for our members.”

Those who register for the training will take part in both online theory (delivered via RentalU — ARA’s online education and training platform) and hands-on training. The self-paced online theory training will need to be completed before taking the hands-on training. Participants who successfully complete the entire training will receive a certification card. Train-the-Trainer certifications will be valid for five years from date of issue; operator certifications will be valid for three years from date of issue.

“We are so excited to be able to offer this critical forklift training in early 2024 to our members in the United States and Canada,” says Kevin Gern, ARA vice president, education and risk management. “Forklifts are such a vital piece of equipment for both equipment and event rental businesses. It is the reason our members have been requesting this type of training. In just a few short months our members will be able to successfully train their employees and their customers. That is a win for everyone.”

Watch your email and ARA publications for more information on the program and its enrollment costs. To be added to the training waiting list, contact