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Industrial Truck and Tractor Operators
SOC Code: 53-7051.00

Operate industrial trucks or tractors equipped to move materials around a warehouse, storage yard, factory, construction site, or similar location.

Sample of reported job titles: Checker Loader, Fork Lift Technician, Fork Truck Driver, Forklift Driver, Forklift Operator, Lift Truck Operator, Shag Truck Driver, Spotter Driver, Tow Motor Operator, Truck Driver


  • Move levers or controls that operate lifting devices, such as forklifts, lift beams with swivel-hooks, hoists, or elevating platforms, to load, unload, transport, or stack material.
  • Inspect product load for accuracy and safely move it around the warehouse or facility to ensure timely and complete delivery.
  • Manually or mechanically load or unload materials from pallets, skids, platforms, cars, lifting devices, or other transport vehicles.
  • Position lifting devices under, over, or around loaded pallets, skids, or boxes and secure material or products for transport to designated areas.
  • Weigh materials or products and record weight or other production data on tags or labels.
  • Perform routine maintenance on vehicles or auxiliary equipment, such as cleaning, lubricating, recharging batteries, fueling, or replacing liquefied-gas tank.
  • Move controls to drive gasoline- or electric-powered trucks, cars, or tractors and transport materials between loading, processing, and storage areas.
  • Operate or tend automatic stacking, loading, packaging, or cutting machines.
  • Signal workers to discharge, dump, or level materials.
  • Hook tow trucks to trailer hitches and fasten attachments, such as graders, plows, rollers, or winch cables to tractors, using hitchpins.
  • Turn valves and open chutes to dump, spray, or release materials from dump cars or storage bins into hoppers.

Technology Skills

  • Computer aided design CAD software - Autodesk AutoCAD
  • Enterprise resource planning ERP software - SAP
  • Inventory management software - Argos Software ABECAS Insight WMS; ATMS StockTrack PLUS; Motek Priya; RedPrairie DLx Warehouse (see all 7 examples)
  • Materials requirements planning logistics and supply chain software - SSA Global Supply Chain Management; Symphony GOLD
  • Office suite software - Microsoft Office
  • Spreadsheet software - Microsoft Excel

Tools Used

  • Belt conveyors
  • Bulk transporters - Bulk liquid trucks
  • Cargo handling equipment - Container reach stackers; Container top handlers; Reach stackers; Straddle carriers
  • Cargo trucks - Hustlers; Top loaders
  • Conventional truck cranes - Industrial crane trucks
  • Dock plates - Bridgeplates
  • Dock ramps - Dockboards
  • Dollies
  • Flatbed trailers
  • Forklift or elevator accessories or supplies - Crane attachments; Metal dump hopper attachments; Scoops; Shovel attachments (see all 6 examples)
  • Forklifts - Cantilever trucks; Lift trucks; Sliding boom forklifts; Straight-mast forklifts (see all 7 examples)
  • Grapples - Fork-grapples
  • Hand trucks or accessories - Motorized hand trucks
  • Hoists - Overhead hoists
  • Industrial shrink wrap equipment - Shrink wrap machines
  • Jacks
  • Lifting hooks - Lifting clamps
  • Lifts - Combination vacuum lifts; Counterbalanced front/side loader lift trucks; Reach type outrigger trucks; Rider trucks
  • Manlift or personnel lift - High-lift order picker trucks; Reach rider trucks
  • Non temperature controlled tanker trailers - Tank trailers
  • Pallet trucks
  • Personal computers
  • Platform lift - Personnel and burden carriers; Platform lift trucks
  • Snowplow attachments - Snowplows
  • Swivel hooks
  • Telescoping boom lift - Telescopic forklifts
  • Thin client computers - On-board computers for sending/receiving instructions
  • Wheel chocks
  • Wrapping machinery - Banding equipment


  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.


  • Operation and Control - Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Equipment Maintenance - Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
  • Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.


  • Control Precision - The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
  • Multilimb Coordination - The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
  • Response Orientation - The ability to choose quickly between two or more movements in response to two or more different signals (lights, sounds, pictures). It includes the speed with which the correct response is started with the hand, foot, or other body part.
  • Far Vision - The ability to see details at a distance.
  • Manual Dexterity - The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
  • Depth Perception - The ability to judge which of several objects is closer or farther away from you, or to judge the distance between you and an object.
  • Reaction Time - The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Rate Control - The ability to time your movements or the movement of a piece of equipment in anticipation of changes in the speed and/or direction of a moving object or scene.
  • Spatial Orientation - The ability to know your location in relation to the environment or to know where other objects are in relation to you.
  • Static Strength - The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects.
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness - The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
  • Auditory Attention - The ability to focus on a single source of sound in the presence of other distracting sounds.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Trunk Strength - The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without 'giving out' or fatiguing.


  • Interest code: RC
    • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
    • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Work Context

  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable - 87% responded “Every day.”
  • Time Pressure - 83% responded “Every day.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate - 66% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls - 70% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Exposed to Contaminants - 67% responded “Every day.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions - 71% responded “Every day.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making - 82% responded “Every day.”
  • Very Hot or Cold Temperatures - 72% responded “Every day.”
  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets - 83% responded “Every day.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team - 50% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Contact With Others - 53% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Consequence of Error - 20% responded “Serious.”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety - 54% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • Exposed to Hazardous Equipment - 70% responded “Every day.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions - 59% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results - 39% responded “Important results.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work - 33% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body - 39% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week
  • In an Open Vehicle or Equipment - 69% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions - 36% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Level of Competition - 39% responded “Moderately competitive.”
  • Outdoors, Exposed to Weather - 49% responded “Every day.”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results - 30% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • Spend Time Standing - 35% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings - 32% responded “Every day.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks - 27% responded “Important.”
  • Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled - 54% responded “Every day.”
  • Cramped Work Space, Awkward Positions - 34% responded “Never.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others - 44% responded “Very important.”
  • In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment - 44% responded “Every day.”
  • Deal With External Customers - 38% responded “Not important at all.”
  • Spend Time Sitting - 35% responded “More than half the time.”


Percentage of RespondentsEducation Level Required
84%High school diploma or equivalent
9%Less than high school diploma
5%Post-secondary certificate

Work Styles

  • Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Self Control - Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Concern for Others - Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Achievement/Effort - Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Cooperation - Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Persistence - Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Stress Tolerance - Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Independence - Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Innovation - Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • Analytical Thinking - Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Social Orientation - Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
  • Leadership - Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.

Work Values

  • Support - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
  • Relationships - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
  • Independence - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.

Wages & Trends

  • Median wages (2017)
    • $16.17 hourly, $33,630 annual
  • Employment (2016)
    • 550,000 employees
  • Projected growth (2016-2026)
    • Average (5% to 9%)
  • Projected job openings (2016-2026)
    • 65,900

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