High school students learn how to operate forklift

Students in high school ag classes are trying to get an edge on getting a job when they get out of high school by learning a skill with the help of the Louisiana Technical College in Abbeville.

Keith Sherman, a diesel instructor for the technical college, is teaming up with ag teachers in the parish to teach a forklift operator’s class.

The students get four hours of class room time and about 30 minutes of actual operating time on a forklift.

Once the students receive the classroom instruction, Sherman brings a forklift to the school and each student is trained to operate the forklift.

The students must pass a written and operating test. When the student passes the tests, he or she receives a card certifying they have received some forklift training.

Thus far, Kaplan High and Erath High students have received the instructions.

“It has been easy,” said Sherman. “Many students in the rural area have already operated some kind of equipment.”

Erath High was the first school in the parish to get the training. Kaplan ag students were also taught the class. Abbeville High will be next.

Wayne Mouton, the ag teacher at Erath, taught the four-hour classroom instructions.

Students were trained with safe operation and handling of the forklift. They were taught how to inspect the fuel and fluids levels before turning on the machine.

Mouton also taught the students the correct way to drive up and down a ramp and the proper way to raise a load and drive through obstacles with the load.

There are many advantages to taking the class. One is that it takes the fear away of operating a forklift, Mouton said.

“The biggest (advantage) is that it gives a student the edge when it comes to applying for a job because they can put that on their resume,” Mouton said. “They have some operating experience of a forklift and are trained, whereas the other guy (applying for the job) may not have.”

Sherman said eventually all high school ag classes with receive the forklift training.

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