What I Need from a Forklift Operator

Of all the jobs at Kaser, none is more misunderstood than the Shipping & Receiving/Forklift Operator position.

I’m certain there are tons of large companies whose forklift drivers do nothing else. They sit down in the morning, move pallets around all day, and stand up when it’s time to go home.

Kaser is not one of these companies.

As with any position at Kaser, the forklift driver is responsible for way more tasks than can reasonably fit in a title. Yes, they drive the forklift; on some days, that will keep them very busy, and on others, it won’t. But they also count parts, sort parts, stack parts, and move parts around (often manually) so that they’re ready to go when it comes time to coat them.

If there’s nothing to load, count, or move, I need the forklift driver’s help elsewhere: sweeping the shop, organizing inventory, assembling office furniture – you name it. The forklift driver is not alone in this. Kaser is all hands on deck, all of the time. Anyone who’s not actively busy with their own job will quickly be given someone else’s tasks. That’s part of working for a small business.

It’s worth mentioning, too, that the forklift driver spends more time outside than anyone else at Kaser. In Nebraska, that means they’re subject to wind, rain, ice, snow, and extreme heat. We rarely close for the weather.

I try to be upfront about all of this in both the job posting and the interview, but new hires still seem to be caught off guard by the amount of work involved. It’s hard to hire for the role, and even harder to retain, which means I’ve been Kaser’s primary forklift operator for the past year or so. I can tell you firsthand that it’s not for the faint of heart.

So what does it take to thrive in this position? First and foremost, forklift experience. Secondly (and not far behind), it takes physical stamina and resilience. You’ll be on your feet more than you expected. You’ll be piling steel parts on top of other steel parts, some of which will weigh 50-75 pounds. You’ll be hot, cold, and everything in between. There will be no downtime.

The good news is that the workday will fly by, and you won’t need to hit the gym after work. If that sounds doable, we’re hiring – come talk to me. 



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