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The Forklift Games are open to all forklift drivers across New Zealand

The Forklift Games are coming

The Forklift Games, which are being organised by The Forklift Association (TFA), are bringing back the tradition of allowing forklift drivers from across the country to compete for the title of New Zealand’s best.

Starting with regional competitions throughout September in several main centres across the country, the Forklift Games aim to find each region’s best drivers of the main forklift types used in New Zealand’s freight and distribution facilities, namely reach trucks and counterbalance forklifts. 

The competition is open to anyone that currently holds a Forklift Operator’s Certificate, be they young or old, male or female, and regardless of whether they work in food and beverage, grocery, freight forwarding, or a logistics facility. 

The games are being organised by Andrew Stone of TFA, who says: “We are on a mission to find the best forklift drivers in the land. These men and women are often the unsung heroes of the workforce, quietly and efficiently going about their daily tasks. We want to recognise their expertise and showcase their abilities, and the Forklift Games are the ideal event for this as they are not company or industry specific.”

Testing accuracy and efficiency

At the regional events, the competition will test practical driving skills only. The driver can choose whether to compete in a reach truck or counterbalance forklift, and will have to navigate a course and complete skill challenges within a set time. 

“This is designed to test the competitor’s accuracy, efficiency and problem-solving capabilities,” says Mr Stone. “The test arena will be an indoor concrete floor using non-production loads within an artificial course which limits travel in potentially three dimensions.”

Each competitor starts with 100 points, and points are deducted for impacts, incorrect outcomes, exceeding the time limit, and failure to follow regular safety SOPs (such as fork positions, turning under load, signalling, load balance, and load pushing). “Potentially a competitor could complete the course with no deductions, but this should be extremely unlikely. In the case where the same points are achieved, the driver who completed the course more quickly will be awarded the win,” says Mr Stone.

Regional winners will go on to compete at the national finals in Auckland in October, where there will be extra tests on theory and safety. Overall scores will be reviewed across both types of competing drivers, and the highest-scoring driver, regardless of truck type, will be named the overall National Forklift Games Champion. 

Team competition

Larger organisations may wish to enter the team challenge, whereby all the points achieved by each of their individual competitors will be tallied up, and the company which scores the highest total tally will win the regional top company title. The top companies will also go on to compete at the national finals in Auckland.

For further information, visit www.tfa.org.nz/ForkliftGames and www.facebook.com/groups/743641862761540/

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