20/09/2006 - 05:00 am

IPAF Offers New Telehandler Training

A new training program for telehandler operators with integrated platforms has been launched in Europe by the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF), the parent organization of North America's Aerial Work Platform Training, Inc. (AWPT).

The training program, titled Telehandler Platform Integrated, or TPI, joins other training programs offered by IPAF and AWPT that focus on the safe use of aerial work platforms. The TPI program is slated to be introduced in North America next year.

“The TPI course is aimed at training experienced and certified telehandler operators who may need to operate access platform attachments from within the basket rather than from the cab of the telehandler,” said Peter Grant of Merlo, UK. Grant chairs the IPAF Telehandler Committee and has been working closely with IPAF in developing this course.

Grant explained: “Basic working platforms, without any controls, are still widely in use in the United Kingdom, although they are designated inappropriate for use on telehandlers capable of lifting above 19.7 feet. Many telehandler manufacturers however now offer fully integrated platform attachments that comply with the requirements. The telehandler/platform combination becomes, in effect, an aerial work platform and requires training additional to that covered in standard telehandler operating courses.”

The one-day course, covering theory and practical on-site training, was given by Brian Parker of Peter Hird Ltd, an IPAF senior instructor and member of the IPAF Training Committee. On-site training was given at a high rise apartment construction site where the two trainees, Alan Rae and Ryan McCue of Taylor Woodrow Construction Ltd., were able to operate the telehandler at its full lifting height of 82 feet.

“At first we thought there was too much emphasis on the AWP side of things,” said Rae. “But after the practical training we both now feel completely confident in the machine all the way up to the full height.”

Following successful completion of the training program both operators were awarded a PAL Card (Powered Access License) that signified their achievement.

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