Driver and Stacker

Drivers and stackers handle forklifting machines by moving levers and pressing pedals to control the movement of the lifting apparatus. Their role is similar to that of a forklift driver, however they are usually confined to lifting and stacking goods on top of each other.

The machines are usually electrically powered for indoor use and petrol or diesel powered for outdoor use. Indoor machines stack goods no higher than roof or ceiling level of the floor on which they operate. The machine used in outdoor operations is normally a counterbalanced forklift.

The design of the forklift may vary according to the type and size of the materials to be removed or stacked. Forklift machines are used to move materials from loaded pallets, boxes, tow trucks or trailer hitches to a designated point in a warehouse or other storage area.

Drivers and stackers use fork-lifting machines to: lift the load from where it has been delivered; stack each load to a suitable storage height; and to clear any obstructions.

The work requires precision because the load must be lowered at the correct angle into its exact position. Working hours and conditions depend on the nature of the products and industry.

Personal Requirements

  • responsible
  • patient and have perseverance
  • good eyesight
  • good eye-hand coordination
  • good coordination between right and left
  • manual dexterity
  • able to judge distances and heights accurately
  • willing to work shifts

How to Enter

Schooling & School Subjects

No specific requirements

What to Study

Employers offer the following in-service training routine:

  • new employees initially accompany experienced drivers so that they can gain an understanding of the whole operation
  • they then practice lifting and lowering the forklift device without a load
  • then they lift, lower and transport “waste” loads
  • finally they move on to stacking actual loads, starting with smaller loads.
The Occupational Health and Safety Act stipulates that drivers and stackers should be in possession of a certificate of training issued by an accredited organisation.


  • freight and transport companies
  • such organisations as: Transnet, SA Airways
  • building contractors
  • harbours
  • industries that need to store material

Further Information

The Employment Officer
SA Airways
Private Bag X1
O.R. Tambo International Airport, 1627
Tel: (011) 921-6911

Getting Started

  • visit various factories or manufacturing companies and watch stackers move cargo
  • speak to a driver / stacker and observe them at work

Programmes by Study Institutions

Related Occupations

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