Forklift License in South Dakota - what you need to knowIf you want to be a licensed forklift operator in South Dakota you must follow the states’ safety regulations. The state adhered to OSHA general industry standards for forklift safety. The OSHA controls forklift training standards in the US. One of the standards that OSHA requires for all businesses in the state is to provide enough training for their operators. Businesses and employers have big responsibilities to provide such training to their employees.

If you are an individual looking for a training provider to give you a license, then you can follow this licensing guide on how to become forklift certified. You must remember that you cannot be certified by an online forklift training vendor.

Before you go on reading this guide, you can learn more by READING these articles:



How to Take Forklift Training 

  1. A forklift training course that you will take will depend on the forklift you want to operate, therefore, identify what kind of truck you want to drive. 

  2. Enroll in a training course at the school. A list of training schools is listed below for your reference.

  3. Attend the classroom lectures or theory, it only takes less than 5 hours to complete. Most of the knowledge will revolve around workplace and forklift operation. The written test will be administered at the end of the lecture, the passing grade is usually 85%. But depending on the standard the training school follows, the passing grade may vary.

  4. Attend the practical driving. During this course, your trainer will ask you to perform sets of driving tasks, from starting the machine, positioning the pallet, loading, unloading, transporting, moving in the ramp, elevating loads to the required height, and recharging/refueling, proper parking. 

  5. After you've completed these two most important parts of the course, the classroom lecture and practice driving, the trainer will then send you to the last part which is the certification. During this test, he will again give you sets of tasks to accomplish, but this time, the tasks are harder than the practice driving. Complete the tasks, commit fewer mistakes, satisfy the trainer and at the end, you will be given your forklift license/certificate.

  6. OSHA, in its 1910.178(l)(3) regulation, does require you to be trained and certified and your performance is assessed at an interval of three (3) years.

Need more help? We have these FAQs that could aid you, READ these:

Forklift License Requirements You Need

For someone who is seeking certification and looking for a career in this field, there are some minor requirements before you can be accepted by a training school.

  • You must be a high graduate or can present proof of GED.
  • All forklift trainees must be the age of 18 years old and above.
  • Operating forklifts for long hours demands operators to be physically capable.
  • You must declare what medical prescription you are taking, was it in long term or just for the short term.
  • Every trainee must be cleared of any federal and state criminal record.
  • Driving a forklift under the influence of the prohibited drug is a big “no-no”, so you must not be taking such illegal substances.
  • Training schools may require additional requirements aside from these.

Please remember that some of the items may be optional but others are required. You may inquire with training schools what requirements they need before enrolling.

Forklift Training Schools in South Dakota

  • Herc-U-Lift Inc. - 4615 N Cliff Ave, Sioux Falls, SD 57104, Toll Free Phone: 800-658-3644, Phone: 605-332-4755, Fax: 605-332-4150
  • Riekes Equipment Co. - Sioux Falls, SD605.368.5610, 1.800.856.0931
  • Lift Solutions, Inc. - 4120 N Potsdam Ave, Sioux Falls, SD 57104
  • MH Equipment - 46911 Cody Trail Suite 4, Sioux Falls, (605) 368-9698
  • South Dakota Safety Council - 1108 N. West Avenue, Sioux Falls, South Dakota 57104, Phone: 605-361-7785 / 800-952-5539, Fax: 605-361-2156
  • AGC of South Dakota - 300 East Capitol Avenue, Suite 1, Pierre, SD 57501, Phone: (605) 224-8689 | Fax: (605) 224-9915
  • US Forklift Certification – (866) 556-USFC (8732)
  • Ives Training Group – Serves many states including South Dakota - 1.800.643.1144
  • Lake Area Technical Institute - 1201 Arrow Ave., Watertown, SD 57201, (605) 882-LATI or 1-800-657-4344 Fax: 1-605-882-6299

If you have no idea how to choose a school where you can take training, READ this guide:



Why Having a Forklift License is Important

Forklift training is important, this simple requirement can land you a high-paying job as a forklift operator, and when you can grow in this field, you can become a forklift consultant that dictates long-term employment and better compensation. When you are hired, having the knowledge you obtained, can reduce workplace accidents, thus saving you from lots of trouble.

For the employer, having licensed operators can definitely reduce the loss in terms of inventory and maintenance of the forklift. If you are employees are trained, you can look forward to better productivity and work efficiency. Employers can avoid huge monetary fines and heavy penalties from OSHA as inspectors are randomly visiting businesses.

What Can You Expect as Licensed Forklift Operator

Being licensed can make a big difference. In this state, you can make as much as $34,803 on average per year. In North Dakota, the wage is higher. 

According to the latest report of of February 27, 2023, here are the cities and towns of South Dakota that give high wages forklift drivers:

$37,501- Amherst $34,373 - Long Valley
$36,262- Baltic $36,678- Marvin
$37,317 - Big Stone City $39,045- Mc Intosh
$37,501- Britton $39,045- Mc Laughlin
$39,045- Bullhead $37,317- Milbank
$37,501- Corona $35,133- Pringle
$36,100- Dell Rapids $35,742- Rapid City
$34,735- Fairfax $36,465- Renner
$35,856- Flandreau $35,377- Springfield
$36,465- Harrisburg $35,133- Spearfish
$36,262- Hartford $36,678- Summit
$39,045 - Herreid $36,678- Twin Brooks
$35,856- Kranzburg $36,329- Wakpala
$35,133- Lead $39,045- Watauga
$39,045- Lemmon $35,586 - Wentworth


Here's a matrix to see how much does forklift operators make in every city/state:

Leading Authorities

If you are seeking safety regulations and employment benefits, you can check these offices:

Occupation Safety and Health Administration - SD

Department of Labor and Regulation
700 Governors Drive
Pierre, SD 57501-2291
(605) 773-3101



Cities of SD

Brookings, Water, Mitchell, Yankton, Pierre, Huron, Vermillion, Spearfish, Brandon, Box, Elder, Sturgis, Madison, Belle, Fourche, Harrisburg, Tea, Hot, Springs, Dell, Rapids, Mobridge, Milbank, Lead, Canton, Winner, Hartford, North, Sioux, Sisseton, Chamberlain, Flandreau, Redfield, Lennox Fort, Pierre, Custer, Beresford, Springfield, Elk, Point, Webster, Summerset, Volga, Wagner, Parkston, Miller, Groton, Salem, Eagle, Butte, Freeman, Gregory, Clear Lake, Deadwood, Crooks, Britton, Platte, Lemmon, Mission, Garretson, Gettysburg, Clark, Baltic, De, Smet, Martin, Tyndall, Parker, Wessington, Springs, Ipswich, Hill, Whitewood, Arlington, Centerville, Lake, Andes, Worthing, Eureka, Howard, Scotland, Alcester, Highmore, Marion, Viborg, Philip, Edgemont, Estelline, Wall, Valley, Springs, Elkton, Faulkton, St., Francis, Plankinton, Kimball, Armour, Colton, McLaughlin, New, Underwood, Onida, Canistota, Woonsocket, Kadoka, Tripp, Selby, Castlewood, Alexandria, Menno, Burke, Newell, Lake, Preston, Colman, Corsica, Avon, Humboldt, White, River, Waubay, Jefferson, Aurora, Veblen, Dupree, Bowdle, Presho, Bridgewater, Wilmot, Murdo, White, Montrose, Big, Stone, Lake, Norden, Mount, Vernon, Leola, Warner, Bryant, Oacoma, Emery, Timber, Lake, Herreid, Rosholt, Tabor, Faith, Irene, Hurley, Gayville, Hoven, Hermosa, Hayti, Wolsey, Florence, White, Lake, Blunt, Keystone, Bison, Ethan, Buffalo, Roscoe, Wakonda, Langford,

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