Madelene Stolpe

Forklift operator

The forklift is Madelene’s workplace on wheels

Forklift operator Madelene Stolpe is an important cog in the enormous Ljunghäll machine. Every day, she drives back and forth through the factory, transporting heavy pallets. She is also responsible for training other forklift operators.

Madelene Stolpe started working extra at Ljunghäll while she was still in school. After high school, she tried out working in some other fields and took some time off for her maternity leave. Then she re-applied to work back home at the factory.

“In 1996, I got a job in the packaging department. We taped everything manually and were in charge of the final inspection on all the pieces. Then I started driving stand-up forklifts and counterbalance forklifts.

Stand-up forklifts are a type of forklift that is operated while standing up, unlike a counterbalance forklift, which is controlled from a seated position.

In the past, no training was required to become a forklift operator, but today one must attend a special course before one is permitted to drive a forklift. Madelene is now responsible for teaching the new forklift operators and for issuing forklift operator licenses.

“We go through the forklift’s design, batteries, driving and everything like that. On the third day, we progress from theory to practice, and participants get the chance to drive both counterbalance forklifts and stand-up forklifts.”

The rules are similar to those that govern road traffic: Keep to the right if you encounter someone headed in the opposite direction, seek out eye contact with the other driver, and try to anticipate possible dangers.

The mission of a forklift operator is to provide his/her colleagues at the machines with pallets of materials and to pick up pallets that have been loaded and are ready to be sent on to the customers. The job involves a great amount of personal responsibility and flexibility.

“You have to have an eye for what is needed,” notes Madelene.

What’s the best thing about your job?

“I like that it’s very independent and service-oriented. No day is ever the same. My colleagues are also important.”

Madelene talks to many of Ljunghäll’s hundreds of employees on a daily basis, making her a familiar face to many people in Södra Vi.

“When I’m out and about in town, my children remark, “Mom, you know everyone!” laughs Madelene.

Forklift operator

A forklift operator license is required to work as a forklift operator. Many workplaces offer their own forklift operator training courses, but i is also possible to pursue an automotive and transportation program in high school, or to enroll in a course with an independent training provider.

Madelene Stolpe

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