CPCS A17 Telehandler test questions and answers

This is a study guide for the A17 Telescopic handler theory test


There are 72 questions, the test is spoken. The practical test will follow the theory.

CPCS A17 Telehandler 

1) Using the lifting capacity diagram for A17

Note, this is the mandatory question, you will be given a piece of paper with a diagram on it.

You will have to draw your workings out on it to show you understand how to use it, also tell the examiner the answer.

What is the maximum lifting capacity at maximum height.


What is the lifting capacity with the boom angle at 45 degrees and a boom extension of 2.5 metres


what is the farthest distance (measured from the front tyres) available to place a 1.3 tonnes load at a height of 4 metres.


2) Name three purposes of the raised lugs on tyres

Note, the lugs are the tread on the tyre

Grip, steering and braking.

What can happen to a telehandler if the lugs are severely worn.

Reduced Grip, steering and braking.

3) How can a qualification or card benefit a plant operator?

Proof of skills, career prospects and more money

4) If the telehandler is being travelled or working on the public highway, including adjacent pavement and verges, the Road Traffic Act applies.

What type of licence and which classes should the operator hold.

Full UK and class B

What is the minimum age allowed?

18 years old 3.5 tonne – 7.5 tonne

21 years old, over 7.5 tonne

5) When working in a confined area or space.

What danger can be present with regards to the counterweight of the machine.

The gap is reduced and could hit objects or structures.

When should measures be taken.

When the gap is less than 600mm

What measures should be implemented.

Barriers should be put up to prevent access.

6) What is the main purpose of the Rated Capacity Indicator (RCI) or Load Moment Indicator (LMI)?

Note, the RCI is a series of little coloured lights inside the cab. Green, amber and red, it may also make a beeping sound.

Warns operator when near or exceeding capacity.

7)  What is meant by the load centre. 

Why must it be known for each lift? 

The point of balance of the load

Determines whether the load can be lifted for a given height and reach by the machine.

8) Give FOUR reasons that may cause the machine to tip forwards.

Travelling along slopes


Not using stabilizers

To much reach for the load

9) What is the definition of, or how can a hazard be described?

Note, H.E.L.P.

This is anything that can cause harm to




Property around you

10) After placing a load, who is responsible for ensuring the load is safe?

The Telehandler operator

11) What would be the effect on the telehandler if a tyre on the front axle is larger or smaller in size than the other tyre on the same axle, or where one tyre has less pressure than the other?

It could cause instability when raising the boom

12) The operator has been asked to drive the machine onto a transporter/trailer.

Who is responsible for the loading operations.

State four actions to be considered by the operator before loading commences.

The transport driver is responsible 

Condition of trailer and ramps

Overhead hazard and other proximity hazards

Position of trailer

Ground support 

13) If setting up to lift and move loads in a pedestrianised area, state three factors that need to be taken into account.



Barriers put in place

14) What determines the minimum distances that any part of plant and machinery has to be kept from overhead electricity lines.

Voltage and type of support

Explain why a distance should be kept.

Reduce the risk of arching 

15) Name FOUR factors to consider and know before picking up a load.



Load centre

Condition of the load

16) What are the three actions or stages that a tele-handler operator undertakes during pre-use inspections?




17) An operator has to travel a tele-handler on the public highway, for which the road traffic act applies. List six requirements that must be followed.

Correct licence

Working lights

Legal tyres



Forks removed

18) State the purpose of the check valve(s) located on the boom cylinder rams.

To prevent the boom lowering unintentionally, due to engine or hydraulic failure 

19) Name two factors that determine the weight of a load.

Size and density 

20) What problems and hazards can soft ground cause to a loaded forklift?

Machine can get stuck, sink and tip over

21) Using the Operator’s Manual, state the figure for the tyre pressures. Note: The Operator’s Manual for the machine being used for the test MUST be available for reference by the candidate.

Note, you will be shown an example when you do your training.

22) The operator has to use a new type of tele-handler that they are unfamiliar with. What do Regulations (i.e. PUWER 98) and other guidance require the operator to have?




23) a) What is the minimum distance allowed near open trenches when travelling with a tele-handler and b) explain why?

More than the depth away

To prevent trench collapse

24) Using the Operator’s Manual, state the cold-starting procedure for the machine. Note: The Operator’s Manual for the machine being used for the test MUST be available for reference by the candidate.

Specifications, tyres, pressures

25) If checking the oil level using a dipstick, why must gloves be worn?

Prevent skin disease 

Prevent contamination 

26) Which part of the forklift is the load centre usually measured from?

Heal of the forks

27) List six typical subject areas that should be covered in a site induction.

Fire assembly point

First aid


Lift plan

Site routes

Emergency exits

28) Why should a tele-handler be re-fuelled at the end of the day?

To reduce condensation build up in the fuel system

29) Name six possible proximity hazards that may be encountered on site when travelling with a load.

Pedestrians, personnel 

Other plant, machines



Uneven ground


30) What are the possible outcomes of facing prosecution for not complying with legislation and regulations?



Case dismissal 

31) Name THREE ways in which an operator can minimise their impact upon the environment whilst using the machine.

Work safely


Lift plan  

32) Explain ALL visual checks that must be carried out on all types of quick-hitch attaching systems before use.

No damage to hoses, attachment or coupler

All components fitted correctly

Locking system active

Locking pins in correct holes 

33) Give FOUR reasons that may cause the tele-handler to tip over sideways.

Soft ground

Soft tyres

Traveling along slopes

Driving with loads at height 

34) Where should the Operator’s Manual be kept and why? 

In the cab for easy access 

35) As a lifting machine, the tele-handler must be thoroughly examined.

What is the purpose of the examination?

To insure the machine is free from structural defects

Who would carry out the examination?

An authorized and competent person

36) What is the purpose of a roll or ROPS frame? 

Provides some protection in the event of a rollover 

(Rollover protection structure)

37) What is the meaning of this hand signal (being demonstrated by the Tester)?

Note, you will need to learn the hand signals as they will be used a lot on site.

38) What is the purpose of counterweight(s) on the machine? 

To reduce overturning, depending on height and reach

39) Before picking up a load, why should the forks be equally spaced or distanced on the carriage? 

For support 

40) When working in a confined area or space, name THREE dangers that can be present. 

Reduced visibility 



41) If a load is being lifted whilst the telehandler is on a slope and facing downhill, what effect could this have on the machine? 

Centre of gravity moves forward causing instability 

42) What does the Health and Safety at Work Act require employers to do with regards specifically to plant?

Provide and maintain plant so no risk to health 

43) Before loading an uncoupled trailer, what THREE precautions must be taken?

Chock wheels

Make sure brakes are applied

Check the rear axle

44) When parking the machine at the end of the shift, name THREE places where the machine should NOT be parked.

Access/egress from buildings 

45) Why must the seat belt be worn, even with the cab door closed? 

In the event of a roll over, it will hold the operator in seat to minimize injury

46) Name FOUR different types or levels of disciplinary actions or sanctions that can be applied (by employers and judicial bodies) to operators of plant who do not comply with, or follow legislation and regulations. 





47) Give three reasons why it is important that a tele-handler is not leaning sideways before attempting to lift or place a load. 

The forks may not enter clearly 

Load could slip off

Could tip machine

48) If the load centre of the load is longer (increased) than stipulated for the model of tele-handler, what effect does it have on the lifting capacity of the machine? 

The capacity must be reduced 

49) If placing a variety of loads onto a rigid, flatbed transporter, where should the heaviest loads be placed?

Over rear axle 

50) When placing onto or lifting a load from a loading out tower: 

Why must the tele-handler’s handbrake be on and the transmission in neutral

To prevent unintentional movement

What would the consequences be if this was not done?

It could hit the tower

Lose the load

Cause instability of the machine

51) What three main duties of the Health and Safety at Work Act must employees follow? 

Protect themselves and others who may be affected by their acts or omissions

Cooperate with the employer

Avoid interference, intentionally or recklessly with anything provided for safety.

52) An operator has been asked to transport a load along the public highway from one site to another, for which The Road Traffic Act applies. What needs to be taken into account regarding the law?

Depending on the vehicle , movement is restricted to 1000 yards

53) On a semi-automatic quick-hitch bucket attaching system: 

What is the purpose of the safety pin 

Safety pin holds locking system in place

What checks MUST be made to the pin before use? Name THREE conditions that mirrors on the machine must be in.

Pin in correct hole

Fully locked and secured with lynch pin 

54) Name THREE conditions that mirrors on the machine must be in. 

Clean, adjusted and unbroken.

55) State FOUR checks that should be made to the forks. 



Wear limit

End stops in place

56) How can high wind speeds affect tele-handler operations? 

Possibly stop operations, create instability at high reach

57) Why are forklift operators generally regarded as ‘safety-critical’ workers?

Their actions with the machine can harm themselves or others around them

58) Before leaving the cab for a rest break, after parking and switching off the machine, what final action must be carried out? 

Remove key to prevent unauthorized use

59) How can a qualification or card benefit a plant operator? 

Proof of skills, career prospects

60) What is the purpose of a Method Statement.

Instructions to safely carry out a task

 What is required of the operator? 

To comply with the method statement 

61) Name FOUR ways that wet weather can affect tele-handler operations. 

Loss of grip

Increase load weight

Decrease visibility

Soft ground

62) Apart from the operator, who else may need to use the machine’s Operator’s Manual?

The fitter

63) How is it possible that forklifts can still tip over, even when travelling on gentle gradients, are not overloaded and not being driven at excessive speed? 

A combination of all of these factors plus turning uphill at speed

64) What is the purpose of a risk assessment? 

To identify and place control measures on hazards

65) What is meant by the load centre.

b) why must it be known for each lift? 

The point of balance of the load

Determines whether the load can be lifted for a given height and reach by the machine

66) Before travelling with a physically large load, name FIVE factors that must be taken into account by the operator before moving.

The forklift has to be capable and within its limits

The travel route is checked and suitable

Lift plan is in place

Environmental issues eg wind is suitable

Sufficient help is available (e.g banksman)

67) Name THREE ways that a plant operator can contribute in ensuring repeat business with the client or principal contractor. 

Work safely


Lift plan

68) What would happen if the steering mode of ‘crab steer’ is selected and the steering wheel rotated clockwise whilst travelling? 

Machine would move diagonally right while the operator faces forwards

69) Describe ONE physical method of checking that the attachment is fully secured to the coupler prior to work.

Rotate forward and backwards several times 

70) According to regulations (such as Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations

(LOLER) 1998) name TWO requirements that must be carried out on any lifting operation.



71) On stabiliser-equipped machines, what must be checked before the stabilisers are lowered?

The ground is able to take machine, support using packing if required

72) If the operator has loaded the machine onto a transporter/trailer on behalf of a driver, what checks must be carried out before they leave the cab?

The machine is in the agreed position

Hydraulic operated components are grounded with pressure released


Handbrake on

Key removed

Doors and windows are locked

About the telehandler test

There is a theory test consisting of 72 questions. This is a verbal test, meaning the examiner will ask you the questions and you will answer. You will have the training for this on your course. However, you will not have a lot of time if your course is 3 or 4 days. 

I took a course consisting of 1 day theory practice and 2 days practical training. Then the theory and practical tests on the 4th day. If you don’t pass your theory, you can not continue onto your practical. So bear this in mind when booking your course. If you feel this is too much pressure, maybe speak to the course provider to arrange a different day for the practical.

How much does it cost to do a telehandler course?

I paid £1170 for the A17c telescopic handler course, all sizes excluding 360 slew. Be aware, you may have to give so many days notice to cancel a test. So in the event of failure of the theory you would lose your practical test fee. Test fees as of 2021 as I am aware are £120 for the theory, £510 for the practical. This was the cost at the centre I attended.

About the A17 practical test

You will be asked to do your checks around the machine, lights, oil, hydraulic fluid etc. Enter the machine with 3 points of contact, in cab checks, wipers, horn etc. Load a trailer with pallets, pick up a wide load and reverse in a straight line. Stack pallets, then put them back where they were. Go round a chicane, hill start, pick up a heavy load and reverse with the load through the chicane. Take forks off, reverse away and then put them back on.

Then there’s the tower lift, this is placing the load onto scaffolding, equivalent to Maybe 2nd or 3rd floor. This is where you will really have to concentrate. Boom up and tele out above the platform you need to land on, then bring the boom down to land it. Now you need to get the forks out of the pallet. This is just boom up, tele in, boom up, tele in. If the examiner thinks you’re putting too much pressure on the scaffolding, they will stop the test.

Test tips

Every time you stop, handbrake on, observations, move off again.

If you feel your messing up on the chicane, you can stop, reverse to re align, then carry on. You will not fail for this, just get a mark down. It’s better than knocking a bollard over and failing.

Remember your stabilizers, don’t drive off with them still down.

Remember to use your gears on the hill start.

Good luck.

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