National Commission for the
Certification of Crane Operators
Committed to Quality, Integrity, and Fairness in Testing since 1995


Telehandler Operator

Certification Overview

The CCO Telehandler Task Force that developed this certification program was made up of experts from all aspects of the telehandler industry—operators, users, trainers, safety supervisors, manufacturers—who together represent many thousands of hours of telehandler-related experience. These volunteers gave freely of their time and expertise with the primary goal of improving the safety of all whose work brings them into contact with telehandlers and other lifting equipment.


Get complete instructions on how to apply for and take CCO certification exams in the Telehandler Operator Candidate Handbook.


To be eligible for certification, you must:


You must pass both a written exam and a practical exam to be certified for a three-year period. Candidates meeting the eligibility requirements may take either the written examinations or the practical examination(s) first.

The Telehandler Operator Written Examination has 70 multiple-choice questions. Candidates are allowed 60 minutes to complete the written examination.

CCO has three options for taking written exams: Online Proctored Testing (OPT)Test Center Testing (TCT), and Event Online Testing (EOT)Decide which option is best for you.


The Telehandler Operator Practical Examination demonstrates operation proficiency and is available for two telehandler types:

  • Fixed Telehandler
  • Rotating Telehandler

A candidate must pass both the written exam and the practical exam to be certified for a three-year period. Candidates who take and pass the Rotating Telehandler practical examination are not required to take and pass the practical exam in the Fixed Telehandler category.


Candidates must pass both written and practical examinations to be certified for a three-year period. The written and practical exams may be taken in either order. Candidates have 12 months from the time they pass their first written or practical exam to pass the corresponding (written or practical) exam.

Any tests passed within a 12-month period count towards certification. For example, a candidate who passes the Telehandler Operator Written Exam in February 2023 but fails the Fixed Telehandler Operator Practical Exam in May 2023 has until January 2023 to retake and pass the practical exam.

Candidates for certification or recertification may petition for an extension of CCO’s standard timeline(s). CCO staff shall have the discretion to make the initial determination of whether a requested extension should be granted. Petitions for an extension of time are generally denied absent a showing of extraordinary circumstances. Denials of such petitions may be appealed to the Appeals Committee.


The following policies apply to all CCO certification programs:

These policies are also covered in the Candidate Handbooks for each program.


Certified operators receive a laminated photo ID card at no cost when they certify, add a designation, or recertify.

Replacement cards may be obtained from CCO at a cost of $25 and ordered online.

Certification cards remain the property of CCO, are not transferable, and must be returned to CCO upon demand.