Skilled and unskilled driving practices

Kristian Mortensen & Johannes Wagner, University of Southern Denmark

The data for this paper are collected at training courses for forklift drivers in a Danish workplace education center.  Forklift drivers need to participate in a 7 days full time course that covers a theoretical and a practical part. The practical part of the courses consists of a variety of tasks. To receive a certificate the drivers need to pass a theoretical and practical exam at the end of the course. However, companies employees often start driving trucks in their workplace without any certificate and gain years of practical experience before they take their certificate. The courses therefore have skilled and unskilled participants doing the same tasks.

In the data collection, three different trucks have been followed for a week with three internal cameras and one to two external cameras following each truck.  This multi camera array allows a detailed picture of the trucks movement, the drivers’ gaze and bodily behavior.

This paper is interested to describe how drivers can be seen to be skilled or unskilled.  Two task solving sequences have been selected with two drivers with apparently different skills.  The analysts first impression have then been informed by the written statement of nearly 100 forklift teachers who have watched the video clips and commented on the skill level of the drivers.  A microanalysis of the activities in both video sequences has then be made to flesh out what the initial skill assessment might have registered as indicative for the drivers’ skill level.