Understanding Different Types of Forklifts and Their Applications

different forklift types

When it comes to choosing the right material handling equipment for your business, it can be helpful to know the different types of forklifts, their classes, and the applications they perform the best in. Each product serves a different purpose, so having a trusted material handling partner that can guide you through the process is so important.

The different forklift classes

The most common forklift classifications are:

  • Class I: Electric Motor Counterbalanced Rider
  • Class II: Electric Motor Narrow Aisle
  • Class III: Electric Motor Walk Behinds Pallet Trucks and Stackers
  • Class IV: Internal Combustion Cushion Tire
  • Class V: Internal Combustion Pneumatic Tire

Different types of forklifts

Within each of these classifications are different forklift types. To determine the one that’s right for you, consider the environment the forklift will be in and the kind of work you need the forklift to do. Common forklift uses range from retrieving products from shelves in a warehouse to moving lumber or heavy materials. Common types of material handling equipment are:

  1. Counterbalance Forklift: With a weight in the back, this forklift has a counterbalance for the load it’s carrying. Counterbalance forklifts can have three or four wheels.
  2. Walkie Stacker: These units are walk behind, similar to the pallet jack but can lift pallets much higher.
  3. Order Picker: A narrow aisle piece of equipment that carries the operator to pick products and build loads.
  4. Reach Truck: With stabilized legs and forks that extend forward, these forklifts can be used to pick pallets quickly and precisely inside a narrow aisle rack warehouse.
  5. Rough Terrain Forklift: Designed specifically for outdoor use, these forklifts have durable pneumatic tires that are oversized and threaded so that they can easily navigate rocky terrain.
  6. Pallet Jack: Pallet jacks are designed to lift and move pallets of material around a warehouse or truck.
  7. Articulated Forklift: An articulated forklift is designed to move in narrow aisle and very narrow aisle applications. The operator can stack in aisles without turning the forklift.
  8. Turret Truck: The turret truck can pick loads from either side of the aisle in narrow aisles.

Whether you are lifting and moving materials around a warehouse, loading items onto trucks for transportation, or safely elevating people to perform maintenance duties, a Fraza material handling consultant can guide you through the process of selecting the right solution for your operation. To get in touch with an expert to learn more about our new and pre-owned selection, contact us today.