9 Common Forklift Types, Classifications and Uses

When you need to move a heavy load over a short distance, a forklift will be able to get the job done. Forklifts are vital to many industries such as construction, warehousing, and shipping just to name a few. Forklifts come in a variety of types and sizes, and the right one for your job will be determined by how you’ll be using it. 

Here are ten types of forklifts and a brief description of what each type is used for:


  1. Manual Pallet Trucks

    These are very common in storage spaces and warehouses. They’re manually operated, easy to use, and quite powerful. Their primary use is for moving loads at ground level.

  2. Electric Pallet Trucks

    This is another pedestrian operated model but has an electric motor. It can move heavier cargo easily and can lift up to 300 feet.

  3. Four Wheeled Counterbalance Forklifts

    This is the most common type of forklift. These forklifts can run on three types of fuel, and the choice of fuel can affect the load capacity.

  4. Three Wheeled Counterbalance Forklifts

    This is  a three wheeled version, with the rear wheel placed closer to the trucks center of gravity to improve its turning ability. This makes it suitable for manuevering in tight spaces.

  5. Reach Trucks

    This truck has forks that can extend beyond the compartment and reach warehouse racks in a way not possible with standard forklifts. These are often used for order picking in large warehouses.

  6. Side Loader

    These are designed to work better in narrow spaces. The forks are mounted on the side and they’re especially suitable for long loads like pipes, sheets, and timber.

  7. Stackers

    Stackers are similar to powered pallet trucks, but they have a mast which allows them to lift pallets to a height of around 15 feet. These are best suited for smaller warehouses and compact spaces.

  8. Rough Terrain Forklifts

    As the name suggests, these lifts are designed to be used over uneven surfaces. These are particularly suited to working at construction sites.

  9. Heavy Duty Forklift

    Also called a large capacity forklift, this model combines the functions of a warehouse forklift with a telehandler. These lifts are designed to handle extremely heavy loads.


Ask the Pros

If you’re unsure about the type of forklift your business needs, check with the professionals at Ring Power Lift Trucks. We are the premier forklift dealer in Florida with a broad range of forklifts as well as other materials handling equipment. We represent all of the leading forklift manufacturers and can work with you to select a new or used forklift for your operation. We also offer short term and long term forklift rentals. We serve Jacksonville, Sarasota, and many other locations in Florida, and our service go beyond sales and rentals. We can also supply you with forklift parts and service to minimize your downtime.


If you would like any more information about the products or services we offer, visit our website or reach out to us at 877-544-5438.


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