Best Forklifts for Outdoors and Rough Terrain

When faced with moving materials over uneven ground in challenging outdoor conditions, selecting the right forklift makes all the difference. The goal is to find a machine specifically engineered to tackle unstable surfaces while maintaining the capacity to lift substantial loads. Learn more about all-terrain forklifts and what features set them apart from standard, smooth-tire warehouse forklifts.


What is a Rough-Terrain Forklift?

Outdoor forklifts are industrial machines designed to conquer the elements and operate in demanding settings. Many of these robust forklifts can reach speeds of up to 24 mph and have lifting capacities from 8,000 to 30,000 pounds. For those managing breakbulk and high-capacity operations, heavy-duty versions can handle loads exceeding 100,000 pounds.


Expect to find these features in an outdoor forklift:


  • Powerful diesel engine
  • Larger body style
  • Pneumatic tires with deep treads
  • Larger front tires to support heavy loads and smaller back tires for steering
  • Heavy-duty forks
  • Calibrated balance to enable course changes at higher speeds
  • Higher ground clearance for easier movement over rough surfaces
  • Ability to navigate slight slopes and surface grades
  • Wider straight masts able to reach higher than a standard lift truck


Types of Outdoor and Rough-Terrain Forklifts


All-terrain forklifts come in several styles. The main types include:


  • Straight mast forklift: This machine boasts large front-drive tires and a smaller rear set primarily for steering. Built to operate on uneven ground, the straight mast is perfect for larger outdoor tasks, requiring significant space to maneuver but offering unmatched lifting capacity.
  • Variable reach forklift: Also known as a telescopic boom lift, this forklift can reach out to place or retrieve loads with pinpoint accuracy. Its design allows for extensions and retractions, letting you place or remove items from elevated positions like rooftops or within buildings.
  • Truck- or trailer-mounted forklift: Transportable and convenient, these forklifts are ideal for job sites that otherwise lack material handling equipment. Simply mount it on the back of a truck, and you’re good to go.


Best Rough-Terrain Forklift Brands


Numerous companies manufacture rough-terrain forklifts. Three of the most highly rated brands include:


  • LiftKing: Renowned for its exceptional performance in rugged environments, LiftKing straight mast forklifts feature high ground clearance and robust engines for heavy loads and consistent outdoor performance.
  • Kalmar: Straight mast forklifts from this brand excel in tough conditions, with high lift capacities, strong diesel engines, and pneumatic tires for stability and operator safety.
  • CAT: This company manufactures rough-terrain forklifts with advanced powertrains and high-performance hydraulics, ensuring smooth operation and reliability on challenging surfaces.


Why Choose Ring Power Lift Trucks?


When it comes to heavy-duty material handling, experience matters. Ring Power Lift Trucks brings over 60 years of experience and an unwavering commitment to customer satisfaction. We have 19 locations throughout Florida, so we’re never too far away to assist. Whether you’re in the market for new or used forklifts, we can meet your needs. We also offer aftersales support to keep your machinery in tip-top shape for years to come. Contact us at 877-544-5438 today to access the newest forklift technology from today’s most trusted brands.


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