Rough Terrain Forklifts Ease Material Handling in Challenging Settings

Many different types of forklifts are available today, each with the intent to increase productivity in various settings. For smooth, stable material handling performance in challenging outdoor environments, you need a rough terrain forklift.

Rough Terrain Forklift Basics

Rough terrain lift trucks combine the all-terrain utility of a tractor with the lifting functions of a forklift. They typically weigh 10,000 to 20,000 pounds, making them considerably heavier than the average car. Typical lift heights range from 15 to 80 feet, and load capacities span 2,000 to 40,000 pounds. In addition to their impressive lifting abilities and weight capacities, rough terrain trucks are specially designed to transport loads on uneven ground.

Types of Rough Terrain Forklifts

Material handling forklifts designed for challenging terrain can be divided into these categories:

  • Straight mast rough terrain forklifts operate much like conventional lift trucks—except the forks and mast are mounted to a tractor-like cab.
  • Vertical reach rough terrain forklifts are also known as compact telehandlers or high-reaching telehandlers. They feature a boom that can be raised and extended for greater vertical reach.
  • Rotating reach rough terrain forklifts swivel on a turntable, allowing them to access a wide area while remaining in one spot.
  • Trailer-mounted rough terrain forklifts, also called piggyback forklifts, can be latched to a vehicle to move materials as needed.

Characteristics of Rough Terrain Forklifts

Several features make rough terrain lift trucks unique. Here’s what to look for when renting or buying a challenging terrain forklift:

  • Higher ground clearance: A lifted undercarriage is a key requirement for operating a lift truck in unpaved outdoor settings. By sitting 12 inches or more above the ground, rough terrain forklifts can clear obstacles and climb embankments without getting high centered.
  • Better traction: Rough terrain forklifts have oversized pneumatic tires and articulating axles, making it possible to traverse slippery, loose, or muddy surfaces without over-taxing the engine or spinning the tires.
  • 4-wheel-drive: Conventional two-wheel-drive is insufficient for operating in challenging outdoor settings. That’s why rough terrain lift trucks feature an all-wheel-drive transmission and adaptive limited-slip differentials. This setup provides power and torque to each tire to prevent getting stuck.
  • Load control: Some all-terrain forklifts feature a load control option. This minimizes shock on uneven terrain, resulting in less operator fatigue and a lower chance of product damage.
  • Special attachments: Any forklift can be fitted with compatible attachments, but some are specifically made to help lift oddly shaped loads most likely to be found in challenging outdoor settings. Examples of the attachments you might need include dumpers, bale handlers, yard scrapers, and drum carriers.


If you’re looking for a reliable forklift dealer in Florida, look no further than Ring Power Lift Trucks. We’re the Sunshine State’s top source for quality new and used rough terrain forklifts, offering exceptional quality control measures to ensure your purchase or rental exceeds your expectations. For more information about our material handling forklift rentals, sales, parts, and services, please contact us at 877-544-5438.


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