Forklifts are one of the most useful tools you could have around especially if you are often in need of lifting heavy things. These little vehicles especially come in handy in warehouses, and if your business is dealing with cargo that needs to be carried in or out of it. In case you didn’t know, there are multiple types of forklifts and there are differences between them, meaning that not all of them will be suitable for the things you will need them for. That is why you should know how to pick the best out of the bunch for you. Follow this article to learn the different types of forklifts and how to choose the ideal ones for your business.
What Types Of Forklifts Are There?
Just like all other office supplies or machinery, forklifts need to be chosen carefully for them to be able to carry out all the functions that you need them to do. That is why you must know all the types of forklifts that you can choose from so that you do not make any mistakes. Also, remember that these machines are pretty durable so you don’t need to buy a new one. If you are opting to buy used forklift you should find a good supplier that will get you the best prices and the highest quality. Here are the types of forklifts you can find out there. Remember that each of them is designed for specific applications so pay attention to what you need. For starters, here are the six most common types:
- Electric forklifts
- Order pickers
- OC Forklifts
- Pallet jacks
- High-capacity forklifts
- Reach Trucks
Selecting the right one is crucial for your productivity and efficiency, so you must know the key differences between them. So there are seven classes with differences without which you cannot begin your search.
1. Class I – the electric motor rider forklifts
This is the best machine to load and unload trailers, to handle pallets, as well as other functions in various industries varying from retail business to food storage and warehousing. Since they are powered by batteries, they are usually pretty quiet, and they also function as one part of the counterweight helping it maintain its lifting capacity. From the many developers, multiple models can suit you well. The models are the following:
- 80V electric pneumatic forklift
- Stand-up rider forklift
- High-capacity electric cushion forklift
- Core electric forklift
- Large electric forklift
2. Class II – electric motor narrow aisle
As the name says, this is another class of electric forklifts and they are designed to navigate through narrow aisles. They are easy to operate, and therefore you can maneuver through tight spaces where other vehicles cannot go through. It is a perfect machine for picking up and putting away your inventory. They are also able to increase your racking space without you having to expand your current warehouse. Here are the models:
- Reach Truck
- Order Picker
3. Class III – electric pallet jacks
Also known as tow tractors or stackers, these are the third of the electric forklifts on this list. The good thing about these little vehicles is that they offer both models for riding and for walking behind them. This makes them perfect to unload deliveries with, as well as moving loads to stage areas where they are then handled by other types of forklifts. There are many models to choose from and they are all good for food and drink storage, but also other industries. Here are some:
- Large electric walkie pallet jack
- End controlled rider pallet jack
- Electric walkie pallet jack
- Mid-tow tractor
4. Class IV – internal combustion engine cushion tire
This is the type that only offers riding-style forklifts and they are usually good for indoor use. They have IC engines and run on different fuels like diesel, gasoline, compressed natural gas, or LP gas. They have solid but cushioned tires so they are really useful for indoor surfaces. They are also puncture-proof because they are not filled with air. They are famous for being useful in warehouses, retail, automotive applications, and distribution. Here are some models:
- Box-car special
- Paper roll special
- Large IC cushion
- Core IC cushion
- High-capacity IC cushion
- High-capacity adjustable wheelbase
- High-capacity large IC cushion
5. Class V – internal combustion engine pneumatic tire
This is a fairly similar forklift type to the one from the class mentioned before, but the main difference is that these machines are designed for outdoor use. They are famous for their high durability so you can use them on different outdoor surfaces without any worries. Your options vary from construction sites to lumberyards and everything in-between. Here are some models:
- Core IC pneumatic
- Loaded Container Handler
- Reach stacker
- Mid-IC Pneumatic
- Large IC Pneumatic
- High-Capacity IC Pneumatic
6. Class IV – electric/ic engine tow tractors
This is the only type on this list that has both the options of battery-powered or IC engine-powered forklifts. These are most commonly used for towing purposes, rather than lifting loads. These are the most ideal types if you need them at airports, but they can find use in other industries as well. They are also popular in places that have assembly line areas. Toyotas AC drive system for these types gives you better acceleration time, as well as extended operator time and higher top speed.
7. Class VII – rough terrain forklift trucks
These vehicles are engine-powered and are famous for their large tires that remind some people of tractors. They are exclusively powered by diesel engines and are perfect when you are working in rough and rugged terrains outside. These are the most common forklifts you will find on construction sites and lumberyards because they are powerful so they can easily lift building materials.
What Is The Difference Between Electric And IC?
There are differences between electric and IC forklifts and you should know them before purchasing.
- Less maintenance
- You don’t need fuel storage
- You have no tailpipe emission
- Operates on gasoline, diesel, compressed natural gas, or liquid propane gas
- Better for outdoors
- Operates in various conditions
- No batteries for recharging
There, now you should have no problems buying a forklift. Remember that getting a used one is also a good idea since they are durable machines. Pay attention to the differences between batteries and IC, as well as what you need it for. Good luck choosing.