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The Different Types of Forklifts and Their Uses

As you certainly know, there are different uses of forklifts. You know they carry, push, pull, stack, and lift materials. But do you know that different types of forklifts perform different functions?

Each type has its purpose, features, capabilities, etc. As a result, forklifts drivers need varying skills for operating these trucks.

This article outlines the different types of forklift trucks and their uses. Read through and find the most suitable for your business.

Class I: Electric Motor Rider Trucks

Electric Motor Rider Trucks is the first type of forklift categorized under Class I. This machine is made to perform sit-down operations and utilizes a counterbalance technique to ensure its stability.

Electric Motor Rider Trucks are popular for truck loading due to their versatility.

They are perfect for indoor loading and offloading of tractor-trailers and handling pallets. The lifts are popular in the factory, retail, food storage, and warehouse jobs.

They come in 3-wheel or 4-wheels made specially to maneuver inside a crowded factory or warehouse with ease.

The 3-wheels forklift is perfect for indoor use in a smooth floor factory with tighter spaces. They also have a higher turn-radius and can lift a load capacity of 1,500 to 4,000 lbs.

4-wheels can be used in outdoor operations as they maneuver in rough terrain with ease. They can lift higher load capacities of 3,000 to 12,000 lbs.

Class II: Electric Narrow Aisle

Electric Narrow Aisle, classified under Class II forklifts, comprises reach trucks, order pickers, and turret trucks.

The three have a common feature of running on a large conventional thin plate with pure lead. Some use lithium-ion batteries.

Reach trucks and order pickers are specifically designed to perform almost similar functions. They mainly lift pallets from racks and shelves. They’re used inside warehouses with large materials on shelves.

But the two trucks differ in how the operator uses them. A reach truck features dual forks, which rise to reach the shelves or racks’ top while its operator remains on the ground. An order picker rises with the platform so that its operator is on the same eye level with the pallets they’re picking.

Electric Narrow Aisle trucks are famous for ease of maneuverability, perfect for load size and wheelbase. They work well in small warehouses with limited driving space. Both order pickers and reach trucks weigh about 2,000 to 5,000 lbs.

Class III: Electric Motor Hand-Rider

These trucks are mostly used in small areas with limited space for moving materials that are too heavy for humans to handle. They are perfect for moving loads lowered by larger trucks especially in retail spaces.

One advantage of these trucks is their ease of operation. They need very minimal training to be able to handle them. If your company has a limited equipment budget and looking for something to start with, these trucks are the most affordable options you can find.

Electric Motor Hand-Rider trucks are available in different options; walk-behind, manual trucks, and ride-on pallet jacks. The trucks can manage a load capacity of 4,500 to 10,000 lbs for pallet jackets. Tuggers pull materials of 10,000 to 15,000 lbs.

Pallet stackers lack a high load capacity and do not maneuver easily. However, they have higher lift heights of about 125 inches high. Their load capacity is 2,000 to 4,000 lbs.

Class IV: Internal Combustion Engine-Cushion Tires

Internal Combustion engines are also called by their tire types hence the name Cushion Tire. The class IV ICE Cushion trucks are perfect for indoor use. They have cushion tires and internal combustion engines that run on LP gas or diesel.

One great thing about these forklifts is their ability to handle different tasks with ease. Their load capacity is 3,000 to 15,500 lbs. They’re also perfect for lifting as they can reach up to 130 inches and travel at 14 MPH.

While many companies now prefer electric forklifts, ICE trucks do not need any recharging. They, therefore, save warehouse space and valuable time.

Thanks to their bigger and heavier body and high load capacity, these trucks perform handle large cargo and load more weight. They can replace many types of trucks, thus making them expensive to purchase. But don’t worry if you have a limited equipment budget as you can get a forklift for rent and move about your daily tasks with ease.

Class V: Internal Combustion Engine Trucks-Pneumatic Tires

These types of trucks are similar to class IV lifts but differ in tire types. They feature pneumatic tires and not cushion tires. The tires are made to maneuver in areas with more ground hazards as they do not puncture easily.

These trucks can be used both indoors and outdoors. The only difference between class IV and class V is the tire type. Otherwise, features like lift heights and load capacities are similar. They carry a load capacity of 3,000 to 36,000 lbs.

Consider Your Business Needs When Considering Different Types of Forklifts

As you can see, there are different types of forklifts with varying uses. Some lift materials and those that move them. There are forklifts suitable for indoor use and those that only work outside. The type of truck you choose will depend on your industry and job needs.

When choosing these machines, think about these different factors and get only the most suitable one. If you can’t afford one or need a machine for a limited period, you can opt to rent one.

If you need more help getting equipment or tools to use for your business, check out this site for expert help. You can also find essential tips for running your business here.

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