Forklifts; Classification, Types, and Their Uses


What is a Forklift?

Forklifts are industrial vehicles that have a forked device attached in the front that is adjustable, you can raise or lower it for the insertion under a cargo to move or lift it. Forklifts are mostly used to carry heavy loads in large facilities including warehouses and other similar.

Forklifts are powered using fuel or using electric batteries. Some of the forklifts allow operators to sit and some require the operator to stand. These forklifts are made to carry or lift and handle heavy objects and materials that are not possible with manpower.

Can You Rent Forklifts for Specific Reasons or You have to buy one

A common question that arises often is that can a person rent a forklift for some work or you need to buy one. Yes, you can rent a forklift as per your needs from different sources. All you have to do is to pay the rent that companies ask for.

Where you can find forklifts? You can find a company near you that sells, buy, or rent forklifts to people. If you are a resident of the UK then you can easily rent them using your smartphones from different websites like These companies offer to sell, buying, renting, and repairing of forklifts. You can contact any site and rent one forklift truck for you or even can buy them at fair prices than buying directly from the manufacturer.

Types of Forklifts and their Uses

Forklift trucks or lift trucks are of different types. Here in this section, you will see some of the popular ones and their uses:

Warehouse forklift

Warehouse forklifts are one of the most recognized and probably the most used type of forklift truck as well. This vehicle works best in areas with a large number in inventory. These lift trucks are used to effectively load and unload pallets and balanced materials. Also, you can use them to remove and transport items from delivery vehicles.

You will come across this truck in many facilities and if not this you will see its subtypes which are side-loader and counterbalance forklift.

Counterbalance Forklift

Counterbalance forklift is one of the popular lift truck which has forks in the front and a load in the back of the truck to counterweight the burden of the load. These forklifts move directly to the load because they have no extended arms.

Counterbalance forklifts have different variants. The 3-wheel one is ideal for situations where an operator is required to run and move it in circles. A stand-up variant allows an operator to easily move and hop on and off between loads.


Telehandler forklifts are also known as reach forklift is a combination of a crane and a forklift because of its boom and an extendable arm. There are two twin forks attached that are used to move palettes off the ground.

Telehandlers can lift loads to 5,500 lbs of objects from up to 19 feet in the air. Telehandler is well known for its feature of reaching into spaces that are tight with odd angles.

Rough Terrain Forklift

Rough terrain is also known as Straight mast forklift, designed specifically for outdoor jobs, especially on uneven surfaces. These trucks are best for uneven surfaces because of the pneumatic tires that help them to navigate rocky ground.

The tires are specially designed, oversized treaded tires that help increasing balance and stability allowing safe transportation of materials. If you have work-related to indoors, then this may not help. But when you want a forklift for outdoor applications like on construction sites, rough terrain is the best choice.

Walkie Stacker

Walkie stackers are very unique in appearance and specific in use. Unlike other forklifts, walkie stackers don’t have cabs and instead, an operator is required to steer it from behind using attached handles to transport materials.

These forklifts lack power, speed, and maneuverability but these forklifts are ideal for some situations. Walkie stacker can reach higher than any other forklift which allows the operator to reach materials that are placed high above without risk of getting things damaged.

Order Picker

An order picker is similar to walkie stackers. They are used to pick and deliver materials and objects from storage. This vehicle is used to lift operators to a height of about 32 feet enabling the operator to reach warehouse racks and carry individual units.

As the name suggests, these are used for picking up customer’s orders. They help in bringing one or two units at a time rather than bringing down pallets and loads. This truck is designed to pick and handle the stuff of various sizes, from furniture to auto parts it can carry heavyweight objects.

Forklift Classifications

Forklifts are categorized based on their features. There are seven known forklift classes according to the fuel options and according to their use. Forklift operators need to be aware of the necessary forklift safety practices as per each classification and specialize in each class of forklift to use it.

Here are the seven different forklift classifications:

Class 1:  Electric Motor Ride Truck

  • Works using electricity
  • Use: works best where indoor quality is concerned

Class 2:  Electric Motor Narrow Aisle Truck

  • Works with Battery
  • Use: Mainly used in narrow or tight spaces and odd angles

Class 3 – Electric Motor Hand Truck

  • Works with Battery
  • Use: for fast delivering of goods across short distances

Class 4 – Core Combustion Engine with Mitigate Tires

  • Works using Gas or Diesel
  • Use: Low-clearance situations

Class 5 – Core Combustion Engine Trucks with Inflated Tires

  • Powered using Gas or Diesel
  • Use: both indoor and outdoor rough surfaces

Class 6 – Core and Electric Ignition Engine Tractors

  • Powered with Battery, Gas, or Diesel
  • Use: Moving or towing loads

Class 7 – Rough Terrain Forklift Truck

  • Uses Gas or Diesel to operate
  • Use: high elevation lifting, uneven ground, Construction sites


Here in this article, you have learned about what a forklift is, where you can buy/rent them, types of forklifts, and their use in certain scenarios. We hope this article helped you find the forklift that covers your needs.