Types of Forklifts


Forklifts are generally used in engaging, lifting and transferring loads for warehousing, construction operations, material handling and other manufacturing factories.

In choosing forklifts, you have to understand the different kinds of forklifts to determine the most appropriate truck for your needs.


The two main types of forklifts are electric and internal combustion forklifts. Electric forklifts are usually used for indoor operations. It is the most recommended forklift for heavy lifting and for low operating costs.

On the other hand, IT (internal combustion) forklifts are used for outdoor operations. They are particularly valuable for businesses that require forklifts with ease of refueling. The subcategories of forklifts are fork truck, motorized drive and manual drive.


Other forklifts are designed counterbalanced to avoid the truck from possible overturning. Some forklifts include safety handrails or turntables. For specified applications, your can choose specialty forklifts based on your preferences.

For instance, if space is your major issue, you could purchase narrow aisle forklifts to allow smooth operations even in small spaces. On the other hand, if your operation is normally outdoors with uneven surfaces, you should consider rough-terrain forklifts.


Read more about forklifts:

Forklift Safety

Forklift Training

How to operate a forklift

Forklift Buying Guide


Other variations of forklifts include:

1) Stand-up rider forklifts - Have counterbalance weights in their body. Usually designed with the rider inside the body of the truck, these forklifts are electric counterbalanced riders.

2) Stand-up, narrow aisle rider - This forklift have straddle legs located on both sides, which provide extra stability even without counterweight in its body. These kinds of forklifts are electric and are recommended for areas with minimal spaces.

3) Sit-down rider - For these forklifts, the counterbalance is located at the rear part.

4) Motorized hand-pallet jacks - These models are low-lift trucks that have forks. While some allows the forklift operators to stand on the back, others are walked.

5) Reach forklift - These kinds of forklifts have big, pneumatic tires. They also include a boom that extends and raises. Reach forklifts outriggers at the front, which allows the forklift to be stabilized on uneven grounds.


Usually, people new to forklifts can find it difficult to differentiate one truck from the other. With this brief guideline, you can narrow down your choices and be able to purchase the forklift that fits your needs.