Types of Forklifts

There are many types of forklifts, and each serves a specific need. Choosing the right lift for the job can make a big difference in how efficient and productive your company operates. With many factors to consider before buying or leasing a forklift, review the types of forklifts below to see what fits your specific requirements. If you still can’t decide which kind of forklift truck is right for you, one of our forklift experts is happy to help, so feel free to contact us!

Additional Forklift Resources

Learn more about forklifts on our Material Handing Equipment Information Guide page. Keep these questions in mind when looking for a lift on our Common Forklift Questions page.

Sign up for our newsletter (on the sidebar) for useful information, news and more!

17 Types of Forklifts:

Types of forklifts

Cushion Tire Forklifts

  • Capacity: 3,000lbs and up
  • Fuel Type: Gas, LPG or Diesel
  • Good for indoor use and smooth surfaces

Cushion Tire Forklifts For Sale

Types of forklifts

Pneumatic Tire Forklifts

  • Capacity: 3,000lbs and up
  • Fuel Type: Gas, LPG or Diesel
  • Good for indoor or outdoor use on uneven surfaces.
  • Most versatile of the forklifts

Pneumatic Tire Forklifts For Sale

Types of forklifts

4 Wheel Electric Forklifts

  • Capacities Range: 3,000lbs – 80,000lbs
  • 36V or 48V
  • Tire Options: Cushion or pneumatic
  • Electric units work well in poor or no ventilation environments (don’t release emissions)
  • Good for unloading trucks and moving pallets and other loads
  • Environmentally friendly

4 Wheel Electric Forklifts For Sale

Types of forklifts

3 Wheel Electric Forklifts

  • Capacities range: 3,000 lbs – 5,000 lbs
  • 36V or 48V
  • Tire Options: Cushion or Pneumatic
  • Good for unloading trucks and moving pallets and other loads
  • Mainly used indoors on smooth surfaces, has a tighter turning radius for more maneuverability in small spaces
  • Good for unloading trucks and moving pallets and other loads

3 Wheel Electric Forklifts For Sale

Types of forklifts

Stand-Up Electric Forklifts (Dockers)

  • Capacity Range: 3,000lbs – 5,500lbs
  • 24V or 36V
  • Good for working indoors on smooth surfaces and quick loading/unloading in situations where the rider needs to mount and dismount often
  • Has a tighter turning radius for more maneuverability in small spaces

Stand-Up Electric Forklifts For Sale

Types of forklifts

Walkie Stackers/Counter-Balanced Stackers

  • Capacity Range: 3,000lbs to 5,000lb
  • 24V or 36V
  • Tire Options: Cushion
  • Good for moving loads short distances
  • Comes in two versions: Ride-on or Walk-behind
  • Forks are generally 48″ long, can come double-long for loading two pallets, and rise slightly off the ground
  • Walk behind can be equipped with a mast and/or reach which will allow you to raise loads onto racking

Walkie & Counter-Balanced Stackers For Sale

Types of forklifts

Narrow-Aisle Reach Trucks

  • Capacities Range: 2,500lbs – 5,500lbs
  • 36V or 48V
  • Reach Types:
    • Single-reach extends the distance of one pallet
    • Double-reach extends the distance of two pallets
  • Outriggers on the front of the forklift support the weight of the load
  • Good for racking pallets on smooth surfaces

Narrow-Aisle Reach Trucks For Sale

Types of forklifts

Order Pickers

  • Capacity Range: 3,000lbs – 5,000lbs
  • 24V, 36V, or 48V
  • Made for a rider to stand on, has an elevating platform with forks so the rider can grab and lift load
  • Good for using in narrow aisles

Order Pickers For Sale

Types of forklifts

Pallet Jacks

  • Generally lifts approximately 6”
  • Can walk behind or rode on
  • Good for moving pallets from one location to another

Pallet Jacks For Sale

Types of forklifts

Telehandlers

  • Capacity Options: 4,400 lbs. – 12,000 lbs.
  • Fuel Options: Diesel
  • Tire Option: Large Pneumatic for rough terrain
  • 4X4X4 (4WD & 4 wheel steering)
  • Reach capability: 19’ to 54’

Telehandlers For Sale

Types of forklifts

Rough Terrain Forklifts

  • Capacity Options: 6,000 lbs. – 12,000 lbs.
  • Fuel Options: Gas or Diesel
  • Tire Option: Large Pneumatic for outdoor use on uneven ground
  • Good for lumberyards, construction projects, landscaping and other outdoor applications

Rough Terrain Forklifts For Sale

Types of forklifts

Scissor Lifts

  • Fuel Options: Electric or Dual Fuel
  • Good for maintenance work
  • Fits well in tight spaces
  • Made to lift 1 or 2 people
  • Extended platforms available

Scissor Lifts For Sale

Types of forklifts

Swing Turret Trucks

  • Capacity Range: 3,000lbs – 8,000lbs
  • Fuel Options: LPG, 36V or 48V
  • Good for narrow aisles where you would need a rotating mast
  • Forks are mounted on a mast and carriage and operate on a 90 degree rotating turret allowing you to pick and/or stock without turning the base of the forklift

Swing Turret Trucks For Sale

Types of forklifts

Articulating Boom Lifts

  • Reach Capacity: 185’
  • Fuel Type: Electric, Dual Fuel or Diesel
  • Tire Option: Slab or Pneumatic
  • Comes in 2WD or 3WD

Articulating Boom Lifts For Sale

Types of forklifts

Straight Boom Lifts

  • Reach Capacity: 185’
  • Fuel Type: Electric, Dual Fuel or Diesel
  • Tire Option: Slab or Pneumatic
  • Comes in 2WD or 3WD

Straight Boom Lifts For Sale

Types of forklifts

Truck Mounted Forklifts (Sod Loaders)

  • Capacity: 3,000lbs – 5,500lbs
  • Good for a variety of jobs like roofing, lumber, sod, etc.
  • Typically mounts on the end of a truck or trailer for easy transportation
  • Comes in 2WD or 3WD

Truck Mounted Forklifts For Sale

Types of forklifts

Side Loaders

  • Fuel Option: Electric or Internal Combustion (Gas/Diesel)
  • Good for narrow-aisle work where space between racks is limited
  • Loads or unloads on one side only

Side Loaders For Sale