8 Common Forklift Types, Classifications and Uses

January 10, 2022 11:16 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Need a forklift for your day-to-day operations? Whether you run a busy warehouse or you work in the construction field, forklifts safely move heavy, bulky objects that humans can’t. In short, they’re indispensable on many jobsites.

When it comes time to visit your preferred forklift sales or forklift rental provider, here are some of the common types you’ll choose from and how they can be used.

Warehouse forklift

The most common and recognizable lift truck, the warehouse forklift looks like a small golf cart with twin forks attached to the front. These small, agile forklifts are ideal for warehouse facilities with a large number of items in inventory.

Side-loader forklift

The side-loader is a subtype of warehouse forklifts. They’re typically used in manufacturing facilities or steel service centers, and they’re ideal for moving heavy and bulky items. Its sideways operation allows for great maneuverability, and operators can easily drive alongside narrow aisles and racks to load and unload without ever needing to turn.

Counterbalance forklift

Another subtype of the warehouse forklift, the counterbalance forklift contains a weight at the rear of the machine so that the forklift won’t tip from the weight of a load. These forklifts have arms that don’t extend, so they can move directly to the load to pick it up.


One of the largest types of forklifts you’ll find at your local forklift sales center is the telehandler. This machine is also called a telescopic forklift or a reach forklift, and it features a boom and extendable arm with twin forks. Telehandlers are ideal for material handling, since they’re maneuverable and can lift, on average, 5,500 pounds of materials up to 19 feet in the air.

Industrial forklift

Also called a large-capacity forklift, the industrial forklift combines the functions of both warehouse forklifts and telehandlers. While not as maneuverable as a telehandler, an industrial forklift can handle enormous payloads—up to 30,000 pounds in some cases. If you’re moving incredibly heavy objects, this model may be best for your applications.

Pallet jack

Pallet jacks (also called pump trucks) can’t lift large loads since they’re small in size and low on power. Their small footprint is an advantage, though, since pallet jacks can fit into tight spaces, lifting small loads in tight quarters. If you need to move pallets in tight spaces over long distances, this is an ideal model for you.

Walkie stacker

Commonly used for material handling, the walkie stacker forklift has no cab. Instead, workers walk behind the machine and use a handle for steering. They’re ideal for situations where you need a taller pallet jack since its reach is much higher.

Order picker

A subtype of the walkie stacker, an order picker is ideal for customer-order warehouses and storage facilities. They can pick up one or two units or boxes rather than entire pallets and loads. They’re versatile machines that can handle items of wide-ranging sizes, from furniture to car parts.

Looking for the right forklift rental for your daily applications? Stop by or contact V-Bar Equipment Company today, and find the best machine for your budget and needs.

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