Forklift class types demystified
A guide to forklift class types
There are a lot of types of forklifts but they are conveniently divided up into different forklift classes to help differentiate between the different categories of lift trucks. These are each referred to as a forklift class. There are six different forklift class types. Here is a guide to each class:
Class 1 forklifts
These lift trucks have electric-motors and are powered by batteries. They also carry the operator and are sometimes referred to as rider trucks. The drive either stands on a platform to drive it or they are seated on three-wheel units. Rider units are counterbalanced and may have cushion or pneumatic tires.
Class 2 forklifts
The lift trucks have electric motors. They are designed to operate in narrow aisles or are used for inventory stock or order picking duties. They may have extra reach or swing-mast functions.
Class 3 forklifts
These are electric-motor trucks, where the driver either walks behind them or they stand on the unit to operate it. Class 3 automated pallet lift-trucks and high-lift models are often counterbalanced.
Class 4 forklifts
Class 4 forklifts are rider fork trucks, that have cabs and seated controls. They feature internal combustion engines, and solid or “cushion” tires. Additionally, Class 4 forklifts can be sit-down rider or tow tractor lifts. These have either electric engines or internal combustion engines (diesel, propane or gasoline).
Class 5 forklifts
Class 5 forklifts are rider fork trucks, with cabs and seated controls. They have internal combustion engines, either diesel, propane or gasoline. Their wheels have pneumatic tires. They are typically counterbalanced.
Class 7 forklifts
A class 7 forklift is designed for use on rough terrain. Typical applications include agriculture, logging or construction. They are typically used outside and some have the ability to lift extremely heavy loads.