What are the 7 Forklift Classes?

The are seven classes of forklifts and you can find at least one in every warehouse operation around the world. Each forklift class comes with different responsibilities and each forklift operator must be certified to use each class of truck that they'll operate. These responsibilities depends on factors such as applications, fuel options, and features of the forklift. Knowing and understanding the difference between the classifications can help you decide which one to get for your application.

Class One: Electric Motor Rider Trucks

These forklifts can be equipped with either cushion or pneumatic tires. The cushion tired lift trucks are intended for indoor use on smooth floors. The pneumatic tired trucks can be used in dry, outdoor applications such as: concrete, asphalt, gravel, etc.

These vehicles are powered by industrial batteries and use transistor motor controllers to control travel and hoist functions. They're very versatile and are found from the loading dock to the warehouse. These trucks are generally used in applications where air quality needs to be considered.

Class Two: Electric Motor Narrow Aisle Trucks

These forklifts are for companies that operate in very narrow aisle operations in their warehouse. This allows them to maximize the use of storage space. These vehicles have unique features that are designed to minimize the space occupied by the truck and to improve speed and efficiency.

Class Three: Electric Motor Hand or Hand-Rider Trucks

These are hand-controlled forklifts, meaning the operator is in front of the truck and controls the lift through a steering tiller. All controls are mounted on the top of the tiller, and the operator moves the tiller from side to side to steer the truck. These vehicles are battery-powered, and the smaller capacity units use industrial batteries.

Class Four: Internal Combustion Engine Trucks - Cushion Tire

These forklifts are used inside on smooth dry floors for transporting palletized loads to and from the loading dock and the warehouse. The cushion-tired forklifts are lower to the ground than forklift trucks with pneumatic tires. Because of that, these forklift trucks can be useful in low-clearance applications.

They also come in two different engine types: LPG and Diesel.

Class Five: Internal Combustion Engine Trucks - Pneumatic Tire

These trucks are commonly seen in warehouses. They can be used either inside or outside for virtually any type of application. Because of the large capacity range of this series of lift truck, they can be found handling small single pallet loads to loaded 40-foot containers.

These lift trucks can be powered by internal combustion engines and are available for use with LPG, gas, and diesel.

Class 7: Rough Terrain Forklift Trucks

Rough terrain forklifts are fitted with large floatation tires for outdoor use on difficult surfaces. They're often used at construction sites to transport and lift building materials to various job site locations. They're also common with lumber yards and auto recyclers.

Telescopic handlers are also considered a class seven truck.

What are the 7 Forklift Classes?1