Guide to common forklift types by industry

Guide to common forklift types by industry

04/05/2021 / 929 / New Sales, Uncategorized
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You might be used to one on two types of forklift truck, but there are dozens of vehicle types with different applications. The main variance is by industry, with different forklift types useful for tasks or environments associated with particular sectors.

The common forklift types:

  • Reach forklift
  • Counterbalance forklift
  • Rough terrain forklift
  • Side loader forklift
  • Telehandler forklift
  • Warehouse forklift
  • Pallet jack
  • Walkie stacker
  • Order picker

Choosing the right forklift types

Businesses that use forklifts usually have a set few tasks they need the truck to fulfil around their site. This is the starting point for matching the right forklift truck to a business – finding the right forklift type means matching the features of the truck to the application.

How do we do this?

We carry out a site survey, where we assess your site and operation, and recommend the ideal truck. Factors such as indoor and outdoor use, handling and lifting requirements, and the size and terrain of your site are considered.

What forklift types are used in different industries

1. Construction sites

Rough terrain and telehandlers

Construction sites have uneven, rough terrain that vehicles need to traverse in all weathers. Durable, powerful trucks, with large tyres, are needed to perform in these conditions.


2. Indoor warehouses

Reach and counterbalance

With corridors and stock to navigate, warehouse vehicles need to be compact and articulated to turn in tight spaces. Electric forklifts are suited to indoor environments and 3- or 4-wheel counterbalance forklifts are a common choice.

3. Loading and distribution

Gas counterbalance

When loading and unloading, the vehicles may need to move between outdoors and indoors, making gas-powered trucks most suitable. Counterbalance trucks have good lift height capacities, making them suited to handling and distribution.


4. Retailers, supermarkets, and superstores

Pallet trucks, pedestrian stackers

These trucks are excellent for moving stock around easily without taking up too much room. Pallet trucks are manual or pedestrian, depending on the size of a shop or warehouse floor.

5. Waste management

Diesel counterbalance

For moving heavy loads outdoors, diesel trucks are commonly used. These trucks are robust enough to handle a large range of attachments suitable to waste disposal.

Hangha Forklift Driving On Rough Terrain

6. Agriculture

Rough terrain telehandler

These versatile trucks operate on the muddy and rough terrain of farming land. With attachments designed specifically for farmers, one truck can fulfil a range of tasks.

We hope we’ve given you a good overview of the different forklift types to suit different industries. To find the right truck for your business, get a survey with your local forklift supplier.

Looking for reliable forklifts in Yorkshire? Get in touch with our forklift experts on 0113 393 2881 or

Contact our friendly team for advice.

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