Forklift Types: Which Is Right for the Job?

Though all forklifts share the same task of lifting and transporting materials, there are many different types of forklift available. Each has a particular set of specifications that makes it ideal for a given application. When looking for a forklift for your fleet, you need to consider these factors to find the best one for your job.

Where Will You Use the Forklift?

The intended application for your forklift is the primary consideration when choosing among the many forklift types. Consider if you will use the forklift outdoors or indoors, on smooth floors or rough terrain, the weight and lift height of the materials and how many hours each day you intend to use it. These factors will determine many aspects of your ideal forklift, including the power source, tire type and weight capacity.

What Load Capacity Do You Need?

Having a load capacity that is high enough to transport your materials is essential. To determine your ideal load capacity, consider what kinds of materials you'll lift, the typical weight of a load, the heaviest load you'll lift and the width of your loads.

Forklift attachments may also influence your load capacity. Depending on what you use, an accessory may help you move the load easier. Common attachments include forks, paper roll clamps, rotators, side shifters and more.

What Lift Height Do You Need?

Like the load capacity, you need a forklift that will reach the height you need. When looking at forklift heights, choose a forklift that will reach your typical lift height and your highest lift height with the ability to maneuver around any obstacles.

In addition to lift height, take note of the mast height when it's in its lowest position. The lowered height matters if your job site has height restrictions.

What Are Your Power Requirements?

Forklifts are available with either electric or internal combustion (IC) engines, and IC engines can run on several gas types. There are essential considerations for each fuel type, including fuel consumption, emissions, lifespans, ideal applications, lifting capacities and more. The most important factor is operating costs, as electric and IC forklifts vary in expenses.

Which Tire Type Is Best?

Your intended application will determine what type of tire you need. There are three kinds available:

  • Solid pneumatic tires: Solid tires are a durable choice for demanding applications, as they cannot puncture, pop or go flat. These tires are common to heavy-duty IC forklifts.
  • Air-filled pneumatic tires: Pneumatic tires are large and filled with compressed air. They are the choice tire for IC forklifts.
  • Cushion tires: Cushion tires are solid rubber and allow the forklift to sit low to the ground, offering greater maneuverability. Often used on electric forklifts, they work best on paved, even surfaces.

Rent a Forklift From The Cat® Rental Store

The forklifts for rent at The Cat® Rental Store have the quality you need and the competitive prices you want. Browse our equipment online to see what we have in our rental fleet. To schedule a rental quote or learn more about our products, call 1-800-RENT-CAT.

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