Types Of Forklifts

With the increase in industries and warehouses, there has also consequently been an increase in machinery that supports these. Perhaps one of the most identifiable things for this would be a forklift. A forklift is a machine used to carry items within short distances and you generally see them in big factories and warehouses. It was invented in the early part of the 20th century and found popularity post World War II.

This sort of technology was novel and very instrumental in driving the industrial revolution. Much like how self-driving cars are the latest in technology and in the coming years we will see more of that according to this article. These days with large warehouses becoming a norm with companies like Amazon, forklifts are as popular as cars. There are now many companies manufacturing these machines and there are many options for factory owners to check out. We are listing a few of the different kinds of forklifts here.

Warehouse Forklift

This type of forklift is probably the most recognisable. It almost looks like a golf cart and is used in warehouses where there is a huge inventory. These machines can be used to load and unload from spaces as well as picking stuff up from delivery vehicles. These machines can lift over 5000 pounds worth of goods. Some heavy-duty ones can load even heavier material. These are the kind of forklifts one would see at an Amazon warehouse which are increasingly being run by robots as this article describes.

Side Loader

A Side Loader is a kind of forklift that is used in metal service centres to load and unload really heavy items. The operation on this is done sideways so the machine does not have to turn. This feature makes it ideal for narrow aisles.

Counterbalance Forklift

A Counterbalance Forklift is the kind that has forks in the front and, to balance it out, some weight in the back. They don’t have arms that extend. The three-wheeled kind is the most popular one as operators can use it in small spaces as well. There is also a stand-up variant.



The Telehandler is also known as a Reach Forklift. This type of forklift has an extendable arm so it’s almost like a crane. One of these can pick up a heavy item of about 5000 pounds to a height of close to 20 feet. This kind of forklift is best suited for small places with odd angles.

Industrial Forklift

An Industrial Forklift or the large capacity forklift is a mix of a warehouse and a telehandler forklift. This is not meant for smaller spaces and is meant for weights up to 30000 lbs. These are very specific high end machines and only means for big industries. Models from brands like Mitsubishi can even pick up weight up to 36000 lbs.

The other kinds of forklifts include Pallet Jack, Walkie Stacker and Order Picker and the most popular brand that makes these is Hyster. Eventually, the model depends on the space and layout in the warehouse as well as the general weight of the goods.