Selecting the best forklift to rent for your business needs can be a daunting task considering the different types of forklifts in the market and being unaware of their specifications. To select the best forklift for your business, due diligence is required for all type of forklifts. This information can help you start on the right path of enlightenment regarding knowledge of the different types of forklifts.
The Industrial Truck Association (ITA), an association of lift truck suppliers and manufacturers in the US, Canada and Mexico, states that there are 20 or more types of forklifts in the US andCanada trucks sold by 20 or more forklift manufacturers.
There are eight classifications of lift trucks according to the ITA:
Class 1: Electric-Motor Rider Trucks
Class 2: Electric-Motor Narrow-Aisle Trucks
Class 3: Electric-Motor Hand Trucks
Class 4: Internal-Combustion Engine Trucks-Cushion Tires
Class 5: Internal-Combustion Engine Trucks-Pneumatic Tires
Class 6: Electric and Internal-Combustion Engine Tow Tractors
Class 7: Rough-Terrain Forklift Trucks
Class 8: Personnel and Burden Carriers
Internal Combustion (Classes 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8) lift trucks run on conventional fuel are best for outdoor use due to the polluting nature of their fuel, (even propane produces pollutants) and are reliable operators especially in bad weather.
An IC truck is cheaper by 20 to 40 percent compared to electric class trucks, good fuel availability, is useful for rainy and wet weather and has a load bigger capacity.
It, however has higher fuel and maintenance cost than electric trucks, more parts wear and tear than electric trucks, produces more noise than electric trucks and needs a fuel tank adding more weight and thus more power needed to operate.
Electric (Classes 1, 2, 3, and 6)
These trucks operate indoors having zero emissions and have silent engines. Pe are switching to Class 1 trucks because of strict environmental laws, more versatility versus IC trucks and better fuel consumption.
Electric trucks are slower that IC units, needs battery charging stations and long wait for battery recharge.
In picking the best lift truck for your needs, know what materials you always need to load and your storage type for the materials.
Lift Truck Types
Standard Truck or counterbalanced sit-down truck – Capacity, 3,000- to 4,000-pounds. Reach, 20 feet high.
Reach Truck or narrow-aisle (NA) trucks – Used for pallet storage. Reach, 40 feet.
Motorized Pallet Truck – Useful for longer distance loading.
Order Selector or order picker – Very-narrow-aisle (VNA) trucks used for racked loads smaller than pallet size. Reach, 40 feet.
Swing-Mast and Turret Trucks – Very-narrow-aisle (VNA) vehicles. Masts can turn 90 degrees in either direction.
NA and VNA Trucks – Used in spaces 6 to 10 feet wide.