Definition of Forklift Classes
Forklifts are used in various everyday tasks in both retail and warehouse environments, such as raising bulky merchandise, stocking shelves and delivering loads of goods. Based on the Industrial Truck Association there are eight classes of forklift. The machines are classified based on type of tire, kind of motor or engine, and the way the equipment is steered. Forklifts are also referred to as lift trucks.
Class I forklifts - Electric Motor Forklifts
These are standard electric motor lift trucks. Kinds of Class I forklift consist of the sit-down, three-wheeled varieties that are often utilized to transport pallets of mulch at home goods stores.
Class II forklifts - Narrow Aisle Electric Motor Lift Trucks
These trucks do not need much space to operate. Class II trucks comprise forklifts with swinging masts and side-loading models.
Class III forklifts - Electric Motor Hand Trucks
Class IV forklifts - Internal Combustion Engine Forklifts
These trucks have engines similar to those found in cars. They come with either solid tires or cushion tires. Normally the back of the truck has a counterweight in order to make the equipment more stable.
Both Class IV and Class V are normally counterbalance forklifts with IC engines. The difference is in the tire. Class V trucks come with radial or pneumatic tires.
Class VI forklifts - Towing Tractor Lift Trucks
These trucks are sit-down tractors that can raise heavy loads and pull loads weighing more than 450 kilograms. These trucks can are available with either an electric motor or an IC engine.
Class VII lift trucks - Rough Terrain Vehicles
Class VII lift trucks have pneumatic tires and IC engines, that are best utilized in rough terrains like agriculture, construction and logging. These trucks are great for worksites where the ground is uneven and rough and riddled with debris.
Class VIII forklifts - Manual Lift Trucks
These specific trucks are all manually operated by an individual who pushes or pulls the vehicle. The forks are normally hydraulically operated, and have a low maximum lift height. This class includes burden and personnel carriers.