There are 7 various classes of forklifts as determined by the ITA or Industrial Truck Association. These categories are broken down by the type of work environment; rough or smooth surfaces, outdoors, indoors and narrow aisle; by the type of engine; whether the operator is sitting down or standing; and lastly the characteristics of the equipment, regarding the maximum grade and kind of tire. Several of the classes are further sub-divided by operating characteristics. Here are the following forklift categories:
Category 1 Forklifts: are considered to be electric motor trucks with air filled or pneumatic tires or cushion tires. The Class 1 lift trucks also include 4 lift codes, or subcategories which are:
Lift Code 1: Counterbalanced, stand up rider units.
Lift Code 4: 3-Wheel electric sit-down units.
Lift Code 5: Counterbalanced rider, cushion tire sit down tires.
Lift Code 6: This grouping included pneumatic tire units, counterbalanced rider, and sit-down rider units.
Category 2 Forklifts: Class 2 lift trucks consist of narrow aisle electric trucks with solid tires.
Category 3 Forklifts: Class 3 lift trucks consist of electric hand trucks and hand/rider trucks with solid tires.
Category 4 Forklifts: The IC or internal combustion units make up Class 4 forklifts. These are sit down rider models with cushion tires. Generally, they are great for indoor use and on hard surfaces.
Category 5 Forklifts: Class 5 is Internal Combustion Engine sit down rider units outfitted with pneumatic tires. Usually, these units are great for working areas with significant inclines or on rough surfaces outside.
Category 6 Forklifts: Class 6 lift trucks will consist of IC powered or electric units. These ride-on units can tow at least 1000 pounds. This specific category is engineered and designed to tow loads rather than lift it.
Category 7 Forklifts: This class is defined as rough terrain trucks with pneumatic tires. The Class 7 forklifts are almost exclusively used outside and powered by diesel engines.
These classes were designed to keep the large field of lift trucks organized and separated. In order to get their work completed, different working environments rely on various categories. Forklifts are quite specific in their lifting and loading capacities. Their various engine types and tire types are made for specific operation. In order to select the right forklift to meet all your needs and to fulfill your tasks, do some research to know exactly what you would need from your particular model. By talking to several respectable dealers and taking time to explore all your choices, you could pick the right equipment.