A Short Guide: Common Types of Forklift Trucks

Forklifts are a necessity for a lot of different businesses. They can be the life and blood of daily operations and without them, businesses simply could not operate. If you are planning on obtaining your forklift license, or already have it, you will become or be familiar with the different types of forklifts and forklift uses

There are a number of forklift types, yet the most common forklift trucks are:

  • Hand Operated Pallet Trucks
  • Counterbalance
  • Reach Truck
  • All Terrain
  • Tow tractors
  • Order pickers
  • Telehandlers


CAT Hand Operated Pallet TruckHand Operated Pallet Trucks

Probably the most common, if not most used type of forklift/truck used in warehouses. This piece of equipment is straightforward to operate and is used for moving goods at ground level from point A to point B.


CAT Counterbalance forkliftCounterbalance Forklifts

Another extremely popular type of truck. The counterbalance forklift truck has two forks at the front and can drive incredibly close to materials to pick them up. A counterbalance truck is versatile, in the sense that it can be used both indoors and outdoors. However, they will operate at their best when used on flat, smooth surfaces and operated in open spaces – due to their wide turning circle. They can be powered by gas, diesel and electric.


CAT Reach ForkliftReach Forklift Truck

Reach forklift trucks are perfect if you have tall and narrow aisles in your warehouse. Reach trucks are designed to do exactly what you think – reach! The truck can withstand significant loads and operate at incredible heights. Thanks to their tight turning circle, operators can manoeuvre with confidence in tight and narrow aisles.



CAT All Terrain ForkliftAll Terrain Forklifts

All terrain, or rough terrain forklifts are exactly what you need if you’re wanting to venture onto rough terrain, while still being able to carry heavy loads. They are typically used on construction sites and have large, inflatable tires with thick treads, to maximise stability on rough terrain. A rough terrain forklift will also have a bigger and better engine so that it can reach higher speeds.



CAT Tow Tractor Forklift TruckTow Tractors

Tow tractors or trucks are small, yet incredibly powerful trucks. They are perfect for towing loads with or without a trailer. They are typically used to move materials from storage facilities to production buildings. Think airports and warehouses. You may want to add a train of trailers to your tow truck to increase the number of materials you can transport. There are a number of different load carriers you can connect to a tow truck. This flexibility will allow you to handle a variety of different load sizes and weights.


CAT High Level Order PickerOrder Picker Forklifts

Order picking in a warehouse can be a challenge without an order picker truck. Especially if you have high isles and a large product list. Order pickers can come in a variety of options. Including low level and high-level order pickers.

Low-level pickers will allow the operator to pick orders from a relatively low height – with a weight capacity of up to 2 tonnes. High-level order pickers will allow an operator, you guessed it, to pick orders at a much higher height. With these types of forklifts, you will be able to pick orders at a much faster rate – while still maintaining safety and efficiency.


JLG telehandlersTelehandler Forklifts

A telehandler forklift, also known as a telescopic handler, teleporter or boom lift, is more of a cross between a crane and a forklift. They are commonly used to move loads that conventional forklifts can’t reach. The operator can also fit a variety of attachments to the end of the “crane”, including a bucket, pallet forks or a winch.



If you are on the market for a new or used forklift truck, look no further than Permatt. We have a large selection of trucks that suit a variety of needs, with brands including CAT, GLG, Combilift, Carer, Konecranes and more. See our website for our selection of trucks or contact us by phone, email, or online to find out more.

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