7 Classes of Forklift

by admin
Dec , 6

You can always spot forklifts at warehouse sites in Singapore. Forklifts are powered industrial trucks used to lift and move materials over short distances. It has helped make warehouse sites more efficient and smooth. Forklifts carry heavy objects to move them from one place to another. It lessens the workload on warehouse operators as they would not have to carry all these heavy materials by themselves.

Forklifts were invented in the early 20th century by various companies. Since the second world war, the use and development of forklift trucks has expanded worldwide. Forklift trucks have become a very important equipment to have in manufacturing and warehousing. In 2013 alone, the top 20 manufacturers of forklift trucks are reported to have sold an estimated 944,400 forklift trucks.

The first ever forklift truck was manually powered to lift up loads. In 1906, the Pennsylvania Railroad introduced a battery powered platform truck to help move luggage at one of their train stations.

During the first world war, they saw the development of different types of material handling equipment in the United Kingdom. Fast forward 11 years, in 1917, a company in the United States began developing and using powered tractors and powered lift tractors in their factories. The introduction of hydraulic power and the development of the first ever electric power forklifts helped to increase the popularity of forklift trucks.

electric forklift in Singapore warehouse

Forklifts have a specified maximum weight load. The information of these things are generally located on the nameplate provided by the manufacturers. In certain places, it may even be illegal to remove the nameplates without permission from the manufacturer. One important aspect of the operation is that it has to have rear wheel steering. This helps to increase the ability to move around in tight spaces and situations. This also has to depend on how skilled the forklift operator is.

Another important aspect of forklift trucks is the stability. The forklift should be designed to be able to lift both the weight of the forklift and the weight of the load. So that means manufacturers have to consider all this criteria, including the centre of gravity for the forklift.

UMW forklift in a Singapore warehouse

Forklifts are a critical equipment to have in warehouses and distribution centres. The structure of the forklifts are designed to be both efficient and safe to use. A forklift has to travel with multiple loads of powered pallet truck in one go. Even though it is designed to be safe to use, it is still best if forklift operators are well trained and professionals.

Forklift trucks have been around for over a century, they have a total of 7 classes of forklifts. A forklift operator has to be certified to use each individual class of truck that they will operate with. These classifications depend on factors like its application, fuel options and the features of the forklift. Knowing the difference of the classifications will help you decide on which one is the most suitable for your warehouse. So these are the different classes of forklift trucks:

Class 1: Electric Motor Rider Trucks

Electric Motor Rider Trucks use industrial batteries and an electric motor. They are ideal for applications where air quality and fuel fumes are a concern. They can be equipped with either cushion or pneumatic tires. The cushion tires are intended for indoor use or on smooth floors. While the pneumatic tires are used in dry places or outdoors. These forklift trucks tend to be quieter as they are powered by an electric battery.

Class 2: Electric Motor Narrow Aisle Trucks

Electric Motor Narrow Aisle Trucks are obviously made for narrow aisles. It is pretty straight forward. Operations that require them to maximize their storage space use these kinds of forklifts. Class 2 forklifts require minimal space to operate and tend to be quieter as they are also powered by an electric motor.

Class 3: Electric Motor Hand or Hand Rider Trucks

Class 3 hand trucks are designed to only lift loads a few inches off the ground. These forklifts trucks are the most suitable for traveling short distances.

Class 4: Internal Combustion Engine Trucks with Cushion Tires

Internal Combustion Engines forklift trucks are designed to be used indoors and on smooth floors. It can carry loads up to 7000 kilograms. Even though electric forklifts are more common for indoor use, a warehouse or place with limited space for a charging station would instead opt for a class 4 forklift truck.

Class 5: Internal Combustion Engine Trucks with Pneumatic Tires

A class 5 forklift truck is similar to a class 4 forklift truck. The only difference is that they use different tires. Class 5 forklift trucks use pneumatic tires which are designed for rough surfaces and/or outdoor use. They use fuel like diesel, LPG or gasoline. They can lift loads up to 24000 kilograms in weight.

Class 6: Electric and Internal Combustion Engine Tractors

Class 6 forklift trucks are also known as tow tractors and tuggers. They can only lift loads of up to 2700 kilograms. These tow tractors can have either electric or internal combustion engines. Meaning, they can be used both indoors and outdoors.

Class 7: Rough Terrain Forklift Trucks

Rough terrain forklifts are normally found on construction sites. They have massive tires to help them move around uneven terrain. Since it is different from the other 6 classes of forklift trucks, the operator has to go through special training in order to operate this particular type of forklift truck. 

UMW forklift closeup control panel

Many warehouses use Toyota forklift parts in Singapore. They are reputable in the market and are well known for their design and engineering processes. They also have a high level of performance, operator safety and productivity.

Toyota forklifts are ranked one of the highest in terms of durability and reliability. That is why they are a reliable company. If you need any more information on a certain class of forklifts, be it Electric Forklifts or Diesel Forklifts, you can directly contact them and their staff will assist you. Even if you have no knowledge about forklifts, they can guide and recommend to you the model that is best suited for your warehouse.