The ITA or Industrial Truck Association has determined 7 various classes of forklifts. These classes are broken down by the type of work environment; outdoors, indoors, smooth or rough surfaces and narrow aisle; by the type of engine; whether the operator is sitting down or standing; and finally the equipment characteristics, regarding the maximum grade and tire type. Several of the categories are further sub-divided by operating characteristics. Here are the following lift truck classifications:
Class 1 Forklifts: these machinery consist of electric motor trucks that use either pneumatic or air filled tires or cushion tires. The Class 1 forklifts also include 4 lift codes, or subcategories that are:
Lift Code 1: Stand-up, counterbalanced rider unit.
Lift Code 4: 3-Wheel electric sit-down units.
Lift Code 5: Counterbalanced rider, cushion tire sit down tires.
Lift Code 6: Includes pneumatic tire units, counterbalanced rider, and sit-down rider.
Category 2 Forklifts: Class 2 forklifts consist of narrow aisle electric trucks with solid tires.
Category 3 Forklifts: The class 3 forklift would include all hand/rider trucks fuel and electric based with solid tires.
Class 4 Forklifts: Class 4 forklifts are the Internal Combustion or IC units. These are sit down rider models with cushion tires. Generally, they are suitable for use on hard surfaces and indoor application.
Category 5 Forklifts: Class 5 is IC Engine sit down rider forklifts equipped with pneumatic tires. Normally, these units are great for working areas with significant inclines or on rough surfaces outdoors.
Category 6 Forklifts: Class 6 forklifts will consist of internal combustion powered or electric units. These ride-on models can tow at least 1000 lbs. This class is designed and engineered to tow cargo as opposed to lift it.
Category 7 Forklifts: This category is defined as rough terrain trucks with pneumatic tires. The Class 7 forklifts are powered by diesel engines and are almost exclusively used outside.
These categories were designed to keep the large field of lift trucks separated and organized. In order to get their work completed, different working environments rely on various classes. Forklifts are quite specific in their lifting and loading capacities. Their various engine types and tire types are made for particular applications. To be able to pick the right forklift to fulfill your tasks and to suit all your requirements, do some research to know exactly what you would need from your specific unit. By speaking to several trustworthy dealers and taking time to investigate your options, you can select the right equipment.