The 7 Forklift Classifications
There are seven classes of forklift truck equipment. A forklift operator must be certified to use each class of truck that they will operate. The classification depends on the applications, fuel options, and features of each forklift truck equipment. Knowing the difference can help you fit the right forklift truck to your specific needs.
The following are classes of commonly used forklift trucks. This classification does not include all forklift trucks covered by the OSHA standard [29 CFR 1910.178(a), 29 CFR 1910.178(b), and 29 CFR 1910.178(c)].
Class I – Electric Motor Rider Trucks
- Lift Code 1: Counterbalanced Rider Type, Stand up
- Lift Code 4: Three Wheel Electric Trucks, Sit Down
- Lift Code 5: Counterbalanced Rider, Cushion Tires, Sit Down
- Lift Code 6: Counterbalanced Rider, Pneumatic or Either Type Tire, Sit Down
Class II – Electric Motor Narrow Aisle Trucks
- Lift Code 1: High Lift Straddle
- Lift Code 2: Order Picker
- Lift Code 3: Reach Type Outrigger
- Lift Code 4: Side Loaders: Platforms
- Lift Code 4: Side Loaders: High Lift Pallet
- Lift Code 4: Turret Trucks
- Lift Code 6: Low Lift Platform
- Lift Code 6: Low Lift Pallet
Class III – Electric Motor Hand Trucks or Hand/Rider Trucks
- Lift Code 1: Low Lift Platform
- Lift Code 2: Low Lift Walkie Pallet
- Lift Code 3: Tractors
- Lift Code 4: Low Lift Walkie/Center Control
- Lift Code 5: Reach Type Outrigger
- Lift Code 6: High Lift Straddle
- Lift Code 6: Single Face Pallet
- Lift Code 6: High Lift Platform
- Lift Code 7: High Lift Counterbalanced
- Lift Code 8: Low Lift Walkie/Rider Pallet and End Control
Class IV – Internal Combustion Engine Trucks (Solid/Cushion Tires)
- Lift Code 3: Fork, Counterbalanced (Cushion Tire)
Class V – Internal Combustion Engine Trucks (Pneumatic Tires)
- Lift Code 4: Fork, Counterbalanced (Pneumatic Tires)
Class VI – Electric and Internal Combustion Engine Tractors
- Lift Code 1: Sit-Down Rider (Draw Bar Pull Over 999 lbs.)
Class VII – Rough Terrain Forklift Trucks
Rough terrain forklift is a generic term used to describe forklifts typically intended for use on unimproved natural terrain and disturbed terrain construction sites. However, the term “rough terrain” does not imply that the forklift can be safely operated on every conceivable type of terrain.
- Vertical Mast – Ruggedly constructed forklift and is designed to be used primarily outdoors.
- Variable Reach – Vehicle equipped with a telescoping boom, which enables it to pick and place loads at various distances and lift heights in front of the machine. The ability to reach out in front of the forklift allows the operator flexibility in the placement of a load.
- Truck/Trailer Mounted – Portable self-propelled rough terrain forklift that is typically transported to the job site. It is mounted on a carrier to the back of a truck/trailer and is used to unload heavy items from the truck/trailer at the job site. Note that not all truck/trailer-mounted forklifts are rough terrain forklifts.