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There are 7 different classes of forklifts as determined by the Industrial Truck Association or ITA. These classes are broken down by the kind of work environment; smooth or rough surfaces, outdoors, indoors and narrow aisle; whether the operator is sitting down or standing; by the kind of engine; and finally the characteristics of the machinery, regarding the maximum grade and tire type. Some of the categories are further sub-divided by operating characteristics. Below are the following classifications of forklifts:

Category 1 Forklifts: these machinery comprise electric motor trucks that use either air filled or pneumatic tires or cushion tires. The Class 1 lift trucks also comprise 4 lift codes, or subcategories that are:

Lift Code 1: Counterbalanced, stand up rider types.
Lift Code 4: 3-Wheel electric sit-down types.
Lift Code 5: Counterbalanced rider, cushion tire sit down tires.
Lift Code 6: Includes pneumatic tire models, counterbalanced rider, and sit-down rider.

Class 2 Forklifts: Class 2 forklifts narrow aisle trucks with electric motors and solid tires.
Class 3 Forklifts: Class 3 lift trucks include hand/rider trucks with solid tires and electric hand trucks.
Category 4 Forklifts: The IC or internal combustion models make up Class 4 forklifts. These are sit down rider units with cushion tires. Usually, they are great for use on hard surfaces and indoor application.
Class 5 Forklifts: IC sit down rider models outfitted with pneumatic tires make up Class 5 lift trucks. Typically, these units are great for working areas with significant inclines or on rough surfaces outdoors.
Class 6 Forklifts: Class 6 lift trucks would consist of internal combustion powered or electric units. These ride-on models could tow at least 1000 lbs. This class is designed and engineered to tow cargo as opposed to 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.

The different categories of lift trucks help to keep them organized and separated. Various kinds of working atmospheres depend on various classes in order to get their work done. Forklifts are quite specific in their loading and lifting capacities. Their different engine types and tire types are made for particular operation. In order to pick the best forklift to meet all your needs and to complete your tasks, do some research to know exactly what you will require from your specific model. By talking to some trustworthy dealers and taking time to investigate all your alternatives, you can pick the appropriate machine.

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