The Different Types of Forklifts Used in Construction

Forklifts are mainly used for ease of lifting and transporting materials on a construction site. They play a crucial role especially in warehouses, where some materials or equipment might be too big for workers to transport on their own. Because there are several tasks within the construction sites and warehouses, there are several kinds of forklifts made to accomplish many things. What a construction company chooses in regards to the type of forklift depends on their needs and the quality they are looking for. We discuss the main types of forklifts that are used in construction settings and the different features they each offer. 

Warehouse Forklift

The most common is the warehouse forklift. These forklifts are predominantly designed to carry out most warehouse-based tasks and needs. These types are typically powered and operated by an electric source or through gas. Smaller and more standard size, it makes it easier for workers to navigate through their warehouses when operating these forklift trucks. For the most part, these forklifts can be seen removing or storing items. 


Like the name says, there are specific forklifts that are made to load and unload pallets. They are usually found in steel suppliers and manufacturing facilities. They are called loaders because they are made to carry heavier items as opposed to the standard warehouse forklift. Some of the forklifts are called “side loaders” meaning they can move around objects from the side of the forklift. Toyota and Hyundai are some of the top brand manufacturers when it comes to side loaders. 

Pallet Jack

Also commonly known as pump trucks, pallet jacks are smaller in size, therefore they are not designed to lift rather large loads. These vehicles specialize in their small size, which allows them to get into tight spaces and transport small loads from one point to another. Although it does not offer much in terms of load and weight, the size comes in handy from time to time and they are rather cheaps to rent and purchase. 

Industrial Forklift 

An industrial forklift is one of the largest in size and can carry very heavy loads. It can be seen as a combination of a warehouse forklift and a telehandler (which we’ll get to later). Although it cannot reach tight and more compact spaces than a pallet jack can, it offers to lift loads more than a warehouse forklift is capable of working with. Industrial forklifts offer a maximum lift of 30,000 pounds. 

High Capacity Forklift 

Even more than an industrial forklift, high-capacity forklifts are also designed to work with very heavy loads and extremely weighted materials. Usually, high-capacity forklifts have a lift range from 19,000 to 30,000 pounds. This allows the forklift to lift and transport specific materials such as concrete, metals, produce, and paper use. This kind of forklift is mainly used when there is a high need for maneuverability. 

Order Picker Forklifts 

These narrow forklifts, also known as cherry pickers, are made to reach products in a warehouse from shelves of various heights. As opposed to full-sized pallets and large slabs of metal, they are made to fill orders that need a case or for specific piece-part picking, which is why it is smaller in size. They are rather versatile and can handle smaller items such as tools and equipment. 

Rough Terrain Forklifts 

Construction sites can range from warehouses to uneven landscapes. For that reason, rough terrain forklifts have been made. These vehicles are made with special tires, which can rummage upon rough and uneven surfaces, including ice, mud, or snow. It is also equipped with a very powerful engine, therefore, it is able to get around faster than other forklifts. In addition to the high-quality tires and engine, it is more dynamic and durable. 

Telehandler Forklifts 

Telehandler forklifts, also known as telescopic or reach forklifts, are made with an extendable arm, replication the makeup of a forklift and a crane, all in one. A telehandler is made to lift up to five thousand pounds of weight and elevate materials up to nineteen feet in the air. These forklifts are also great for getting around in tight spaces and more awkward angles in a warehouse. 

Learn More About the Forklifts We Offer at Prana Machinery! 

Prana Machinery wants to support your every need when it comes to your construction projects and plans. You can give us a call today to learn more about the specific products we have in addition to forklifts.