Forklift is a general term that’s applied to many heavy-lifting machines. You’ll find them in worksites, warehouses and in rough terrain (sometimes for rebuilding in war zones). There’s all-terrain, electric models and more, and we’ve listed three of the most common types here.


  • Pallet trucks

Also called hand pallet jacks. These help humans carry heavier loads around the warehouse floor. Pallet trucks have a slight lifting capacity (half a meter with some models), and those with higher lift capacities are usually electric-powered.

Pallet trucks are a necessity in any warehouse or logistics project. They’re handy for loading, unloading and to get stock from A to B. In shopping centres it’s common to see delivery people pulling a pallet truck loaded with stock behind them. Retailers are comfortable using pallet trucks on the shop floor because of their small size and manoeuvrability.


  • Container lifter

You won’t find these types in shopping centres. Containers belong on shipping docks and delivery yards. As their names suggest, they lift containers on and off whatever machine is delivering them. They can lift up to several tonnes and can stack containers on top of each other with ease. This is normally done with handlers designed to lift empty containers.

Over the years, container lifter design has improved. Heavy machine companies make forklifts and handlers that produce less emissions and can work several shifts on one tank.


  • All-terrain forklift

Sometimes worksites aren’t all flat ground. On construction sites, outdoor events and overseas mission sites the terrain gets rough. All-terrain forklifts were designed for these conditions. Militaries in Australia and around the world use forklifts for deliveries and hauling material around building sites of their own. Everyday industries are catching on to the all-terrain models including civil and commercial engineering, logistics and construction.

All-terrain and 4WD forklifts are different because they’re designed for rougher conditions. Their bodies are larger as well as their tyres, the suspension handles shocks quite well and the cabins are generally enclosed. Lift capacities vary and their lift clearance is higher compared to the more standard models.