A Simple Guide to Powered Industrial Truck Classifications

Mar 15, 2023
Osha Classifications

Explore the diverse world of powered industrial trucks. Learn about OSHA's classifications and find the perfect forklift for your specific operational needs.

Powered industrial trucks, more commonly known as forklifts or lift trucks, come in many different forms. OSHA defines seven basic classifications of powered industrial trucks, each designed to meet specific requirements and operating conditions.

Class I: Electric Motor Rider Trucks

Electric Motor Rider Trucks (Class I) are designed for both indoor and outdoor use and are powered by electric motors. They are commonly used in manufacturing facilities, warehouses, and distribution centers. Class I trucks are known for their maneuverability and quiet operation, making them ideal for indoor environments where noise reduction is crucial. These trucks can handle heavy loads and are available in various counterbalanced configurations, such as three-wheel and four-wheel models, as well as sit-down or stand-up styles.

Class II: Electric Motor Narrow Aisle Trucks

Class II trucks are commonly known as Electric Motor Narrow Aisle Trucks and are primarily used in narrow spaces and tight aisles. They are often used in warehouses and distribution centers with high-density storage systems. These trucks feature a compact design and excellent maneuverability, allowing operators to navigate through narrow aisles with ease. Electric Motor Narrow Aisle Trucks are available in different configurations, including reach trucks, order pickers, turret trucks, side loaders and high lift straddles.

Class III: Electric Motor Hand Trucks or Hand/Rider Trucks

Electric Motor Hand Trucks, also referred to as Hand/Rider Trucks (Class III), are designed to handle lighter loads and are commonly used for short-distance transportation. These trucks are manually operated or can be ridden by the operator. They are versatile and find application in various industries, including retail, grocery stores, stock rooms and small warehouses. Electric pallet jacks and walkie stackers are examples of Class III trucks.

Class IV: Internal Combustion Engine Trucks - Cushion Tires

Internal Combustion Engine Trucks with Cushion Tires (Class IV) are primarily used for smooth surface applications. These trucks are powered by IC engines, such as gasoline or propane. Class IV trucks are commonly found in manufacturing facilities, where they handle heavy loads efficiently. Their cushion tires provide excellent traction on concrete and asphalt surfaces, making them ideal for indoor operations.

Class V: Internal Combustion Engine Trucks - Pneumatic Tires

Class V trucks, known as Internal Combustion Engine Trucks with Pneumatic Tires, are designed for outdoor applications and are suitable for rough or uneven terrain. These trucks are powered by internal combustion engines and feature pneumatic tires that provide better traction on uneven surfaces. Class V trucks are commonly used in construction sites, lumber yards, and other outdoor environments that require heavy lifting and maneuvering.

Class VI: Electric and Internal Combustion Engine Tractors

Class VI trucks, both electric and internal combustion engine tractors, are designed to pull or tow heavy loads. They are commonly used in industries such as agriculture, manufacturing, and logistics. Electric tractors are often preferred for indoor applications due to their low noise levels and zero-emission operation. On the other hand, internal combustion engine tractors are suitable for outdoor applications, offering more power without the need for recharging.

Class VII: Rough Terrain Forklift Trucks

Class VII trucks, known as Rough Terrain Forklift Trucks, are designed to operate on uneven and rough surfaces, such as construction sites, agricultural fields, and outdoor storage yards. These trucks feature larger pneumatic tires, higher ground clearance, and robust construction to handle challenging terrains. Rough Terrain Forklift Trucks are commonly used for heavy-duty lifting, loading, and unloading in demanding outdoor environments.

Talk To A Lift Truck Professional At Raymond West

Powered industrial trucks play a vital role in material handling operations across various industries. If you would like to get a better understanding of the various types of lift trucks and their applications, get in touch with an expert at Raymond West today.