A Simple List of Forklift Classifications

Posted on November 10, 2021

A forkliftPowered Industrial Trucks (PITs) are convenient for moving heavy objects or containers. There are different types of PITs to use for different tasks. Knowing the classifications of PITs can help you decide which one is needed for your workplace. OSHA requires all PIT operators to be trained on the specific classifications being used. We’ll discuss below the different classifications recognized by OSHA:

Class 1: Electric Motor Rider Trucks

These forklifts are versatile for indoor use as they move pallets around. Their tires are intended on smooth floors. They are rechargeable because they run by electrical power.

Class 2: Electric Motor Narrow Aisle Trucks

They have a narrow body, in which the operator is standing behind it when controlling the machine. These PITs are used for narrow spaces and aisles. They are powered electrically.

Class 3: Electric Motor Hand Trucks or Hand/Rider Trucks

These PITs consist of pallet jacks and walkie stackers, where the operator walks behind the machine and steers it using a tiller. It is used to move objects over short distances.

Class 4: Internal Combustion Engine Trucks (Solid/Cushion Tires)

These PITs are similar to Class 1, but they have an internal combustion engine instead of an electrical engine. They're designed for indoor uses only due to their cushion tires.

Class 5: Internal Combustion Engine Trucks (Pneumatic Tires)

They are similar with Class 4; however, they can be used both indoors and outdoors because of their pneumatic tires. They can handle up to 40-foot containers.

Class 6: Electric and Internal Combustion Engine Tractors

These PITs tow rather than lift a load. They are used either indoors or outdoors. Examples of these PITs are those hauling luggage at airports.

Class 7: Rough Terrain Forklift Trucks

They handle rugged terrain and are usually larger than the average forklift. They are found mostly in construction sites. They usually lift and transport building materials.

Check out our PIT Training Course to learn more about the different types of PIT and safety guidelines in utilizing them!

Good luck and stay safe!