Lift trucks (also known as forklifts) are perhaps the most popular tread work machines today. Popularly known as 'frogs', they go practically everywhere where work is in progress. In warehouses, around ports, both seaports and airports, production halls and many other places.

What types of forklift trucks are there? What do they consist of? What is worth knowing about them?

You can find out this and a few other things in the text below!


A wheeled, power-driven motor vehicle. Despite its relatively small size, it is capable of lifting up to several tens of tonnes! The first models were developed as early as the 1920s by the (parallel) Clark Company and Yale & Towne Manufacturing. Usually operates on loads placed on pallets

Construction and components:

  • Ww high storage also at workMotor (can be mains or battery electric, petrol or diesel. It is rare to find other types of drive.
  • Steel bogie frame
  • Wheeled chassis (usually consisting of three or four wheels)
  • counterweight, which is an additional load placed on the rear of the trolley to provide balance when carrying objects that overload the front of the trolley.
  • operator's cab. This, in turn, features a steering wheel, pedals and levers for controlling the forklift. high storage
  • Vertical mast. Mounted at the front of the trolley, it enables loads to be lifted and transported.
  • L-shaped forks moved vertically by a chain. It is also possible to use grippers adapted to transport e.g. barrels, cardboard boxes, snow ploughs and others
  • protective grille to prevent the transported items from falling on the forklift operator
  • Carriage (faceplate) - a steel component attached to the mast for mounting the forks and protective grille


  • Platform trolleys (loaded) Tractor trolleys (pull/push) - used for pulling/pushing vehicles or trailers hitched to them. The main parameter - pulling power,
  • Lift trucks - used to lift a specific load only to a certain small height to move it from one place to another. The main parameter - lifting capacity.


  • Front lift trucks

A rather long name to describe a relatively simple concept. Well, it refers to machines in which the weight of the load to be lifted equals that of a forklift truck. Off-road trucks are a subcategory of this type. The load is lifted by forks or other attachments.

  • Specialised with variable overhang

Also referred to as a telehandler, it is commonly associated with distributor Manitou. They have a variable reach arm that allows even massive loads to be easily handled both vertically and horizontally and manipulated in space. The specialised forklift with variable reach also has a relatively high capacity for rough terrain (e.g. construction sites) thanks to its 4-wheel drive and off-road pneumatic tyres. This type of forklift truck is most often found on large farms or construction sites, where its greatest advantage is the ability to handle loads on uneven surfaces.

  • High storage

Typically, the sideloader (reach truck), as the name suggests, is used to transport large, often bulky loads to a height that exceeds the height of the truck cab itself. The logical corollary of this purpose is its widespread use especially in warehouse areas. Interestingly, the equipment is highly effective when working with "bulky" objects (boards, pipes, furniture components, etc.).


  • Ww specialised with variable working overhanglift trucks with an internal mast not covering the load,
  • lift trucks with an internal mast encompassing the load (fixed mast),
  • internal mast lift trucks,
  • platform lift trucks with internal mast,
  • side lift trucks (single-sided),
  • side lift trucks (two-sided),
  • front-side lift trucks (double-sided - suitable for picking up and storing loads from both sides of the direction of travel),
  • gantry lift trucks (the frame and lifting element enclose the load during lifting, moving and storing),
  • stacker trucks with the operator lifting the load (special-purpose stacker - also known as reach trucks).


Like all perimeter machinery, forklifts require specific state licences to operate. In this case, three categories are envisaged. As follows:

  • III WJO - entitles to operate the following forklifts: manual and remote-controlled.
  • II WJO - authorise the operation of lift trucks, with the exception of specialised equipment
  • I WJO - authorises the operation of lift trucks, including specialised ones: with operator lifting with load and with variable reach

Qualification examinations are preceded by specialised courses. Some of the best are available from ERGON - Centre for Staff Development. The programme includes:

  • types and construction of equipment
  • operator actions before and after work
  • operator activities during operation
  • messages concerning the carriage of freight
  • technical supervision
  • rules for changing gas cylinders
  • practical exercises

The following requirements must be met to enrol in the class:

  • at least 18 years old
  • at least primary education
  • no contraindications to work in the position

As you can see, forklift trucks are a very broad subject. This fact, combined with the fact that they are multi-tasking and therefore widespread, means that knowledge of the subject and practice in handling them are at a premium. If you are looking to expand your professional competence, even get your first one! Take a look at the range of products on offer ERGON Centre for Staff Improvement. Nationwide coverage, expert staff, state-of-the-art educational standards and teaching aids... these are just a few reasons why ERGON.