Image courtesy of Toyota Forklift - Bahrns ToyotaLift is an award-winning Toyota Forklift Dealership

Class Matters with Reconditioned Forklifts

No, there’s nothing classy about a reconditioned forklift and forklift drivers aren’t really class conscious, either. The class that matters with reconditioned forklifts is the class of lift trucks you buy. Is it the right Class for your needs?

7 Classes of Forklifts

There are 7 basic classes of forklifts:

1. Electric Motor Rider Trucks
2. Electric Motor Narrow Aisle Trucks
3. Electric Motor Hand Trucks or Hand/Rider Trucks
4. Internal Combustion Engine Trucks (Solid/Cushion Tires)
5. Internal Combustion Engine Trucks (Pneumatic Tires)
6. Electric and Internal Combustion Engine Tractors
7. Rough Terrain Forklift Trucks

Clearly, you’re not going to buy a used rough terrain forklift to drive around your small warehouse floor and you’re not going to attempt to operate a used electric ride-on forklift on a rough construction site. There are subtler differences between the classes of forklifts, though, that can escape your attention when choosing between used forklifts. Many of the differences show up in the forklift codes.

For more details about forklift classes, read our more extensive Forklift Guide: What You Need to Know About Forklifts.

Forklift codes are the subcategories of forklift classes. For example, there are 8 different codes (or types) of Class II Narrow Aisle (NA) forklifts. These are:

1. Lift Code 1: High Lift Straddle (outriggers straddle the forks)
2. Lift Code 2: Order Picker (lifts a personnel carrier)
3. Lift Code 3: Reach Type Outrigger (forks have horizontal as well as vertical reach)
4. Lift Code 4: Side Load Platform (forks placed between two balancing platforms)
5. Lift Code 4: Side Load High Lift Pallets (forks extend to the side of the forklift and retract back to a centered balanced position)
6. Lift Code 4: Turret Trucks (wider truck bodies, the operator sits in a side-mounted “turret”)
7. Lift Code 6: Low Lift Platform (walk-behind “walkie” lift truck with the platform instead of forks)
8. Lift Code 6: Low Lift Pallet (walk behind with forks)

Image courtesy of Toyota Forklift – Bahrns ToyotaLift is an award-winning Toyota Forklift Dealership

One of these types of used Class II NA forklifts might be perfect for you, but they are not always readily available as used lift trucks because they are not big sellers when new. However, under general circumstances, you may be able to substitute one code for another without sacrificing productivity or facing extra expenditure on adapting your workplace to your used forklift. For example, while your preference might be for a Code 3 used reach truck, a Code 1 high lift straddle lift truck might do the job just as well for you.

For indoor use, you can choose between an IC lift truck that runs on LP gas or an electric forklift. Which one should you choose? Forklift owners are divided on this issue. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, but they are equally popular. If you lean towards electric, but can only find a reconditioned forklift that runs on LP, maybe it’s time to consider the advantages of LP. If you dislike battery maintenance and the cost of replacement batteries, but can’t find the right IC forklift for your needs at the right price, can you afford to wait? Are maintenance costs really higher on electric forklifts? Many would argue that they are not.

Class matters with reconditioned forklifts, but it matters most when a workplace environment and/or the demands of the job are very limited. When browsing for used and reconditioned forklifts. keep an open mind and consider all your options. You may even discover that the used forklift you thought you needed wasn’t the best choice after all.

Check out the complete inventory of used and reconditioned forklifts at Some of them aren’t very classy looking, but we have them in all Classes.

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