Forklifts of the Future to Feature More Technology, Automation

The future of the forklift industry will include more automation including self-driving vehicles, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be a role for human workers as well.

According to a new infographic released by, an online forklift training provider, there will be a sharp rise in the use of fully automated forklifts within the next decade, particularly in the mining, construction, manufacturing, and construction industries.

The result will be a bright, sustainable future for the forklift industry, according to the company.

Forklift Robotics


The company’s forklift experts looked at three different areas where forklift technology is expected to boom. The first is the use of self-driving forklifts.

An increasing number of robotic forklifts are being introduced into the marketplace each year, which has caused something of a panic among human drivers, according to the company.

But flesh and blood operators don’t have to fear that robotic forklifts are going to make them obsolete anytime soon. In fact, a recent study from New York University’s economics department showed that most worries about fully automated forklifts aren’t justified.

In addition, some automation now being developed is designed to help human drivers do a better job, not replace them altogether. So workers’ don’t need to fear an influx of robot replacements.

Automated Functions

Another area that will likely affect the forklift industry in the future is automation of other functions besides driving.

For example, the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently automated its accident investigation and injury report forms. Companies today can submit electronic forms to the federal safety agency faster and more efficiently than the paper forms that have been used for decades.

Not surprisingly, the online forklift training company also pointed to web-based forklift training as a way automation will improve the forklift industry in the future.

Future Jobs

The third area that the developers of the infographic looked at was the outlook for jobs in the forklift industry in the future. And that future is rosy, with the worldwide forklift market expected to grow between 6% and 8% annually well into the 2020s.

As a result, despite the rise in automation, forklift jobs for human workers are expected to grow along with the industry for many years to come.

While there are likely to be continual improvements in both technology and automation in the forklift industry in the coming decades, human workers aren’t likely to be completely replaced anytime soon.

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