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Rough Terrain Forklifts

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Rough terrain forklifts (Class VII forklifts) are designed for use on rough, unpaved, or uneven surfaces, or areas where foreign objects might be present. This accounts for their common use in logging, agriculture, construction, and military applications.

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Types of Rough Terrain Forklifts

Compare the following types of rough terrain forklifts to determine which one is right for your business:

  • Straight Mast Rough Terrain Forklifts are ideal for lifting, carrying, and placing palletized materials and bulk items over any type of terrain. Certain companies also manufacture truck- mounted straight mast forklifts for quick unloading of retail inventory.
  • A Telescopic Rough Terrain Forklift offers the trifecta of precision, accuracy, and versatility. The telescopic arm allows the vehicle to reach out over obstacles in a work area, and it is the only forklift able to move materials to heights above 30 feet over gravel or other loose surfaces. Other advantages include full rotation ability and joystick operation for maximum control. Some manufacturers have attachments that essentially combine three machines into one: man platform, telescopic handler, and crane.
  • Telescopic Loaders & Backhoes offer the greatest versatility by combining the functionalities of a telescopic forklift and a traditional loader or backhoe.

Rough Terrain Forklift Considerations

Once clunky, dangerous, and environmentally harmful, today's rough terrain forklifts are engineered for better fuel efficiency and safety while still maintaining their high-performance mobility. Other things you should know about these specialized machine include:

  • The solid pneumatic tires used on rough terrain forklifts carry a higher price tag, but they are far less susceptible than regular pneumatic tires to popping caused by glass or nails in the work area.
  • The added option of 4WD provides increased traction and control to meet your specific needs.
  • Overloaded machines are the leading cause of forklift-related fatalities. To avoid a costly mishap, verify all weights and measurements relating to your products. Check and double check, even if you think you know them. Your money, your safety, and the safety of your employees depend on it.
  • Have an experienced forklift professional survey your facility to help determine what type of machine or machines are most needed.
  • Most rough terrain forklifts are operated from a sitting position.
  • Manufacturers of rough terrain forklifts include Manitou, Altec, and Bobcat.

Rough Terrain Forklift Costs

  • Machines in the 6,000lb to 10,000lb capacity range might cost $45,000 to $55,000.
  • When dealing with 10,000 pound capacity machines, prices can easily surpass $100,000. Expect to pay up to $155,000 for forklifts with a capacity of 20,000 pounds or higher.
  • These modern beasts of burden have associated operating costs such as labor, fuel surcharges, parts, maintenance, and more. Operating costs may range from $2/hour for small models to $25/hour for the largest vehicles.