The Top 8 Most Popular Forklift Brands

Forklifts are an essential part of most warehouse operations. They quickly and carefully move heavy loads of product from point A to point B. Forklifts come in a variety of different shapes and sizes for projects in nearly every industry. If you’re looking for a forklift for your business, you may be wondering what forklift brand is the best.

While some people may think the best way to determine the best forklift brand is by company sales, money doesn’t always tell the whole story. It’s important to check ratings and to speak with an expert in the materials handling industry to help guide you to which forklift brand will work best for your business. Forklift Trader of Wisconsin has composed a list of some of the most trusted forklift manufacturers to inform you about how they optimize productivity, performance, and safety.

1 Toyota

Cost

$16,000 - $47,000

About

Toyota first developed lift trucks in 1955. From there, the lift truck market grew exponentially in the 60s. From the 60s to the 70s, the brand diversified its products to cover diesel and electric forklift fleets. Toyota has become one of the largest forklift manufacturers in the US, producing more than 700,000 of the forklifts used in companies across the US today. Customers are consistently satisfied with the reliability of the equipment which is built to last for years.

Benefits of Toyota Forklifts:

High-Quality and Reliability

Toyota uses advanced manufacturing technologies which allow the company to build reliable and high-quality engines. Toyota has a customer-first principle which means all products are made with the goal of delivering great value to businesses and operators. Having products manufactured in the US allows the company to have complete control over production and manufacturing to ensure complete reliability.

Emphasis on ergonomics and security

Workplace accidents happen and can be very dangerous for forklift operators. Toyota has designed a SAS system (System of Activity Stability) to provide more stability to their forklifts, ensuring outstanding safety measures. To make the forklifts more ergonomic and comfortable for operators, Toyota has equipped them with suspension operator seats and good sight lines.

A wide selection of high-end models

All Toyota forklift models are different and offer a variety of characteristics that may suit your warehouse job. From electric to reach to hand pallet jack, you’ll be able to find the model that improves productivity. Lift capacities can vary from one ton to 50 tons, so there’s a model for even the toughest tasks. In the design of each forklift, Toyota also considers your warehouse layout, operations and specific needs.

2 CAT

Cost

$15,000 - $40,000

About

As one of the largest materials handling manufacturers in the world, Cat Lift Trucks bring economic solutions to meet the challenges of any company. The company began its time in the forklift world in 1965 with the acquisition of Towmotor Corporation. Cat Lift Trucks has created a reputation for product quality and service excellence. The brand’s goal is to ensure you find the optimum materials handling solution for your warehouse operations. Choose from a range of forklifts including electric, diesel, petrol and LPG counterbalance forklifts.

Benefits of CAT forklifts:

Experienced manufacturers

The CAT Lift Truck brand has been around for well over 80 years, which means they are well experienced in designing, manufacturing and operating machinery. They also guarantee maximum safety in workforce productivity.

Quality equipment & warranties

CAT forklifts are renowned for being durable and reliable, however, it is always beneficial to schedule regular maintenance on your equipment. CAT machinery has warranties in place to provide you peace of mind when purchasing a forklift. Each piece of equipment is able to meet the demands of your work environment, no matter the job.

Easy to find replacement parts

In the off chance your equipment breaks down, it can really halt productivity while you wait for replacement parts. 97% of CAT forklift parts are readily available when you need to secure parts for equipment repairs.

3 Linde

Cost

$13,500 - $89,000

About

Linde is a branch of one of the largest manufacturers of industrial trucks: KION Group. The company develops high-performance solutions for intralogistics. Among the manufactured equipment are electric and diesel forklift trucks. Linde created a hydrostatic transmission system to ensure a wear-free power train system in diesel and LP gas forklifts. Since 2012, they have strived to create a comprehensive sustainability strategy for their company. Linde EVO forklifts have earned the title of earth’s greenest forklift by reducing fuel consumption and lowering emission levels.

Benefits of Linde EVO Series Forklifts:

Lower maintenance requirements

With a maintenance-free brake and drive system and reduced wear and tear on tires, Linde forklifts require less regular maintenance than conventional models. You only need to be concerned with changing the hydraulic fluid every 6000 hours. Never worry about changing transmission fluid, brake fluid or gear oil again, because there isn’t any!

Reduced fuel consumption

Material handling jobs can be quickly and efficiently accomplished with Linde hydrostatic drive forklift engines. Combining the idle speed engine with load-sensing hydraulics accounts for a 40-50% fuel consumption reduction.

Lower emission levels

Even though Lind forklifts still produce emissions, they produce less than half of the amount allowed by EPA standards. Each machine is properly ventilated so toxic gases don’t build up in your warehouse. By following the right safety practices, you’ll never have to worry about emissions causing health issues for your employees.

4 Hyster

Cost

$15,500 - $40,000

About

Hyster began as a manufacturer of lifting equipment for the logging industry. Eventually, the company joined forces with other manufacturers to develop mobile lifting equipment. Hyster forklifts have a long history of being dependable and credible, with innovative designs and tough, rugged quality. The company offers a range of forklifts with advanced technologies such as pallet and narrow aisle trucks. The newer models even have operators assist technology to help drivers avoid dangerous workplace accidents.

Benefits of Hyster Forklifts:

Reliable and dependable

No matter the conditions of your job site, Hyster forklifts are built to withstand anything. Each forklift model has a different lifting capacity between 2,000 to 115,000 pounds without putting strain on the equipment. Hyster offers award-winning designs, industrial-strength components and high-tech manufacturing in every forklift.

Designed for a variety of projects

Hyster has several different types of forklift models including container handlers, reach stackers, pallet trucks and more for an assortment of jobs. Whether you’re working in trucking, aviation, beverage distribution, grocery, or concrete manufacturing, Hyster forklifts are designed to work in any industry.

Green material handling solutions

Hyster broke ground with their electric-powered trucks several decades ago and continues to strive for innovation. The brand uses lithium-ion batteries and hydrogen fuel cell technology for greater productivity, better performance and faster ROI.

5 Yale

Cost

$5,000 - $30,000

About

Yale first started designing and producing forklifts in the 1920s and has become a gold standard in sustainability. They have since been acquired by NACCO Industries and combined with Hyster Company under the name Hyster-Yale Materials Handling. The main goal of the company is to provide customers with the material handling solutions they need from traditional forklift equipment to newer, greener technology. Safety and efficiency are essential factors of all Yale forklifts. There are a variety of lift trucks to choose from including pickers, reachers, pallet movers, and more.

Benefits of Yale forklifts:

Visibility

Yale forklifts are designed to provide optimal front, rear and overhead visibility to equipment operators. Better visibility boosts the awareness and confidence of the operator as they complete materials handling tasks. Peak performance is obtainable at great heights, in tight environments and anywhere else where the equipment is needed.

Cushioning

The design of Yale forklifts considers the comfort of the operator by reducing the amount of shock and vibrations the machine transmits. Both stand-up and sit-down models help fight off fatigue and allow the operator to remain more productive for longer.

Smart control layout

Yale forklifts have compartments to keep controls close so the operator can avoid twisting, reaching and any other challenging motion. The smart layout keeps the operator comfortable and safe while using the equipment.

6 Clark

Cost

$16,000 - $18,000

About

The CLARK Equipment Company produced what they called a tructractor (the first internal combustion-powered industrial truck) in the 1910s. In 1928, they also produced the first internal combustion truck to use hydraulics, which became a forerunner to modern forklifts. The company now offers over 304 different forklift models with over 250,000 in operation in North America.

Benefits of CLARK forklifts:

Large lifting capacity

Forklift units range from 1,500 to 18,000 pounds in lift capacity. They are also easy to maneuver, making them a safe choice for warehouses or distribution centers.

Wide variety of models

CLARK has one of the broadest product lines in the materials handling industry. CLARK forklifts come in LPG, gasoline, dual fuel, diesel, narrow-aisle stackers, electric riders and powered hand trucks. No matter what materials handling job you need to be completed, there’s a forklift model perfect for the job.

Sturdy and reliable

CLARK forklift models feature wet disc brakes to make maintenance minimal. High-quality equipment will allow for improved productivity and less downtime for upkeep and repair. CLARK engineers and suppliers work together to improve the quality and efficiency of all products.

7 Nissan

Cost

$14,000 - $32,000

About

Nissan got its start in the materials handling industry by producing its first forklift in 1957. At the forefront of the Nissan forklift brand is a passion for attaining customer satisfaction. Customers can expect the finest material handling equipment the industry has to offer due to meticulous quality standards and manufacturing principles. The company has launched an environmental initiative to improve the lives of people and the environment. Newer models are designed to increase fuel efficiency and performance while reducing CO2 emissions.

Benefits of Nissan forklifts

Fuel efficiency

Nissan’s internal combustion forklifts save on fuel while reducing the number of toxic emissions produced during operation.

Longer operation

The electric forklift models have longer operational hours and require less maintenance than internal combustion forklifts.

Increased productivity

Nissan pallet and reach trucks are efficient in moving loads around warehouse centers and retrieving loads in hard-to-reach places.

8 Komatsu

Cost

$15,500 - $20,000

About

After Caterpillar (CAT), Komatsu is the second largest manufacturer of construction and mining equipment. The brand is an Australia-based company that produced its first forklift in 1964. Komatsu is known for engineering dependable and durable forklifts with improved performance in mind. Each machine is built to last and service warehouses for a long time. The brand offers innovative design and manufacturing excellence. Forklifts have the ability to carry large loads under immense pressure.

Benefits of Komatsu forklifts

Reliability

Strength and stability are key in Komatsu products. As an innovator in the forklift industry, they have spent several years perfecting their products with the latest technology. The forklift trucks are designed to help you lift heavy equipment, providing durable and dependable performance for workers.

Low maintenance & operation costs

Since Komatsu forklifts are super durable, you’ll experience years of dependable performance. This also means you won’t have to deal with repairs and part replacements nearly as often. The brand also provides well-protected warranties for their forklifts which helps you make an informed decision on which model to purchase for your operations.

Smoother operation

Komatsu forklifts offer optimal help in lifting and organizing materials so your daily operations become quick and efficient. Enhance the way your business runs and make your employees' lives much easier.

What Forklift is Right for Your Business?

When looking for the perfect forklift for your business operations, you’ll want to check out reviews or ask for recommendations from a knowledgeable individual. At Forklift Trader, our team is well adverse in what machines work for which projects. We’ll fill you in on all the important considerations when picking your forklift including engine type, tire type, lifting capacity, and mast.

Ready to buy? We have an entire stock of used forklifts in great condition, so you get reliable equipment for a fraction of the cost. If you’re only looking for something short-term, you can also rent any forklifts we have available.

Contact us to learn more today.