5 Types of Forklifts and Their Licenses

A forklift is a piece of equipment that can be used to move materials from one place to another. Forklifts are necessary in warehouses, factories, and construction sites because they make it easier for workers to move boxes and other items around.

Forklifts come in all shapes and sizes. There are different types of forklifts with different capabilities, and each type of forklift requires a specific license.Here are the five most common types of forklifts and their licenses:

Electric or gas powered warehouse forklifts

Warehouse or counterbalance forklifts are some of the most common types available. They are powered by electric motors and are used to move materials in a warehouse setting. They are generally compact in size meaning they’re easier to drive through narrow aisles in a warehouse or through rows of pallet racking. 

Industrial Forklifts

Industrial forklifts can usually carry heavier loads up to around 15t, as well as having the ability to reach higher lifting heights. They can be used in factories and construction sites to move materials around. While the lifting capacity and height is higher than a warehouse forklift, the size and turning radius tends to be larger and more difficult to manoeuvre.


For tight turning radius and high stability, telehandlers are the best choice. Additionally, telehandlers offer the added advantage of lifting, moving and placing heavy loads. These low-profile machines are suited for applications that require the precise handling of materials.

Pallet Jacks and Stacker/Lifters

Pallet jacks can be manual or electric, shifting small loads around commercial spaces, and industrial worksite. They have a small lifting capacity and are used for light-duty applications. They have a smaller lifting range and are ideal for tight spaces and for occasional lift and shift requirements.

What type of forklift licence do you need?

Whether you’re working on a construction site shifting building material or on a warehouse floor, knowing which type of forklift license you need and the required is important.

There are a few different types of licences available that can be obtained after completing a forklift training course. A Certification of Proficiency (COP) is a license that allows the holder to operate electric and gas powered warehouse forklifts

For anyone looking for a career in the industry, we recommend you take some time to explore what type of forklift operator license is right for your needs and which ones are available. You can also use our guide as an educational resource if you’re considering purchasing or leasing one yourself!