Forklifts are common sights in factories and on job sites. They are the workhorse that helps workers to take care of business.

Understanding how forklifts work and the parts of a forklift will better help you and your business get the right forklift for the job. It will also help your workers to use it in the safest manner possible.

If you are looking to buy or rent a forklift, learn about the important parts of it. Understanding the forklift parts can help you get the best machine for your job site.


Forklift forks, also called tynes, are the most obvious part of the forklift. They’re attached to the carriage on the forklift.

The forks come in a variety of lengths, widths, and sizes to accommodate the load they are lifting.

They are the part of the forklift that lifts the load from underneath, so getting the correct forks is key to safety and effectiveness.


The tires you get on your forklift tell a lot about the kind of work you plan to do. Will you use the forklift indoors? Will the forklift be used outside on rough terrain?

There are two main types of forklift tires to consider.

Cushion Tires

This type of tire has less traction and is therefore likely to be used indoors like in a factory or warehouse.

This type of tire is less expensive and easier to maintain. It also requires less radius for turns so it can make those sharp turns in indoor working environments.

Pneumatic Tires

This type of tire is made for rugged outdoor jobs. It has greater traction to hold the machine onto uneven surfaces.

This tire can either solid rubber or a rubber that is filled with air.

Power Source

How the forklift is powered also tells about where it might be used.

Electric forklifts are likely used indoors. While they don’t have the emissions of some other power sources, they tend to have less power. They also need to have a source for recharging.

Propane is commonly used in forklifts both inside and outside. You will see a forklift with the propane tanks attached to the back of the unit.

Propane is a popular choice because it is easy to switch out the tanks and keep the machine running. It does not have the downtime to recharge like an electric unit.

Outdoor forklifts will use either gas or diesel as the power source because of the emissions they give off while running.


The mast is a key component to the forklift and its ability to lift. It is in the front of the forklift and is the upright carriage that holds the forks.

The mast determines how far the forklift can lift and reach. It also helps to determine the weight load the forklift can carry.

Masts contain cylinders that determine the forklift’s ability to lift and tilt a load.

The mast comes in a variety of options, so understanding your lift needs is key to knowing the type of mast you want on your machine.

Counter Weight

The counterweight is located in the back of the forklift. It is what keeps the machine from tipping when it is lifting a load.

It’s also a key part of the equation with the other parts to knowing how much weight can be lifted by the machine.

Other Parts To Consider

There are several other parts to consider when looking at forklift for your job.

You want to know whether you need an enclosed cab or an open one.

The wheels decide how the machine will turn and operate.

There are other attachments available for the mast beyond the forks. Those can be customized based on your job needs.

Know The Parts Of a Forklift

Understanding the parts of a forklift will help you to get the best machine for your job.

Contact us today and we can help you find a forklift for your next job.