What are Industrial Counterbalance Forklifts?

Industrial counterbalance forklifts are the most common trucks used in indoor warehouses and stores. Among the industrial lift trucks available, the sit-down, rider controlled forklifts have the most number of models across various manufacturers.

The design of this forklift is that it has a fork and mast like those of pallet trucks. Their dual forks that lift and transport loads are found at the front of the truck. The compartment of the operator is found on top of and in front of the engine and the battery of the forklift. Most industrial counterbalance forklift trucks have internal combustion cushion tires which are perfect for indoor use.

These forklifts travel at high and fast speeds. They can be operated around blind corners, across pedestrian lanes, and tight spaces in warehouses. In addition to this, the industrial counterbalance forklift offers straightforward operation.

One type of counterbalance forklift is the three-wheel model which provides better control when driving the truck. It is perfect for operation in narrow aisles because of its optimal maneuverability. Three-wheel forklift trucks also have models where the operator can either sit down or just stand while operating the truck. Manufacturers that offer three-wheel sit-down electric forklift trucks provide comfort for the operator such as having extra floor space and ergonomic seat position. A rear drive handle and swivel seat options contribute to making reverse driving easier.

What are the Features of the Counterbalance Forklift?

For 4-wheel internal combustion forklifts, options and accessories include mini-lever controls with an armrest that can be adjusted in three ways, an LPG swing-down bracket which can lower the bracket 65 degrees from the horizontal position, and a steering wheel knob that can make driving the lift more efficient.

For this type of forklift truck, a multifunction display can be installed and found in the operator’s compartment. This display can help in having better and easier visibility and forklift operation. A vehicle management system, which keeps track of maintenance schedules and utilization of the forklift, can also be installed for easier monitoring. Manufacturers provide counterbalance forklift models with load capacities that range from 5000 to 15000 lbs.

Collision hazards are a big concern for counterbalance forklifts. The damage that can be done by this forklift can be to objects and people other than the operator. Pinch point hazards are also common when operating this type of forklift truck.

Aside from collision and pinch point hazards, another potential danger to be taken note of is instability hazards. This can occur if the forklift has loads that are over its designed capacity. The result of this is that the forklift truck will be unstable in the lighter direction, resulting in an overturn because of the lack of lateral and steering stability. Due to this hazard, manufacturers now have models that have load capacities that range from 5000 to 15000 lbs. The weight of the forklift’s battery can also be used to provide stability to the truck, so any change in the type of battery for the forklift can lead to instability.

Industrial counterbalance forklifts can be used in a wide range of applications, like agricultural, beverage distribution and bottling, and retail industries. Forklift brands, models, and specs can be found below. Pictures of different types of forklifts will also be shown in the next section.

Manufacturers of Industrial Counterbalance Forklift Trucks


3-Wheel Electric Forklift

Toyota 8FBE15U

Model 8FBE15U 8FBE18U 8FBE20U 8FBES15U 8FBEH18U
Load Capacity (lbs) 3000 3500 4000 3000 3500
Max Travel Speed Full Load (mph) 9.5/9.9 (36V Cushion/ Pneumatic), 10.2 (48V) 9.9 (36V), 10.2 (48V) 9.7 (36V), 9.9 (48V) 9.9 (36V), 10.2 (48V) 9.9 (36V), 10.2 (48V)
Max Lift Speed Full Load (fpm) 77 (36V), 94 (48V) 71 (36V), 89 (48V) 67 (36V), 83 (48V) 77 (36V), 94 (48V) 71 (36V), 89 (48V)
Max Gradeability Full Load (%) 27 24 22 25 24
Basic Right Angle Stack 72.1 74.2 77.2 68.9 76.6

Core Internal Combustion Cushion Forklift

Toyota 8FGCU15

Model 8FGCU15 8FGCSU20 8FGCU18 8FGCU20 8FBCU25 8FBCU32 8FBCU30
Load capacity (lbs) 3000 4000 3500 4000 5000 6500 6000
Max Travel Speed Full Load (mph) 10.9 10.9 10.9 10.6 10.6 10.6 10.6
Max Lift Speed Full Load (fpm) 110 110 110 120 120 98 98
Max Gradeability Full Load (%) 43 35 40 36 31 25 25
Basic Right Angle Stack (in) 83.5 87.6 86 92.3 94.3 98.8 97.5


RC Series

Crown RC Series

Model Standard RC Series
Load Capacity (lbs) 3000 – 4000
Max Lift Height (in) 276
Power (Electric) 36V/ 775 – 1240 Ah
Width Overall (in) 42

SC Series

Model 3-Wheel Forklift 4-Wheel Forklift
Load Capacity (lbs) 3000 – 4000 3000 – 4000
Max Lift Height (in) 276 295
Load Center (in) 24 24
Power (Electric) 36V-48V/ 340-850 Ah 48V/ 550-750 Ah
Width Overall (in) 42 42.1 – 44.4
Image Crown SC Series Counterbalance Forklift Crown 4-Wheel SC Series Counterbalance Forklift


Electric Forklift

Hyster Electric Forklift

Model J30XNT J35XNT J40XNT
Load Capacity (lbs) 3000 3500 4000
Turning Radius 58.3 62.1 62.1
Maximum Travel Speed (mph) 9.8 9.8 9.8
Maximum Lift Speed (ft/min) 134 134 134


3-Wheel Forklift

Hyster 3-Wheel Forklift

Model E30HSD3 E35HSD3 E40HSD3
Load Capacity (lbs) 3000 3500 4000
Max Travel Speed (mph) 7.2 7.2 7.2
Max Lift Speed (ft/min) 69 67 63

3-Wheel Electric Forklift

Hyster A25XNT

Model A25XNT A30XNT
Load Capacity (lbs) 2500 3000
Turning Radius 55.0 57.2
Battery 24 24
Max Travel Speed (mph) 7.8 7.8
Max Lift Speed (ft/min) 101 101


3-Wheel Electric Forklift Trucks

Yale ERP-030VT

Model ERP-030VT ERP-035VT ERP-040VT
Load capacity (lbs) 3000 3500 4000
Turning Radius 58.3 62.1 62.1
Max Travel Speed (mph) 9.8 9.8 9.8
Max Lift Speed (ft/min) 134 134 134


3-Wheel Stand

Yale ESC030AD

Model ESC030AD ESC035AD ESC040AD
Load Capacity (lbs) 3000 3500 4000
Max Travel Speed (mph) 7.2 7.2 7.2
Max Lift Speed (ft/min) 69 67 63