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What Size Forklift Should You be Using?

January 9, 2024


worker carrying empty pallets using forklift


A Short Guide to Forklift Sizes

Forklifts are indispensable tools in various industries, streamlining material handling and boosting efficiency. However, selecting the right forklift size is a decision that significantly impacts both productivity and safety. 

In this guide, we will walk you through the process of determining the appropriate forklift size for your specific needs, considering factors like your work environment for maximum fork height needs, material handling requirements for maximum weight capacity needs, and the rental options we have available at Rentco to help you carry out your project.

Understanding Your Needs


Doosan forklift in warehouse


Assessing Work Environment

The first step in choosing the right forklift size is to evaluate your work environment. Consider whether you will primarily use the forklift indoors or outdoors. Understanding your workspace conditions will help narrow down the options.


Material Handling Requirements Dictate Forklift Capacity Needs

Next, carefully analyze your material handling requirements. Take note of the types of materials you will be moving, their dimensions, and their weight. Different forklifts are designed for various purposes, and choosing the right forklift dimensions depends on the nature of your load. 

For more information on forklift load handling guidelines, consult this guide from the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety.

Forklift Size & Type

Conventional forklifts and zoom boom forklifts serve distinct purposes in material handling. A conventional forklift is versatile for indoor/outdoor applications, offering efficiency in stacking and transporting palletized loads. 

A zoom boom forklift is designed for extended reach. Ideal for tasks requiring elevation, they excel in scenarios like construction projects or warehouse setups where materials need to be lifted to significant heights.


Load Center Considerations

When renting a forklift, understanding the concept of load centers and how they relate to weight distribution is crucial to ensure optimal performance and safety. 

The ‘specified load center,’ a standard measure set by the manufacturer, often stands at 24 inches for most models. The actual load center, however, is the distance from the face of the forks to the center of gravity of the load. 

Equally important is the ‘load length’, which directly impacts the actual load center. Longer loads shift the center of gravity further away from the forks, potentially exceeding the specified load center and altering the forklift’s lifting capacity.

If you aren’t sure how to find the right forklift capacities for the uses you have in mind, contact your nearest Rentco location for insights from machinery rental experts. 


Understanding Lift Height

Consider the maximum lift height required for your tasks. Forklifts are designed to lift materials to varying heights, so you have to take into account your storage or stacking needs and choose a forklift that can reach the desired elevation.

Consulting with Rental Experts

Consulting with heavy equipment rental experts is the best way to make sure that you get the right forklift for the job. The professionals at Rentco have extensive knowledge and experience in matching businesses with the right machinery and tool solutions. 

Rentco’s Forklift Size Options

At Rentco our extensive inventory includes conventional forklifts with different lifting capacities and specialized zoom boom forklifts.

Among our conventional forklifts, the 5,000lb rated load capacity Indoor/Outdoor Hyster is ideal for versatile indoor applications, while the 6,000lb and 8,000lb models provide increased lifting capacities for heavier loads. The 8,000lb Indoor/Outdoor Straight Mast excels in environments with high stacking requirements.

For specialized tasks, our zoom boom forklifts offer extended reach capabilities. The 9,000lb Zoom-Boom 23′, 8,000lb Zoom-Boom 43′, and 10,000lb Zoom-Boom 56′ are designed for tasks that require lifting materials to significant heights, providing flexibility and efficiency.

Our inventory also includes the powerful Straight Mast Ingersoll with a maximum load weight of 12,000lbs, suitable for the most demanding industrial lifting tasks.

Use Cases

Zoom Boom

Zoom boom forklifts offer invaluable benefits for construction job sites, making them a preferred choice in the industry. With extended reach capabilities, these forklifts are designed to efficiently handle materials at elevated heights and over obstacles. This is particularly advantageous for tasks like roofing, framing, and other construction activities. 



Conventional forklifts are the go-to solution for warehousing and storage needs. These machines excel in maneuvering through warehouse aisles and efficiently lifting and transporting palletized goods, which is key for loading and unloading shipments. 

Contact Rentco to Book Your Forklift Rental Today

Rentco’s forklifts are well-maintained, regularly inspected, and ready for deployment when you need them. Whether you need a forklift for short-term projects or long-term operations, our flexible rental terms offer the convenience of a timeline that meets your needs.

With locations in Grande Prairie (AB), Peace River (AB), Fort St. John (BC), and Dawson Creek (BC), Rentco offers comprehensive coverage in the Peace Region. We facilitate swift equipment transfers between locations, ensuring prompt access to the forklift you need.

Looking to buy? We can help you with that too! Rentco Equipment’s Bobcat of the Peace division is also an authorized Doosan Forklift dealer.

Contact us to discuss your specific requirements and benefit from our expertise in matching businesses with the right machinery rental solutions.