Find New & Used Outdoor Forklifts for Sale

February 23, 2023 - Last modified: February 13, 2023 @ 6:10 pm

While renting heavy equipment might seem like a good idea, finding new or used outdoor forklifts for sale is the most cost-effective option in the long run. As long as you purchase from a reputable company such as Forklift Inventory, which guarantees the quality of the machines they quote, you'll save money by owning and operating your own equipment. When you buy your forklift, you pay less in monthly payments than you would for rental fees, and you can customize your machine to meet your needs. In addition, your purchase qualifies for a tax deduction.

Why Do You Need To Find Outdoor Forklifts for Sale?

If your project site is outside and on rough terrain, you probably need to look for outdoor forklifts for sale. Designed to bear heavy loads, move industrial equipment and operate in all weather conditions, outdoor forklifts can handle the most challenging outside jobs. When you undertake a project fitting any of these descriptions, it's time to consider purchasing a new or used outdoor forklift to manage your heavy lifting and keep your operation moving safely and efficiently in rough terrain.

Characteristics of an Outdoor Forklift

Manufacturers design outdoor forklifts to operate on rough or uneven terrain such as beaches, campsites or construction sites. Built to maneuver over rocks and nails safely and efficiently, the robust design of these heavy-duty trucks means they can withstand less-than-ideal weather conditions. While warehouse forklifts have over-the-road tires and a low profile for indoor use, outdoor forklifts boast a few key distinctions:

  • Increased ground clearance: Outdoor forklift frames have a higher ground clearance to avoid getting stuck in rough, muddy or rocky terrain.
  • Pneumatic tires: To improve traction and flotation, outdoor forklifts use pneumatic tires with deeper treads and a wider profile. These tires are either air-filled or solid. 
  • 4-Wheel drive: Many outdoor forklifts for sale come with 4-wheel drive for better maneuverability and traction in work environments with rugged conditions.

Other Names for Outdoor Forklifts

Outdoor forklifts are also known as all-terrain, rough terrain, or off-road forklifts because of their reliability in rocky or uneven areas. Pneumatic tires that are threaded and oversized provide better stability and balance for safer movement on a job site. There are three standard configurations for outdoor forklifts, and each build is ideal for different situations:

  • Vertical mast setups are the most common configurations for forklifts. Outdoor versions are more rugged and have higher ground clearance.
  • Variable reach configurations have a telescoping boom, which enables the operator to pick up and set loads at various lift heights and distances in front of the forklift.
  • Truck or trailer-mounted forklifts installed on a transport vehicle can unload heavy materials from the truck or trailer to the job site.

How Can You Safely Use Outdoor Forklifts?

OSHA classifies outdoor forklifts as Class VII, a powerful type of forklift intended for use on disturbed ground, such as construction sites and unimproved natural landscapes. Even though they're labeled rough terrain or all-terrain, these trucks aren't suitable for every type of ground. If the floor loading limits can't support the combined weight of the forklift, its load and the operator, it's not appropriate for use as an outdoor forklift. Similarly, low overhead clearance due to tree cover or road overpasses is a potential danger for damage to the forklift or for a tip-over accident.

If you want to find outdoor forklifts for sale, make sure that you select one you can safely operate on your job site based on the combination of the truck's weight, power and site specs. You also need to check your work site for other potential hazards:

  • Grease, oil or slippery conditions could cause skidding.
  • Holes or obstructions could lead to bouncing and tip-overs.
  • Uneven or unpredictable surfaces, such as deep mud, ice or gravel, might cause unexpected responses from the truck.

Operators must also receive training and certification for a Class VII forklift before beginning their work. They also should be evaluated every three years.

How Does an Outdoor Forklift Work?

Rough terrain forklifts make up some of the largest types of forklifts and can bear some of the heaviest loads. These trucks carry loads from 5,000 to 36,000 pounds, depending on the structure.

Each configuration operates a bit differently, but outdoor forklifts for sale generally perform like other types. The forks are connected to the main frame by a pair of roller chain pulleys, with the fulcrum gear located at the top of the mast.  The standard process works smoothly:

  1. Hydraulic pistons raise the mast.
  2. Gears on the mast press against the roller chains.
  3. The rising mast pulls the forks upward.


Outdoor forklifts have one lever for tilting loads back and forth and the other for moving them vertically. To raise the load, operators push the lifting lever forward. To lower it, operators move the lever back. The tilt operation is similar: Moving the tilt lever forward pushes the mast away from the frame while pulling the lever backward leans the mast back toward the frame.


Like a regular vehicle, forklifts have pedals for acceleration and braking. They also have gears for forward and reverse. Because most forklifts use rear-wheel steering, operators have more control and can use greater precision when driving with a load. Outdoor forklifts may have a 4-wheel drive system to compensate for the rough terrain.

How Can You Locate Outdoor Forklifts for Sale?

When searching for rough terrain forklifts, look no further than the free search tool at Forklift Inventory. Search for the best equipment for your job by comparing the options you need and considering your budget. Start the process by and answering a few basic questions about the outdoor forklift you're seeking, such as the required load capacity and lift height. Our team of specialists will respond by sending free, comparative quotes on a range of outdoor forklifts from various industry-leading manufacturers.

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*Savings claims are based on used forklift prices when compared to new inventory prices. Savings is not guaranteed and is subject to change.