Have you ever wondered: “How much does a forklift weigh?”
Then you’re in the right place.
Because you’re going to learn everything you need to know about forklift weights in this post, including:
- How much an average forklift weighs
- Why forklifts are so heavy
- The difference between forklift weight and lifting capacity
- How to tell how much your forklift weighs
Plus, we put together a list of 11 common forklift weights to satisfy your curiosity once and for all.
Let’s dive in!
The weight of your average forklift (i.e., a 5,000 lb. capacity, cushion-tire warehouse forklift) is between 8,000 and 9,000 lbs.
But forklift weights vary widely, ranging from 3,000 lbs. to over 140,000 lbs. Forklifts vary in weight based on their make, model, and use.
Also, when talking about forklift weight, we refer to the service weight, not lifting capacity. The forklift service weight is the actual weight of the forklift itself, including forks or other accessories, but without a load.
Forklift weights range from 3,000 lbs. for the smallest sit-down rider forklifts to over 140,000 lbs. for the largest forklift trucks. Here’s a sampling of forklift weight ranges:
- Light-capacity forklifts: 3,000 lbs. — 4,999 lbs.
- Standard-capacity forklifts: 5,000 lbs. — 9,999 lbs.
- Medium-capacity forklifts: 10,000 lbs. — 19,999 lbs.
- High-capacity forklifts: 20,000 lbs. — 85,000+ lbs.
We know that forklifts are heavy-duty equipment that weigh a lot.
There are many reasons why forklifts weigh as much as they do, including:
- Forklift manufacturing material. Forklifts are built with heavy-duty steel components because of their heavy-duty use and environment of usage.
- Forklift counterweight weight. Forklifts are designed with a very heavy counterweight at the rear to offset the weight of the load and help maintain balance.
- Batteries. Electric forklifts have heavy batteries (1,500+ lbs.), which act as an additional counterweight.
- Forklift mast. The forklift mast (also called the “upright”) and its components consist of solid steel channel beams, adding hundreds to thousands of lbs. to the forklift weight.
- Forklift attachments. The forklift’s forks/attachments add weight. Forks can weigh from dozens to over a thousand lbs.; attachments range from 100+ lbs. for basic side shifters to 1,000+ lbs. for large paper roll clamps.
- Power source. A forklift may be powered by gas, electricity, or diesel. The power source may make the forklift much heavier depending on its fuel type.
Overall, forklift weight (forklift service weight) depends on the forklift, counterbalance weight, battery (for electric forklifts), forklift mast, attachments, and other additions.
There are 2 ways to tell how much your forklift weighs:
- Check the manufacturer’s data tag (also known as the data plate or nameplate)
- Calculate/estimate the forklift weight
Let’s talk a bit more about each method.
Check the Data Plate
A forklift comes with a manufacturer’s data tag or a "nameplate." This is the first place to check for the weight of the forklift. After all, OSHA and ANSI require that forklift data plates display the truck's weight and be legible at all times.
The forklift data plate describes its forklift’s specifications, including but not limited to:
- Forklift service weight
- Forklift lift and load-bearing capacities
- Forklift height
- The forklift down-rated power
- Forklift controls
See the list and description of different forklift parts here: What Are the Parts of a Forklift and Their Functions?
Estimate the Forklift Weight
Keep in mind that your lift truck must have the truck weight on the data plate. If it doesn’t, you must contact your lift truck manufacturer to get a replacement before using the truck.
That said, you can get a rough estimate of a forklift’s weight by using a simple calculation. The rule of thumb is that a forklift's service weight is 1.5 to 2X its lifting capacity. So, to estimate the forklift weight, multiply its lift capacity by either 1.5 or 2. The forklift weight will likely be between these two figures.
For example, if a forklift load capacity is 5,000 lbs., it may weigh somewhere between 7,500 and 10,000 lbs. The math works out to be: 5,000 x 1.5 = 7,500 or 5,000 x 2 = 10,000 lbs..
But don’t just take this estimate and run with it. You’ll want to confirm the weight with your closest authorized lift truck service center. That way, you’ll literally be on safer footing if you’re concerned about floor/elevator weight capacities and whether they can support your fork truck.
When discussing forklift weight, two concepts need to be differentiated: Forklift service weight and forklift capacity. We’ll try to do that in the following few sections.
Forklift Service Weight
Forklift service weight (the topic of this article) refers to the actual weight of the unloaded lift truck itself.
This includes the counterweight, battery (if electric), and attachments. This is also called the “forklift service weight.”
On the other hand, forklift capacity describes the maximum weight a forklift can safely lift and handle.
The lifting capacity is often given as both a weight and a forklift load center. As a rule of thumb, a standard forklift’s service weight is 1.5-2X its lifting capacity.
Is Forklift Weight the Same as Lifting Capacity?
Forklift weight and forklift weight lifting capacity are not the same things.
Let’s try to make this important point clear…
In general, forklifts are referred to by their weight-lifting capacity. For example, a 5,000 lb. forklift means a forklift capable of lifting 5,000 lbs. Not a forklift that itself weighs 5,000 lbs. Because in actuality, the weight of a 5,000 lb. forklift is 8,000 to 9,000 lbs. on average.
For quick reference, OSHA requires that all forklifts must have the service weight and lifting capacity indicated on the manufacturer’s tag or the service manual. You must be careful to look at the service weight rather than the lift capacity.
We’ve covered the topic of forklift lifting capacities at length in our posts on forklift weight capacity and forklift load centers.
Knowing your forklift’s service weight is important for various reasons. These include:
- Forklift Transporting: Ensures a truck capable of safely accommodating the unit’s weight is booked for transporting. Informs the type and number of safety straps to be used to secure the forklift during transportation.
- Floor Damage: If the wrong material is used on the floor, such as tiles or wood, it won’t provide the required support. This increases the risk of damage to the floor, increasing repair and maintenance costs and jeopardizing safety.
- Driving on Ramps: If the forklift will be driven up and down ramps, the ramp needs to have adequate support and reinforcement fitting the forklift’s weight.
- Multi-Level Operation: Forklifts operating on the upper floors of multi-story buildings require that the floors are reinforced accordingly. This reduces the chances of the floor failing, the tires becoming stuck, or the unit falling through the floor.
Here is a list of 15 of the most common forklift weights you may come across.
To make this, we looked at the technical manuals provided by Toyota for popular forklift models. Forklift weights of different brands may vary, but should be similar when compared to models with the same lifting capacity.
Note: Electric forklifts weights below include the weight of the chassis and the battery. Weights do not include attachments nor load. All weights are approximate. Ask your closest lift truck dealership for help determining the weight of specific models.
How Much Does a 3,000 lb. Capacity Forklift Weigh?
An electric (3-wheel) forklift with a lifting capacity of 3,000 lbs. weighs approximately 6,100 lbs. The same model with an internal combustion engine weighs between 5,900 and 5,500 lbs.
How Much Does a 4,000 lb. Capacity Forklift Weigh?
A 4,000 lb. capacity electric (3-wheel) model forklift weighs about 7,400 lbs. An internal combustion model weighs 7,000 lbs. or more.
How Much Does a 5,000 lb. Forklift Weigh?
A 5,000 lb. capacity electric forklift weighs about 9,500 lbs. An internal combustion model weighs about 8,000 lbs.
How Much Does an 8,000 lb. Capacity Forklift Weigh?
An 8,000 lb. electric forklift weighs about 13,900 lbs. The same model with an internal combustion engine weighs about 12,700 lbs.
How Much Does a 10k Forklift Weigh?
An electric forklift with 10,000 lb. lifting capacity weighs about 16,000 lbs. An internal combustion model with the same lifting capacity weighs about 14,500 lbs.
How Much Does a 12k Forklift Weigh?
A 12k capacity electric forklift weighs approximately 19,300 lbs. The same model with an internal combustion engine can weigh about 16,200 lbs.
How Much Does a 15,000 lb. Forklift Weigh?
A 15,000 lb. capacity electric forklift weighs about 23,600 lbs. The same model with an internal combustion engine weighs about 20,500 lbs.
How Much Does a 20,000 lb. Forklift Weigh?
An electric forklift that can lift 20,000 lb. weighs about 29,800 lbs. An equivalent internal combustion model weighs about 29,900 lbs.
How Much Does a 30,000 lb. Forklift Weigh?
A 30,000 lb. lifting capacity electric forklift weighs about 41,600 lbs. An internal combustion with the same lifting capacity weighs between 38,600 lbs. and 46,999 lbs.
How Much Does a 35,000 lb. Forklift Weigh?
An electric forklift that can lift 35,000 lbs. weighs about 45,300 lbs. An internal combustion model weighs between 41,100 lbs. and 46,981 lbs.
How Much Does a 40,000 lb. Forklift Weigh?
A 40,0000 lb. capacity electric forklift can weigh about 52,600 lbs. An equivalent internal combustion model weighs between 51,600 lbs. and 61,725 lbs.
How Much Does a 50,000 lb. Forklift Weigh?
An internal combustion forklift with a 50,000 lb. lifting capacity can weigh anywhere from 69,000 lbs. to 81,272 lbs.
How Much Does a 70,000 lb. Forklift Weigh?
An internal combustion forklift with a 70,000 lb. lifting capacity weighs approximately 115,580 lbs.
How Much Does a 100,000 lb. Forklift Weigh?
A 100,000 lb. capacity internal combustion forklift weighs about 144,705 lbs.
How Much Does a 125,000 lb. Forklift Weigh?
An internal combustion that can lift 125,000 lbs. can weigh around 159,400 lbs.
What Is the Average Weight of a Forklift?
The average weight of a 5,000 lb. capacity cushion tire forklift with an internal combustion power system is between 8 and 9,000 lbs.
The average weight of a 3,000 lb. capacity 3-wheel electric forklift is about 6,000 lbs. This weight includes the chassis and the battery.
How Much Does a Forklift Weigh in Kilograms (Kg)?
A 3-wheel electric forklift weighs about 2,700 kilograms. An internal combustion warehouse forklift weighs about 3,600 kilograms.
How Much Does a Forklift Weigh in Tons?
A 3-wheel electric forklift weighs about 3 tons (US). An internal combustion warehouse forklift weighs about 4 tons (US).
How Much Does a Small Forklift Weigh?
The smallest electric 3-wheelers are usually at least 6,000 lbs. (including the weight of the chassis and the battery). The smallest internal combustion forklifts weigh from 5,000 to 6,000 lbs.
What Is the Lightest Forklift?
With a maximum lifting capacity of 1,322 lbs. and measuring just over 43 inches long, this small electric forklift weighs in at about 2,860 lbs.
What Is the Heaviest Forklift?
Weighing approximately 206,000 lbs., the Swedish/Finnish Kalmar LMV DCG720-10 is the heaviest forklift in the world.
It has an astounding lifting capacity of over 158,000 lbs. at a load center of 7 feet!
How Heavy Is a Forklift Compared to a Car?
The average car weighs around 3,000 lbs. Bigger vehicles, like a Chevy Suburban SUV for example, can weigh up to 6,000 lbs.
By comparison, a small 3-wheel electric forklift can weigh about 6,000 lbs. while an internal combustion warehouse forklift weighs about 9,000 lbs. on average.
Are Forklifts Heavier Than Cars?
Forklifts are almost universally heavier than cars.
The average car weighs about 3,000 lbs., while the average forklift is about 9,000 lbs. Forklifts are heavier due to their counterweight and the batteries they carry.
Can You Put a Fork Lift on a Car Trailer?
If the trailer weight capacity allows it, you can put a forklift on a car trailer. You also need a towing vehicle and hitch capable of coping with the extra weight.
But you need to get it on the trailer (tilting trailer or ramps) without damaging anything. You also need to secure the forklift adequately from movement using chains and/or straps. This will ensure stability during forklift transportation.
What Kind of Trailer Do I Need to Move a Forklift?
The best trailers to move a forklift can lower or tilt to allow the forklift to drive onto the trailer bed.
The trailer should have sturdy D-hooks or other means to accommodate chains and hooks for securing the forklift and ensuring safety during transportation.
Certain types of forklifts require trailers that can load at dock height (like reach trucks) because they can’t traverse grades as required on a tilt-bed trailer.
How Much Does a CLARK 5,000 lb. Forklift Weigh?
A CLARK 5,000 lb. internal combustion forklift weighs around 7,000 lbs.
How Much Does a Hyster Forklift Weigh?
The weights for some common Hyster forklift models are as follows:
- Hyster reach truck: 3,112 lbs.
- Hyster 3-wheel electric: 3,190 lbs.
- Hyster 5,000 lb. internal combustion (cushion tire): 8,690 lbs.
- Hyster 5,000 lb. internal combustion (pneumatic tire): 8,000-9,067 lbs.
- Hyster high-capacity (cushion or pneumatic tire): 55, 150 lbs.
How Much Does a Forklift Propane Tank Weigh?
An empty propane tank weighs about 33 lbs. and 69 lbs. when full.
Most often, steel, propane-powered forklifts use 33 lbs. tanks. But some tanks are 43 lbs. tanks. An aluminum forklift tank may weigh only 23 lbs. when empty and 56 lbs. when full. But these aren’t commonly used these days. You can read more about propane tanks in our How to Safely Change a Forklift Propane Tank post.
How Much Does a Forklift Battery Weigh?
A typical 3-wheel forklift battery weighs around 2,000 lbs.
Forklift battery weight varies widely. At the low end, they can weigh around 600 lbs. At the high end, they can weigh 5,000 lbs. or more for the biggest electric lift trucks.
How Much Does a Forklift Counterweight Weigh?
The counterweight for a small electric 3-wheel forklift can weight over 1,000 lbs. Counterweights for heavier forklifts can weigh into the thousands of pounds.
How Much Does a Forklift Tire Weigh?
The average forklift tire weighs about 50 lbs. each.
Forklift tire weight depends on the tire type, service weight, and load capacity. Overall, forklift tires are relatively small but built to be solid and durable due to their tasks and activities.
For a complete guide on forklift tires, read this post: Forklift Tires: The Ultimate Guide.
What Is Forklift Capacity?
Forklift capacity (or load, net, or rated capacity) is the maximum weight a forklift can safely raise at a particular load center.
The load center is the horizontal distance from the forks’ vertical face to the load’s center of gravity — usually 24 inches. A forklift’s rated capacity is influenced by its service weight, load, load centers, attachments, lifting heights, and more.
How Much Weight Can a Forklift Lift on Average?
Forklift load capacities typically range between 3,000 and 70,000 lbs. You’ll find this information on the forklift truck’s data plate.
How Much Does a Telehandler Weigh?
Here’s a range of weights for common telehandler models:
- Genie 5,500 lb. capacity telehandler: 9,990 lbs.
- Genie 10,000 lb. capacity telehandler: 30,000 lbs.
- Genie 15,000 lb. capacity telehandler: 33,686 lbs.
- JLG 5,500 lb. capacity telehandler: 11,000 lbs.
- JLG 10,000 lb. capacity telehandler: 26,235 lbs.
- JLG 15,000 lb. capacity telehandler: 32,500 lbs.
That’s it: You now know how much a forklift weighs.
Now, we’d like to hear from you.
Were you always curious about forklift weights but never got around to googling them until now?
Are you researching a job and need to know the maximum allowable forklift weight to accomplish it?
Or maybe you have more questions about forklift weights?
Let us know in the comments below!
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