Choosing the Right Hyundai Rough Terrain Forklift

Hyundai Rough Terrain Forklifts

Many people associate the use of forklifts with transporting materials and loading and unloading trucks in busy warehouse operations. However, these powerful, versatile lifting machines can also perform various material handling tasks in outdoor environments where the footing isn’t as stable and the loads are even heavier. A rough terrain forklift is the perfect machine for these demanding applications.

What Is a Rough Terrain Forklift?

A rough terrain or all-terrain lift truck is a specialized forklift version designed to navigate challenging work surfaces efficiently and safely. The lift capacity of these machines runs from 2,000 to 40,000 pounds, although most fall in the 5,000- to 15,000-pound range. Lift heights vary from 15 to 80 feet or more.

While these machines resemble the models you’ll find in a warehouse, factory, or loading dock, they feature several significant differences:

  • Separate classification: OSHA has developed seven distinct forklift classifications. Rough terrain models are the biggest members of the forklift family and comprise Class VII, defined as machines typically designed for use on unimproved natural terrain or construction sites containing disturbed ground.
  • Larger tires: Rough terrain forklifts have heavy-duty pneumatic tires that provide extra stability on uneven or rocky terrain. They also offer a better grip in wet or slippery conditions.
  • Slope-climbing capability: Standard forklifts can only function safely on flat surfaces such as warehouse or factory floors. A rough terrain lift truck can navigate slopes at angles up to 45 degrees.
  • Better traction: Many rough terrain forklift models include the option to transition from two-wheel to four-wheel-drive to adapt to changing ground conditions. The availability of four-wheel drive can also reduce fuel consumption and tire wear while limiting wear and tear on the machine.
  • More ground clearance: Rough terrain forklifts have more room between the undercarriage and the work surface, which enhances the machine’s maneuverability and helps prevent damage to vital components.

The demand for rough terrain forklifts is expected to increase in the coming years. The anticipated compound annual growth rate from 2019 through 2024 is 5.69%.

What Are the Basic Types of Rough Terrain Forklift Models?

Rough terrain forklifts are available in multiple versions, including:

Straight Mast

A straight mast forklift features a vertical upright assembly at the front of the machine for raising and lowering the load. There are four subcategories of straight mast forklifts:

  • Singe stage upright: This mast type consists of two rails — one moves up and down, and the other remains stationary. Two side-mounted cylinders provide the lifting action. They work best when lifting at lower heights or for outdoor projects where overhead clearance isn’t an issue.
  • Two stage: These masts feature a two-stage assembly and a center-mounted cylinder that elevates to the top of the center rails. A forklift with this mast type works well for stacking and double-stacking tasks or loading and unloading trailers and railroad box cars in poor-visibility conditions.
  • Three stage: A triplex mast forklift includes two movable and one stationary rail. The primary cylinder provides a full free lift of the carriage and forks. Consider this lift type for projects that require reaching above-average heights.
  • Four stage: A quad-mast forklift contains four sets of rails and two sets of chains. Use these machines for higher stacking applications.

Variable Reach

While a straight mast rough terrain forklift can only move a load vertically, a variable reach model provides more flexibility — think of it as a cross between a heavy-duty lift truck and a boom-type aerial work platform. These machines include a telescoping boom that extends outward and upward, offering additional load placement options. Typical applications include masonry work and outdoor construction projects.

Truck/Trailer Mounted

As the name indicates, these forklifts are mounted onto a truck or trailer for easy transportation to the job site. Workers can then unload the machine at the designated area. These forklifts provide an excellent option for loading and unloading heavy materials.

Uses of rough terrain forklifts

What Are the Uses of Rough Terrain Forklifts?

You can find these lift trucks at outdoor construction sites due to the uneven terrain and inconsistent ground quality that are common in these locations. They’re a frequent choice for lifting heavy building materials and other supplies to the top floors of structures or placing them at strategic locations for roadwork projects.

Farmers and ranchers also use them to load and unload pallets packed with sacks of seeds or animal feed in storage bins or lofts and transport them around their vast properties. The military relies on straight mast forklifts to move supplies within bases and encampments.

What Is the Best Rough Terrain Forklift for Your Projects?

Your choice of a rough terrain forklift depends on several factors:

  •  2wd vs. 4wd: A two-wheel-drive forklift relies on the front wheels to propel the machine. While this feature limits motive power, it enables the vehicle to travel longer distances. A four-wheel-drive model offers more traction, making it the better option when navigating treacherous ground.
  • Load capacity at maximum height: While learning the machine’s overall lift and height capacity is important, you’ll also need to know how heavy a load it can handle when extended to its maximum height. Consider the typical weight you need to accommodate at your job sites when making this determination.
  • Mast type: You’ll need to select a lift truck with a mast that fits your needs. For example, if you only plan to raise and lower loads vertically, a straight mast model will serve the purpose. If portability is a concern, consider a mobile truck/trailer-mounted version.
  • Price: Cost is often the deciding factor for buyers when purchasing any heavy equipment, including forklifts. Four-wheel-drive lift trucks are typically more expensive than two-wheel-drive models due to the additional components required for balancing and stabilizing loads on rugged turf.

Contact Thompson Lift Truck

Thompson Lift Truck Offers Hyundai 2WD and 4WD Forklifts for Sale

Thompson Lift Truck, the material handling equipment division of Thompson Tractor, offers a wide selection of rough terrain forklifts from Hyundai, a leading manufacturer of high-quality lift trucks for multiple applications. Hyundai equipment can serve the needs of industries and applications ranging from warehousing and lumber to food and beverage, precast concrete, and steel.

The Hyundai legacy dates to 1947 — the company has a stellar track record for designing and manufacturing innovative, reliable equipment that enhances quality and efficiency. When you purchase Hyundai rough terrain forklifts from Thompson Lift Truck, you’ll partner with an experienced equipment dealer that understands your business. We proudly serve the material handling needs of companies in Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, and South Carolina.

Contact us to learn more about the benefits of adding Hyundai rough terrain forklifts to your heavy equipment fleet today.

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