Are 10,000 lb Forklifts Right for Indoor Use?

Written by Amy Whittle

A 10,000 lb. forklift offers double the lifting capacity of the most common forklift type -- the 5,000 lb. forklift -- and is typically the largest size that can be purchased with an electric motor. This allows warehouses or other businesses that use forklifts indoors to retain the advantages of a battery powered model while still having the increased strength to move heavier loads.

Advantages of the 10,000 lb. forklift

While heavy duty forklifts offer lift capacities that can exceed 35,000 lbs, they’re typically diesel powered so they can’t be used indoors. For the largest indoor loads, a 10,000 lb. electric forklift is the way to go. Although electric forklifts require a larger initial investment, they also yield a longer lifespan and lower fuel costs than internal combustion engine models. Most importantly, they produce lower emissions, which is essential for indoor use.

When an electric 10,000 lb lift won’t do

Even for warehouse use, there are reasons to avoid battery powered forklifts and choosing an internal combustion model instead. The most important reason to choose internal combustion is if you need to use the forklift for longer than eight hours at a time. While electric forklifts can easily finish a standard eight hour shift, working much beyond that requires a battery change that can take up to 45 minutes, or the expensive purchase of an additional battery and a special crane and battery replacement station. Refueling an internal combustion forklift never takes more than 15 minutes and little specialized equipment is required.

If you need a 10,000 lb. forklift that can work well past an eight hour shift, but would still like to use it indoors, consider a propane model. While diesel internal combustion forklifts are most common, propane models are gaining more traction because of their lower emissions. Most propane forklifts are rated as suitable for indoor use, but be sure to check with the manufacturer before making a purchase. Also, while the increased lift capacity is a sales point for internal combustion models, don't be afraid to only buy what you will use: a 6,000 lb. model is often the entry point for IC forklifts.

Experienced forklift dealers can help balance all of your requirements – capacity, indoor or outdoor use, hours of operation, and more. Find the best dealers with EverythingForklift’s free request for quotes service.

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