Of the dozen-plus international forklift manufacturers, fewer than half are based in the United States. In fact, most major forklift manufacturers are based abroad in Europe and Asia — particularly in Japan, which is home to three of the 13 largest forklift producers. Consequently, if you are an American business owner who wants to buy American-made, you only have a few forklift manufacturers to choose from.
Besides patriotism, though, there are plenty of other reasons to buy an American-made forklift, foremost of which is the high standards American forklift manufacturers are held to. More importantly, the forklifts made by various manufacturers have differing strengths, depending on the capabilities of each company’s production facilities and the strengths of each company’s designers. Here, then, is a list of America’s top four forklift manufacturers and what makes each special so you can determine which brand of forklift is right for you.
What Makes Each Of America’s Top Four Forklift Manufacturers Special
What has made Caterpillar a household name in the United States is the company’s longstanding commitment to producing reliable, durable machinery that will function in even the roughest terrain. Caterpillar has also become so widely known because of the wide range of machines it manufactures, including lift trucks with capacities from 2,500 to 100,000-plus pounds in electric-, liquid propane-, diesel- and gasoline-powered varieties.
Headquartered in Houston, Texas, Caterpillar’s production facility contains 600,000 square feet of manufacturing floor and is ISO 14001:2004 and ISO 9001:2008 certified. Importantly, the company’s production methods incorporate state-of-the-art fabrication methods, complex logistics and best-in-class supply-chain management to meet customer demand worldwide. In addition to forklifts, Caterpillar also offers various other materials-handling equipment, such as ride-on pallet trucks, walkie trucks, order pickers and reach trucks.
Clark specializes in material-handling trucks, having manufactured more than 350,000 trucks in use in 550 locations across the globe. The company’s product line comprises machinery ranging in lifting power from 1,500 to 100,000-plus pound capacities. In addition to producing equipment powered by liquid-propane gas, diesel, electric and dual fuels, the company is also an industry leader in manufacturing narrow-aisle trucks made specifically for use in warehouses.
Overall, Clark has built a reputation of being extremely responsive to customer demands, constantly innovating its product lines and improving on existing services. The company’s stated goal, in fact, is to remain aware of its customers’ needs at all times. It is also a very environmentally conscious manufacturer, running its plants on a “Lean Manufacturing” model that ensures resources are used as responsibly as possible.
3. Crown Equipment Corporation
Crown Equipment Corporation has been designing, manufacturing, distributing and servicing material-handling machinery, including forklifts, since 1956. Especially significant are Crown’s innovative forklift designs and varied product catalog, as well as the company’s vertically integrated approach to business. According to industry figures, Crown produces some 85 percent of its forklifts’ components, including their electronic modules, motors and drive units.
Beyond this, Crown’s primary focus is providing its customers the safest, most efficient and most comfortable forklifts anywhere. Among the many types of machines the company manufactures are hand trucks, turret trucks and forklifts, as well as other kinds of lifting trucks.
4. Yale Materials Handling Corporation
Yale Materials Handling Corporations specializes in manufacturing forklifts and has, consequently, become an industry leader in top-of-the-line, high-performing forklift production. Among its offerings are forklifts powered by diesel, liquid-propane, gasoline and electricity, and it also offers equipment-use training, financing and maintenance services, as well as part services. Furthermore, Yale is well-known for its customer service, often bending over backward to help its customers secure everything they need to finance and manage their lift-truck fleets.
To learn more about the various kinds of forklifts, or for information on purchasing a forklift, hand truck or lifting truck, please visit our site at NFE-lifts.com or call us at 1-855-322-1001.
Tom Reddon is a Forklift Specialist and Blog Manager for National Forklift Exchange, a worldwide distributor of used forklifts. Tom also sits on the Executive Dialogue Board for MHEDA. You can connect with Tom via Twitter @TomReddon.