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How High Can a Forklift Lift?

1906 saw the creation of the very first forklift, a contraption not too dissimilar to the forklifts of today. A little over a century later, forklifts are ubiquitous, helping businesses throughout the manufacturing industry lift and transport heavy goods with minimal effort.

Unlike the solitary forklift variety back in 1906, forklifts today have branched into a number of different subsets, each engineered to cater to specific tasks and environments.

Here at East Midlands Forklifts, we sell many types of forklifts, including reach, counterbalance, warehouse, pedestrian stacker, multi-directional, telescopic and side loader. The various forklifts are tailored for performing particular jobs, and, consequently, each type of forklift has a particular height-reaching capacity that makes it suitable to accomplish that job.

This article will not only look at how high each forklift can lift, but also the reason for why the forklift possesses that capacity.

Reach forklift

Reach forklifts are aptly named due to their ability to reach large heights. They are designed to operate in tall, narrow warehouse aisles, and hence possess a slim body with a tall lifting cylinder. This allows them to easily maneuver and turn in tight spaces while carrying tall loads.

Because it was engineered to reach high objects in tight spaces, the reach forklift is one of the higher-extending forklifts, reaching up to 10 metres tall. This can vary from product to product, however. Our JUNGHEINRICH ETV 110/112 reaches a maximum of a little over 5 metres, whereas our JUNGHEINRICH ETV Q20/Q25 can go as high as 10 metres. The most suitable forklift for you will depend on the dimensions of your warehouse.

Counterbalance forklift

The counterbalance forklift is perhaps the most stereotypical type of forklift. Its name is derived from the counterweight in the rear of the vehicle, helping the forklift to carry heavy loads without toppling forward.

Additionally, the counterbalance forklift has no protruding arms or legs, just a fork at the front of the vehicle. This allows the counterbalance forklift to travel up very close to the location of the load.

Much like the reach forklift, the counterbalance forklift is used to reach tall, heavy loads, and thus can reach a lifting height of 8 metres. Unlike the reach forklift, which is suited mainly to narrow aisles, the counterbalance forklift is versatile and can be used in a variety of different environments.

Pedestrian Stackers

Pedestrian stackers are perfect for easily transporting small loads around a warehouse or shop floor. They are pulled by hand and feature a fork and pump operation to effortlessly load small pallets.

Pedestrian stackers were engineered for light carrying operations and their height capacity is a reflection of this. Pedestrian stackers generally lift around 0.4ft, but some pedestrian stackers, such as out JUNGHEINRICH HC 110 can reach just under 3 metres.

Warehouse forklift

Warehouse forklifts make it easy to lift and transport loads around warehouse floors. They are versatile trucks, available in a range of sizes and designs to best suit certain warehouse environments. The JUNGHEINRICH EJE 112I, available at East Midlands Forklifts, only reaches a height of 0.12 metres. The JUNGHEINRICH ESC 214 / 214Z / 216 / 216Z can lift to a height of 6 metres.

Narrow aisle warehouse forklifts are perfect for warehouses that utilise the available space by stacking high rather than wide. These forklifts reach approximately 16.5 metres high.


Multi-directional forklifts are handy for quickly maneuvering in multiple directions. The Jungheinrich ETC Q20/Q25 can reach 10.7 metres.


Telescopic forklifts get their name from the ‘telescopic’ cylinder on the rear of the forklift. This mechanism enables various attachments to be added to the forklift, making it extremely versatile and beneficial for businesses with varying tasks. The telescopic forklift packs quite a punch with a large capacity industrial diesel engine but it still manages to stay unusually quiet, only 71/73 dB(A) in the cab. The JUNGHEINRICH DFG660/670/680/690/S80/S90 can reach a height of 8 metres.

Side loaders

Side loaders feature lifting forks on the side of the forklift, adjacent to the driver seat. This design accounts for items that are particularly wide. The JUNGHEINRICH ETV C16/C20 reaches 7.4 metres

Here at East Midlands Forklifts, we stock a huge range of forklifts, ensuring you can find the perfect height, design and specification to suit your commercial requirements. Take a look at our brochure to browse our extensive range. Alternatively, give our friendly team a call. We’ll be happy to help you further.


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