Landscaping & Outdoor Job Forklifts 101

Selecting the best forklift model isn’t easy because very few manufacturers will produce one that will be able to meet all the exact details a company is seeking. This guide will walk you through the key elements you need to consider when buying the perfect forklift and a few recommendations by NFE experts.

1. Environmental Factors

Not all forklifts are manufactured to safely handle the rugged terrain they will encounter during a landscaping project. Never use an electric forklift for exterior use because it cannot get wet. The electric forklift will have limited ground clearance, making it a bad option for hills and terrain that will scrape the bottom. A forklift must have adequate clearance to go over bumps and potholes when working outside. The pneumatic tires will absorb the bumps and can handle the uneven ground. A diesel engine forklift is a wise option for exterior work.

2. Height and Load Requirements

How high will you need the forklift to go? This is another thing to consider when you compare the brands and models as some will not be able to lift as high as others. Additionally, what is the load capacity of the forklift? If you are taking on a massive landscaping project where you are moving pallets of heavy brick and rock, you need an accurate rate.

3. Cost Comparison

Since diesel forklifts generally cost more, you need to be prepared to spend more on a forklift model. Used forklifts can work great for landscaping needs, but you need to test the turning circle and other things to make sure they can handle the high lifts and tight turns. Ultimately, cost will play the largest role in which forklift you end up purchasing for your landscaping project. Outline this amount before you get started to find the best model for your budget and needs.

4. Forklift Recommendations

If you’re still unsure which models to start with, take a look at the top 3 forklifts that are commonly used for outdoor jobs, compiled by NFE experts.


One of the top brands for forklifts is the Caterpillar brand due to its safety and reliability. These forklifts can function on rough terrain and handle loads ranging from 2,500 to 36,000lbs. Additionally, modern forklift models include electric counterbalanced, internal combustion cushions, and pneumatic tire lifts.


Another popular forklift brand is Clark forklifts. Their forklift models are designed to handle lifting ranging from 1,500 to 100,000-plus pounds. They use lean manufacturing to reduce product defects and manufacture high-quality forklifts.

Master Craft

For off road material handling, Master Craft Rough Terrain Forklifts provide the power and performance expected in a rough terrain forklift.

If you have any further questions about landscaping & outdoor job forklifts, don’t hesitate to contact NFE and we’ll happily answer them for you!

About Tom Reddon

Tom has been involved in the forklift industry since 1986. He loves doing research, blogging, and speaking about forklifts. You can contact Tom on his Twitter or Google+ profiles.

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