If you’re curious how big and powerful forklifts can get, consider the Kalmar DCG850, which currently holds the Guinness World record for a forklift’s lifting capacity, with its ability to lift nearly 190,000 pounds. But when you think “big,” you’re likely thinking about the forklift’s weight, and typically the higher the lift capacity — the maximum weight a forklift can lift while remaining stable. — the more the forklift weighs.
However, from a functional standpoint, you may be needing a high-capacity forklift for a heavy-duty project. In that case, you should consider its lift height and turning radius in addition to its weight and lift capacity.
With those specifications in mind, this post details the biggest forklifts in the world. Our top 10 list is limited to just pneumatic forklifts — some marina forklifts are pretty hefty, but they’re highly specialized machines that aren’t made for general use.
If you’re looking for a big forklift, look no further — we’re ranking the top 10 biggest forklifts in the world.
The Biggest Forklifts and Their Specs
Ranking them from the biggest forklifts to the smallest, we showcase the brands and models that represent the largest forklifts in the industry. Although brands like Kalmar and Hoist have multiple high-capacity models worth considering, for our purposes, we’re only including one model per brand.
|Model or series
|Lift capacity (lb)
|Volvo DANA T30 Stage V
|Konecranes SMV 65-1200 C
|MKF CS 600/1000 D
|Cummins 6.7 Liter or 8.9 Liter
1. Kalmar DCG850-12LB
First — and biggest — on our list is the record-breaking Kalmar DCG850-12LB. Here are its specs:
- Lift capacity: 187,393 lb
- Weight: 214,951 lb
- Lift height: 13’1”
- Engine: Volvo DANA T30 Stage V
When you check out the largest forklift, the Kalmar DCG850-12LB, you find a feat of forklift engineering that combines robust design with exceptional capabilities. With a lifting capacity that clinched the Guinness World Record at an impressive 187,393 pounds, this pneumatic forklift is a powerhouse in heavy-duty material handling.
In this model, you’ll find advanced features, including a spacious cabin for operator comfort and cutting-edge technology for precise control. And with the DCG850-12LB, you will enjoy unparalleled efficiency when maneuvering large loads.
It’s manufactured by Kalmar, a renowned name in cargo handling solutions with a company history dating back to the 1940s. Kalmar’s commitment to innovation and reliability is evident in the DCG850-12LB, making it a great choice for demanding work in shipping yards, warehouses, and industrial facilities where lifting massive loads is a routine challenge.
2. Konecranes SMV 65-1200 C
Second on our list is the Konecranes SMV 65-1200 C. Although its 143,300-pound lift capacity doesn’t quite compete with Kalmar’s, you’ll find that this machine still has impressive capacity. Here are its specs:
- Lift capacity: 143,300 lb
- Weight: 197,534 lb
- Lift height: 13’1”
- Engine: Volvo
- Outside turning radius: 13’8”
WIth the Konecranes SMV 65-1200 C forklift, you get precision and power in the form of heavy-duty material handling. Designed to tackle the most demanding industrial tasks with ease, you’ll still find high-end features, such as advanced load-sensing hydraulics and a programmable touchscreen. This forklift doesn’t miss on comfort and safety, offering a spacious operator cabin for optimal visibility and a robust chassis for stability in diverse operating conditions.
It’s manufactured by Konecranes, a globally recognized leader in lifting solutions that has been at the forefront of crane and material handling equipment innovation for over a century. The SMV 65-1200 C reflects Konecranes’ commitment to quality and cutting-edge technology. It’s a great choice for applications in ports, shipping yards, and heavy manufacturing industries where precision, reliability, and superior lifting capacity are paramount.
3. Versalift 100/140
Third on our list is the Versalift 100/140. Here are its specs:
- Lift capacity: 140,000 lb
- Weight: 120,000 lb
- Engine: 4.3L GM Engine
The Versalift 100/140 forklift blends robust design with powerful lifting capabilities. With a lift capacity of 140,000 pounds, this machine showcases features such as precision control systems and a reinforced chassis for stability under demanding conditions.
It also has a lift capacity calculator, load-sensing pump, extendable counterweight, and machine override capabilities if the pedal or levers fail. You can even add a boom for additional raising and transporting capabilities.
Versalift is a known name in specialized lifting solutions with a solid track record spanning decades. Their commitment to innovation is embodied in the 100/140 model, and it’s an invaluable asset in applications ranging from construction sites to industrial warehouses.
4. MKF CS 600/1000 D
Coming in fourth is the MKF CS 600/1000 D with a lift capacity of 132,277 pounds.
If you’re looking for robust engineering and lifting power, the MKF CS 600/1000 D forklift is an effective choice for heavy-duty material handling. With a resilient chassis designed for stability in diverse operational environments, this forklift includes cutting-edge features, such as state-of-the-art load management systems and the ability to operate wirelessly with a remote.
You’ll find that MKF, the manufacturer behind this powerhouse, has a reputation for excellence and innovation in the field of lifting solutions. The CS 600/1000 D model is a testament to their commitment to delivering top-tier performance for industries requiring substantial lifting capabilities.
5. Toyota THD12500-48
Next up is the Toyota THD12500-48. Here are its specs:
- Lift capacity: 125,000 lb
- Weight: 159,400 lb
- Lift height: 23’1”
- Engine: Cummins
- Outside turning radius: 25’4”
You know Toyota’s reputation for reliability and efficiency in both automotive and industrial equipment, and Toyota’s massive forklift doesn’t disappoint.
Built for serious material handling needs, the THD12500-48 has an impressive lifting capacity of 125,000 pounds. Shored up by advanced features like a responsive control system and a reinforced frame for stability in challenging environments, it also includes safety features like the operator presence sensing system or OPSS to detect the operator when driving.
6. Hoist P1250
Next is the Hoist P1250. Here are its specs:
- Lift capacity: 125,000 lb
- Engine: Cummins 6.7L
The Hoist P1250 is engineered to excel in demanding industrial applications. It boasts advanced components like precision hydraulics and a rugged chassis for optimal stability. With durability and performance top of mind, its cushion tires and built-in engine protection system keeps your forklift running strong, and a load-sensing hydraulic system increases your productivity and fuel efficiency.
Hoist brings decades of expertise to its material handling solutions, and the P1250 is no exception. Its 125,000-pound lift capacity makes it robust enough to handle the diverse needs of modern warehouses, manufacturing facilities, and construction sites.
7. HangCha CPCD480-W61
Next on our list is the HangCha CPCD480-W61. Here are its specs:
- Lift capacity: 105,822 lb
- Weight: 137,789 lb
- Engine: Cummins QSM11-CT3
With a lift capacity of 105,822 pounds, you’ll find that this forklift is a heavyweight performer, a testament to HangCha’s reputation in crafting effective material handling machines. Precision-engineered features like advanced hydraulics and a sturdy frame ensure optimal performance and stability in diverse operational environments, making the CPCD480-W61 a solid choice for a wide spectrum of demanding industrial tasks.
8. Hyster H1050XDS48
The Hyster H1050XDS48 is eighth on our list. Here are its specs:
- Lift capacity: 105,000 lb
- Weight: 134,400 lb
- Lift height: 14’4”
- Engine: Cummins
- Outside turning radius: 23’3”
The Hyster H1050XDS48 forklift stands out as a workhorse, suitable for applications from heavy manufacturing to logistics. With a lifting capacity of 105,000 pounds, this heavyweight champion can handle substantial loads with precision and efficiency. Noteworthy features include an advanced hydraulics system, an ergonomic chassis for maximum balance,cooled exhaust recirculation, and automatic throttle-up for efficient operation.
Hyster, a well-established manufacturer with a decades-long history, earns its reputation for delivering effective, technology-advanced material handling equipment with the H1050XDS48 model.
9. Svetruck 52120-60
Next on our list is the Svetruck 52120-60. Here are its specs:
- Lift capacity: 104,000 lb
- Weight: 132,498 lb
- Lift height: 13’1”
- Engine: Cummins
- Outside turning radius: 27’6”
Equipped with advanced features such as a precision control system and a durable frame, the Svetruck 52120-60 excels in diverse industrial applications, from lumber yards to shipping terminals.
Svetruck is a global leader in heavy-duty forklifts, and this offering is no exception. With a focus on quality and cutting-edge technology, Svetruck machines like the 52120-60 are designed to meet the rigorous demands of industries that can’t function without serious lifting capabilities and reliability. Its wet disc brakes allow for quick stopping motions in tough conditions while keeping the brakes from overheating.
10. Sany SCP460C
And finally, the smallest of the biggest: the Sany SCP460C. Here are its specs:
- Lift capacity: 101,413 lb
- Weight: 127,648 lb
- Lift height: 13’1”
- Engine: Volvo
Despite being the “smallest” on our list, the Sany SCP460C stands out as a serious force in the material handling arena. With a lift capacity of 101,413 pounds, this forklift is tailor-made for demanding applications, specializing in industrial settings like construction and manufacturing.
Advanced features like a sophisticated control system, automatic stabilizers to keep forklift operators safe, and a durable chassis help the SCP460C deliver precise and reliable performance, following suit with Sany’s commitment to meeting the dynamic challenges of industrial material handling.
High-Capacity Forklift Applications
General material handling is a pretty broad category, encompassing a wide variety of tasks and applications. High-capacity forklifts work best on the more extreme end of the spectrum, in jobs that require high load capacities, serious precision and stability, and a lot of power.
Here’s an overview of some common applications for high-capacity forklifts:
- Wind power handling: High-capacity forklifts can transport large wind turbine components, such as blades, towers, and nacelles, usually during the construction and maintenance phases of wind farms.
- Steel and concrete: These forklifts handle heavy compound materials like steel coils, beams, and concrete blocks, commonly found in steel mills, construction sites, and manufacturing plants.
- Industrial and manufacturing: In large-scale manufacturing, high-capacity forklifts can move heavy components, machinery, or raw materials at many points throughout the manufacturing process.
- Ports and shipping yards: High-capacity forklifts handle the loading and unloading of heavy cargo, like large shipping containers and bulk goods, as ships arrive and depart.
- Construction sites: High-capacity forklifts are used to move heavy building materials and components at various stages of the construction process, from preparing the site to completing the project.
- Warehousing and logistics: These forklifts transport heavy pallets, machinery, and raw materials within and between warehouses, often in high-bay storage areas, supporting storage, retrieval, and distribution tasks.
- Mining and quarry operations: High-capacity forklifts are used to move heavy equipment to and from work sites as well as large quantities of mined materials.
What to Consider When Choosing the Right Forklift
Opting for a class V forklift over a standard model generally comes down to capacity. If you’re working in heavy-duty applications, you’ll want to go with a high-capacity machine.
But not all heavy-duty forklifts are the same. Make sure the one you choose can do what you need it to do. When you’re comparing different industrial trucks, keep the following factors in mind:
- Lift capacity: This is the maximum weight a forklift can carry and still remain stable. It’s important because a forklift cannot safely lift more than its lift capacity. If you know you need to handle heavy loads, choose a model that works within the range of what you need to lift.
- Weight: Depending on the surface you’re working on, the weight of your machine can be a factor. It determines if your forklift is roadworthy or if it can’t be used on a specific site due to weight limits. Also, higher weights usually correspond to higher lift capacities.
- Lift height: This is how high your forklift can lift or stack loads, which is important for tasks that require lifting to store, remove, or place objects.
- Outside turning radius: This helps assess a forklift’s maneuverability, since it determines how wide its turns are. If you’re working in a wide, open area, it’s not as much of a factor, but for narrow and tight spaces you’ll want to make sure the machine can function safely.
Each of these factors impacts what your machine can do. Matching lift capacity to your typical loads, making sure the forklift’s weight is counterbalanced to your loads for stability, choosing the right lift height for your storage requirements, and making sure the turning radius fits in your work area all ensure the forklift will be safe, efficient, and effective in your operational setting.
Forklift Rental Options
For heavy-duty material handling, a high-capacity forklift is your best bet. You might not need to rent the biggest forklift in the world, but make sure you get one big enough to get the job done.
Whether you need a standard size or a heavy-duty machine, BigRentz has you covered, with forklift rental options that can lift up to 140,000 pounds.