The Best Forklifts for Lumber Yards

The Best Forklifts For Lumber Yards

Lumber yards are one of the most demanding applications for material handling equipment – especially forklifts. Long, heavy loads and tough outdoor conditions are just a few of the many challenges associated with moving wood products.

Countless lumber yards in northern California choose Toyota forklifts because they’re durable, reliable and efficient. Ashby Lumber (Berkley, Concord, CA) switched to an all-Toyota fleet several years ago after noticing their Toyota forklifts outlasted other brands,  and they’ve never looked back.

This article will cover the most popular forklift models for lumber yards. We’ll also look at time-saving attachments and accessories.

Ashby Lumber runs their forklifts full-time and then some. Their workhorse Toyota forklifts load and unload 50-75 trucks per day, build loads, and stock materials – twelve hours a day, seven days a week.

Ashby Lumber’s 100 percent Toyota fleet includes:

  • mostly Mid-size and Large diesel lift trucks with lumber-specific forks and side-shifters,
  • a few Core LP forklifts to move smaller loads out in the yard,  
  • and electric reach trucks in their warehouse.

Superior visibility and Toyota’s exclusive System of Active Stability (SAS) enhance load control and safety. Ergonomic controls and a full-suspension seat minimize fatigue and help their operators get more done each day.

The Best Forklifts for Lumber Yards 

Most lumber yards use Toyota’s Mid-size Pneumatic Diesel forklift. Some opt for the Core Pneumatic or Large Pneumatic depending on their capacity needs. If you need to navigate very long loads in very tight spaces, CombiLift’s CB Multi-directional forklift is a good choice.

Here are some of the most popular add-on options for lumber yards:

  • Dual front tires and large rear counterweight – for add stability
  • Side-shifting fork positioner – operators can easily adjust the forks for different-sized loads without leaving the operator’s compartment.
  • Lumber-specific forks – traditional tapered forks are too thick to fit between stacks of wood, and standard carriage widths aren’t wide enough to handle wider bundles. Lumber forks are thinner and wider so you can move product more efficiently and minimize damage.

    What About Electric Forklifts ?
    Building Products Digest reports an increasing number of lumberyards buy electric forklifts. Surprised? Electric forklifts have come a long way.

    Toyota’s rugged 80v Electric Pneumatic forklift is designed for outdoor use. With up to 7,000 capacity and minimal maintenance, diesel may not be king of the yard forever.

    Let us help you find the right forklift for your needs and budget. We’d love the opportunity to earn your business. Contact one of our friendly and knowledgeable team members online or by phone.

    SF Bay Area – Livermore (510) 675-0500
    Fresno (559) 834-9500
    Sacramento (916) 376-0500
    Salinas (831) 757-1091

    Further Reading
    Rough Terrain Forklifts  in Northern California
    Tips to Increase Lumber Yard Efficiency
    All Terrain and 4WD Forklifts for Farming and Agriculture in California