What is a counterbalance forklift? The Hyundai Heavy Line range like this one is just that

Answered: What Type of Suspension do Forklifts Have?

Trying to understand what type of suspension forklifts have, given the range of machines out there in 2024, can be confusing.

There are forklifts of all shapes and sizes, capable of handling a multitude of terrains and requirements.

So what type of suspension forklifts have often depends on what type of work they do.

But typically, there are three main types: Leaf Spring Suspension; Air Suspension; Solid Suspension.

This blog is going to delve into the nitty and gritty of the three different types and give you a better understand of what you and your operations might benefit from.

the hyundai heavy line range of forklifts have air suspension

What is Forklift Suspension and Why is it Important?

Performance and Safety

Forklift suspension, like that in a car or truck, refers to the systems of springs, shock absorbers and other links that connect the wheels to the machine.

The suspension allows a little motion between the two, absorbing bumbs and shocks it might receive.

This is important for a smooth ride whilst operating the machine but the suspension also impacts the safety massively, as well as the reasons below.

  1. Load Stability: It ensures that loads are transported smoothly, reducing the risk of damage.
  2. Operator Comfort: By absorbing the irregularities of the surface, it minimizes operator fatigue, which can be a significant factor in long shifts.
  3. Vehicle Longevity: Proper suspension reduces wear and tear on the forklift, prolonging its operational lifespan.
  4. Safety: A stable forklift is a safer forklift, particularly when maneuvering through busy warehouses or uneven terrains.

So, it is important!

What Type of Suspension do Forklifts Have?

3 Types of Suspension and their Advantages

There isn’t a one-size fits all with the type of suspension and forklift will have, because there are many different types of forklift. 

what type of suspension do a forklift like bravi platforms have

But here are the three most common type of suspension a forklift will have:

  1. Leaf Spring Suspension: Characterised by layers of steel springs, this traditional system is known for its durability and strength, making it ideal for heavy-duty applications.
  2. Air Suspension: Utilising airbags to absorb shocks, this type offers a smoother ride and is adjustable to varying load weights, providing a balance between comfort and load stability.
  3. Solid Suspension: Common in smaller, indoor forklifts, this type provides a firm ride and is best suited for flat, even surfaces where shock absorption is less of a concern.

Each type comes with its unique set of advantages and limitations, making them suitable for different operational environments.

How does the Type of Suspension of a Forklift Impact Performance?

The handling dynamics of a forklift are significantly impacted by its suspension system.

An effective suspension system is crucial for the forklift to securely transport and navigate heavy loads, maintain stability on uneven terrain, and minimise vehicle damage.

  • With a sturdy suspension, the forklift is able to handle heavy loads with ease and maintain stability, even on rough terrain.
  • Increased comfort results in reduced operator fatigue, ultimately improving efficiency.
  • Proper maintenance of the suspension system is crucial for a forklift’s longevity and efficiency. By minimising stress on the vehicle, costs and downtime can be significantly reduced.
  • Bad suspension could lead to a bad back, or worse, so you really want to avoid it and get the right machine for your workplace.

forklift suspension like in a jcb can impact performance

Comparing What Type of Suspension Do Forklifts Have

Selecting the appropriate suspension system for your forklifts is of utmost importance and should be determined by the unique conditions of your operational environment.

  • If you’re looking for a suspension system that can handle rough, uneven terrains during outdoor adventures, a leaf spring suspension might be the ideal choice.
  • If you’re looking for a more seamless driving experience that can easily adapt to different loads, an air suspension system might be the one for your needs.
  • If you’re looking to conduct operations indoors on stable surfaces, a solid suspension system could be a suitable choice.

Maintainence Tips for your Forklift Suspension

Taking care of your forklift’s suspension system goes beyond basic maintenance.

It’s crucial for achieving top-notch performance and ensuring the utmost safety.

Here are a few essential maintenance tips:

what type of suspension does a forklift like hyundai have

  • Perform regular inspections to identify any indications of damage or deterioration, particularly on the springs and shock absorbers. Inspect for any signs of cracks, corrosion, or deformities.
  • Ensure that all moving parts are properly lubricated to minimise friction and prevent unnecessary wear and tear.
  • Checking for alignment: It is important to regularly inspect the alignment of the suspension system to ensure the proper and safe functioning of the forklift.
  • Urgent Repairs: Deal with any problems promptly. Even small issues can quickly escalate, impacting the performance and safety of the forklift.
  • Regular professional servicing is essential for proper maintenance. Professionals have the ability to identify potential issues at an early stage and guarantee that the suspension of your forklift is in excellent condition.

For a more thorough understanding of maintenance techniques, please read our comprehensive guide on Forklift Maintenance Tips.

If you have any concers with your suspension, contact Masterlift right away and we can be with you in less than 24 hours.

The Fulcrum Point on a Forklift and how it Impacts Suspension

Getting the balance right

The suspension system has a significant impact on the fulcrum point in a forklift, which is crucial for effectively managing loads.

Ensuring a properly maintained suspension is crucial for maintaining the effectiveness of the forklift’s fulcrum point, which in turn enables safe and efficient handling of loads.

A well-designed suspension system not only ensures stability, but also significantly improves the forklift’s manoeuvrability when handling loads with precision.

Grasping this connection is crucial for optimising the potential of your forklift and minimising the chances of any major accident.

where is the fulcrum point on a forklift

To delve deeper into this concept, you may find it beneficial to peruse our blog on the location of the fulcrum point on a forklift.


Understanding what type of suspension do forklifts have in the advanced modern world of materials handling is important before you buy or lease a machine.

Making the right choice will give you more productive operators, a safer workplace and and more efficient warehouse, industrial unit or manufacturing.

By carefully choosing the appropriate suspension system, consistently maintaining it, and comprehending its impact on the overall functionality of the forklift, you can guarantee that your fleet of forklifts operates at its best and achieves optimal performance.

Get in touch to see our range of forklifts today.